Hiya friends! It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted but I’m gettin’ back to it! I wanted to share with you all what I’ve been going through for the past month and how it’s shaped my life in the hopes to give all you mama’s out there some encouragement today. But first, let me give you a little background about my life to frame this brain dump. 😊
I am the wife of an incredible man named Luke and he is a probation officer in a nearby county. He was hired back in February 2018 but still had some training requirements that he had to complete. The final step was a 5-week core training program located 3 hours away from our home. We knew about this when he was first hired but I pushed it out of my head because we had just had a baby 2 weeks before and I was thinking “September is sooooo far away!” Haha. No – September came so fast!!
As September approached and I started to wrap my head around what it would look like for our family to have Luke gone Monday through Friday 3 hours away for 5 weeks….I started to panic. We made a plan for how we would make it through but, oh boy, I wasn’t fully prepared for what these 5 weeks would be like. I’m counting down the 5 biggest lessons I’ve learned over the last month and a half.
5. Babies Grow Too Fast! 😭😭😭All the crying emojis for this one. Emmy turned 8 months a week ago and I’m so heart broken over how fast time is going, but also so excited to see her grow and develop. It’s incredible to see her learn new things every single day. I’ve learned to embrace every moment I have with her because the next day is never guaranteed. Luke has missed her so much and I realize how much she changes each week when Luke was only seeing her on the weekends. My bond with Emmy has become so much stronger since I’ve been the sole provider for her during the week. Both Luke and I are so excited for her to get back to having some Daddy snuggles every day.
4. Preparation is Key. One of the most practical things I’ve learned is that preparing in advance each weekend makes the weekdays that much easier to handle. We got really strict about our budget to stay on track financially. In addition to that, we would spend a few hours on either Saturday or Sunday to meal prep. Luke would take homemade meals with him to training each week and I would have some food prepared ahead of time for myself and Emmy so it took the pressure off during the week to cook meals. Huge time saver! We plan to continue this weekend ritual to make life a little easier during the week.
3. ASK. FOR. HELP! Oh man, this one is so hard for me. I am notoriously bad at asking for help and raising my hand when I feel overwhelmed. And I must say, I don’t think I did this perfectly during this last month and a half. My mom was incredibly gracious to come stay overnight with Emmy and I a couple nights a week. This was so helpful in just getting me through the last couple hours of the day by keeping the house tidy, doing laundry, washing bottles, etc. We can’t do this mama thing alone. And all my single mama friends out there, I’m tipping my hat to you because I can’t even imagine how hard that is. But my advice here, is ask for the help you need. No one knows you need help unless you ask.
2. Marriage is Hard. Yup, spoiler alert, my marriage is not perfect! Luke and I have been married for 2.5 years and we are so in love! Keeping God at the center of our marriage has always been our goal and in doing so, we’ve always felt like “Man, when does this get hard like everyone said?” Well, we found it in this last 5 weeks. We’ve been through a lot together in 2.5 years…and I mean A LOT! But in my opinion, this might be one of the hardest things we’ve walked through. Our love languages are different (mine is quality time and Luke’s if physical touch). News flash! Neither of those are possible when you’re not physically together for 5 out of the 7 days in a week. We only had 48 hours together each week and most of those hours were spent caring for Emmy, catching up on sleep, or prepping for the next week. We’ve learned that communication is so key. Yeah, I know, everyone says it, but it’s true. Luke can’t read my mind, nor can I his. We had to learn how to tell each other what we need and be explicit. Don’t hold back, be brutally honest in the pursuit of your partner.
1. God Provides. I’m on the verge of sobbing as I write this. God gives us so. much. grace. It’s overwhelming. I’ve grown so much in my understanding of God’s grace and love for me in this last 5 weeks. I’ve started making sure I’m listening to the Word of God every morning on my way to work in the last 5 weeks. It focuses my mind and I meditate on his Word and His goodness for His people before I start my day. I am not a perfect mother, perfect wife, or perfect homemaker. God gives me grace for the items I cannot check of my never-ending to-do list. I have repeated to myself over and over “this is not where my identify is found” in the hard moments. The Lord continuously brought this to my mind in many situations as I’ve walked through this difficult season. When I fail at work, when I fail at mothering, when I fail at keeping my home perfect…that is not where my identity is found. My identity is in Christ. I am a child of God. He loves me so deeply and He doesn’t care if I forget to do laundry, if I make a mistake at work, if I don’t feed Emmy the perfectly balanced meal. He gives me GRACE for it all. Praise the Lord!
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so the power of Christ may rest upon me.”