Wow, when I was asked to be a part of the "Love Letter" series I have to admit I was beyond flattered and so thrilled to start writing! I read some of the previous posts for Inspiration and an idea of what to write. In doing so I had the idea to write 3 letters. One to myself, one to my son, and one from God, or rather what i think He'd want me to know. Here it goes:
Yes, YOU! Stop right there and take a moment to breathe and read this love letter that your soul so desperately needs. First of all, congratulations on making it through a very challenging time emotionally and physically throughout your pregnancy. You carried a human being from a bundle of cells to a 7.4 lb bundle of love. You watched on as your body changed, having no control over the new shape and form taking place, and embraced it. Even during those moments when you could no longer fit into your bras or underwear anymore, ya THOSE moments, you persevered. You looked at the beauty that was within and accepted the transformation taking place as something that was none other than the greatest gift you'd ever been a part of. Although there were rough moments, you always loved yourself and never gave into the enemy's lies while he tried to attack you with insecurities and use your vulnerable emotional state against you.. No, you stayed strong and kept your faith in focus. Be proud. Feel great, no feel wonderful, that you not only did that for YOU but for your son. He is healthy and alive because of you and your healthy, loving choices.
Now, look at the mess you've been in your head lately. What's going on? Lets take a closer look & have a moment of self-reflection. You wake every morning with a to-do list in mind that you allow to instantly consume you. You beat yourself up if you don't get the baby's clothes changed in time after feeding him, changing his diaper, stimulating him and playing with him, using the bathroom yourself and trying to eat breakfast and pump all at the same time. Now he's fussy and he was supposed to be asleep 5 minutes ago! Oh no, 5 minutes is BIG, you're interrupting his sleep schedule while sleep training. Keep in mind, darling love, you only had 1 hour to get this done.. Because this little one takes his first nap real quick upon awakening. Then once he's down you go through the next list in your head.. "The me list".. Nope not yet. That one's still on hold. "The house list"..yes, that's the one! You scroll through what needs to be done, dishes are in the sink from the dinner you made the night before, laundry has gone bad because its been sitting wet in the washer for more than a day, you just moved 2 weeks ago so you have loads of boxes to unpack, clothes to put away, and bills to pay. Oh yes, you also need to go to the grocery store.. Isn't that fun by yourself ..with a newborn (:
Next list, "the Me list". Okay, you need to make some coffee because you were up multiple times last night, you need to read your daily devotional, pray and journal. You need to wash your face and get ready for the day (oh wait, we don't do that anymore unless we are going somewhere).. Okay scratch that, put on gym clothes to motivate yourself. Besides, lets face it, you will soon be covered in spit up. Now return all the text messages you have yet to read so your friends and family know you are still alive. Pause. You're stuck, you don't know which "to do" to do first..So you pick one that seems easy and less overwhelming. Now the baby woke up prematurely.. Get him back to sleep..10 mins later same thing. 5 mins later same thing. Now it's time to wake him and feed him and start it all over again. So what about those lists, ey!?
Are you seeing the crazy that you are? A hot mess. It's okay, most first time mamas are. You've managed to learn something new each week & will only continue to get better & better at balancing all this mama stuff. But lets start something new here today. Lets try to put down our lists for just a moment, tuck away our self defeating thoughts, and lets have you reflect back on each day at all you HAVE accomplished. Lets have this be your new focus.
Today you woke up, nourished your son through breast feeding (amen to be able to do that), got him dressed, fed yourself, got yourself ready, packed his diaper bag, put him down for a nap, went to work for a few hours, visited grandpa, fed the baby, put baby down for another nap, wrote and finished 2 blogs, ate lunch, made sure you were drinking enough water, changed the baby and fed him again, did laundry, took the baby for a walk, worked out for an hour at the gym while baby napped, you affirmed your best friend, fed the baby and got him ready for bed, showered, put the baby to bed with daddy singing songs, made dinner, fed the baby and put him back to bed, spent time with your husband, read "purpose driven life" with your husband, and went to bed. You accomplished much more than you would've realized had you not had a moment to stop and self-reflect. Make that your new goal. Stop looking at all you didn't do and look at all you did do.. Even if its just that you fed yourself and took care of your family that day. That's enough, and that is a lot. And it's a very honorable thing to do each day, so be proud of yourself because being a parent is such a blessing, but can also be the most challenging job in the world at times.
My husband is part of the AA program and taught me a great way to start off my mornings. "Three G's" - 3 things I am Grateful for".."3 Goals for the day"...& lastly, "3 things I'm Good at". I love this little exercise because it keeps my heart filled with gratitude, makes me set just a few goals, and reminds me to affirm myself and lift myself up instead of the opposite. Today I am grateful for my family, I am grateful to be alive and appreciate life, I am grateful for food to eat and a home to feel safe in. Today my goals are to finish this blog post, do 1 load of laundry from start to finish, and soak up at least an hour of family time with my two boys by living in the moment with them and forgetting all about "whatever else I think I need to do".
To sum it up, have a moment of self-reflection everyday to check in and see what's going on in that head of yours. Secondly, focus on what you DID accomplish that day & leave the rest for tomorrow. Third, be grateful, affirm yourself and set just three small goals for the day (instead of a billion because then you'll always feel like you've failed). Lastly, keep on loving yourself.
Dearest Baby Boy,
You are my sunshine. You light up each day with the brightest sunlight I could ever imagine. I'm writing this letter to do my best to convey the love I have for you. This love seeps into the depths of my heart, into the valleys where I didn't know love existed. I could hold you close on the darkest of days and just soak in the sunshine that you are. You must have gotten this from your daddy because only him & Jesus know how to reach these places in my soul. If you can brighten a crummy day then just imagine how much joy you bring to our family on the most spectacular of days! Your smile reminds me not to worry. It pricks my heart and tells me I'm foolish for caring so much about things that don't matter, when what really matters is right in front of me. Your smile. Your heart. To protect you, love you, and lead you. Daddy feels the same way. We often talk about how you've changed our lives & how we couldn't dream of having a child so perfect for us. You make us love deeper, you connected us in a way that isn't possible without you. You are a literal dream.come.true. It's been a whirlwind trying to figure out this new life with you in it, but these are the memories we'll laugh about when you're older and we've figured out how to balance & juggle everything. Life with you is so sweet, it's tender and delicate, each day brings something new. The simplest of things is so b e a u t i f u l, life with you honestly means so much to me. I watch you learning & growing from morning to night, day after day & my heart gets so excited. I understand God's love & how He must see us even more through loving you and being your mommy. It's truly the only unconditional love. There's nothing you could do to ruin or spoil the love I have for you sweet boy. My hope is for you to always feel my love and never question how deep it goes. I know I will not always be the perfect mommy and I'm going to mess up a ton I'm sure, but I believe you will understand and love me anyhow. You look right into my soul and make me feel like every imperfection I have doesn't matter in the least. God chose me to be your mama and that gives me more confidence and assurance than I could ever need. I am yours forever sweet son and for that I am forever blessed beyond what my heart can bare.
To My Daughter,
I am so proud of you. Just stop and let that sink in. You have become such a wonderful mom and wife this past year. I walk by your side every day just watching how much you enjoy the blessings I have given you through your precious family, My family. This is my every intention. I want you to enjoy Taylor and Cash and glorify me through the joy they bring to you and others. I chose you for them and created you for each other. I have so much planned for My family, your family, and just wish that you would trust in Me more. I wanted you to understand just how much I love you through having a child of your own. He is mine, but I created Cash through you and for you so that you could not only enjoy him but also experience the love I have for you by loving your son. I knew when you became a mommy that My love would be SO evident and so clear to you. I am celebrating here with you as you journey towards growing closer to me these past couple of months because of this realization of how deep my love goes. So many worldly things can become a distraction from Me, even good things like becoming a mom, so I want you to be focused more now than ever. Focus on your Father, the One who knows you ever so well and wants to guide you in not just life but more specifically to be a light to your family. Raise Cash up to know my name and to see his parents daily walking with Me, side by side. He needs to see Me in you. When you face days that seem unbearable remember I can take your load, that is why I died on the cross for you. Do not worry about Cash's future for His future is in My hands and he is My child above all. Trusting Me means you have Faith that I know what is best for you and your family, My family. Let "trust in Me" be your words for this first year as a mommy and your second year as a wife. Let My Holy Spirit lead you and rest knowing you are in my care. This is the best gift you can give to your family. And this is the gift I have given to you all.
Your Heavenly Father
- Tessa Armstrong
- Tessa Armstrong