As ANY new parent knows – whether it’s your first kid or fifth (right here!) – sleep can be hard to come by. When true exhaustion sets in, everything seems to crumble, doesn’t it?
Little problems seem magnified. Noises get louder. The frustrations the older kids have about the attention being split a little farther feels impossible to manage. Simple tasks take a back burner. Sometimes, you feel successful when at the end of the day everyone has had food (even if it’s Pringles and Lunchables), no one has broken anything or required stitches and you fall into bed hoping for a two hour stretch from the new one…no? Just me? Maybe. But I’m thinking not.
Something that starts to slide for me, when everything feels like it’s spinning, is my ability to focus outside of myself, outside of basic needs. I get frustrated. My tiredness takes over in terms of what I am focusing on. I forget that there’s a plan that’s so much bigger than me. I need to push reset.
Last week, I got that reset. John was able to take time off in between jobs and I was able to gain a little perspective…actually a lot of perspective…and it was so necessary.
It wasn’t just having an extra hand that made a huge impact. I also decided to take a few other steps. I gave up Facebook (gasp!). I downloaded several books, both fiction and devotionals/Christian life. I put the time I’d spend mindlessly surfing the web into scripture and just focusing on what’s going on in the lives of my kids. I took deliberate steps away from things that were distractions and towards things that seemed to be hard to accomplish right after Levi joined our family.
And some crazy results took place.
First, I was better able to practice gratitude. I started to notice little intricacies of life that could only happen through a plan so much greater than mine. I felt a greater pull toward friendships that seemed distant during the pregnancy. I stopped feeling “busy,” all the time, even though my schedule was fuller. I wanted to go back to things that were so important to us when we were focused on living for a purpose beyond us (y’all…I can’t wait. Friday night dinners are coming back soon!). I started opening up my house. I had more conversations over coffee and tea. I started cooking again (this is one of my favorite things).
Most importantly, the blessings that had been there the whole time – they didn’t go anywhere, in fact, they increased – became more noticeable. They took front and center. Gratitude became impossible to ignore or “miss.” Suddenly, the haze of tiredness was replaced with immense gratefulness.
I know the #blessed trend gets old, maybe eliciting a few eye rolls…but maybe it shouldn’t. Maybe focusing on blessings is exactly the “reset” we need in order to see the bigger picture; to pick ourselves up when things feel overwhelming and to take steps toward pushing forward into what matters most.
What sort of reset could you use? What’s getting you down? What feels too big to manage right now? Most importantly, what can you step away from in order to step toward what really matters?