Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Comparison is the thief of Joy

Here's where I'm at this morning.... in a tug of war with "I'm so content" and... "Ughhh I want that"... and "our God is an AWESOME God"..  (I realize a tug of war is usually only between two sides, but yeah)

I have just had so many "poor Jamie" moments lately... then last night my friend Meredith Benfield posted a quote on her instagram that kind of just sucker punched me in the throat.  "if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back".  yeah.  well that will get ya.

We've been putting millie to bed consistently for about 3 months at 8:30.  We start bath time at 8, then read a few books, do silly stuff, and put her in her crib at 8:30.  I've been putting her in her crib awake since her "6 month" which was really when she was 7 mo appointment two weeks ago, and she has done great with it--usually rolls around and does a slight whine but is asleep within 10 minutes usually sooner.  However... she was waking at 12 and 3... we have since (well really just a week ago) cut out the 12 waking (who knows how other than the good Lord's provision)... but she has consistenly been waking at 2:52, 2:54, 3:04, 3:00ish the past month and a half.  the past two weeks have been somewhat of a haze for this momma.  (I saw a coffee mug the other day that said "Mombie..noun-the body of a mom taken over by the lack of sleep and excessive errand running.."  THAT'S SO ME RIGHT NOW.)  I was being so "hard" and letting her cry... which was lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours... (ahhhh).. then she slept THROUGH THE NIGHT until like 6:30 am two nights in a row.  I think I seriously heard angels singing when I woke up the next morning.... then I came off my little high when it came to an abrupt conclusion and she starting waking up around 3 again.  I NEED to say this, though.  I have said it all along with every little mishap that we've had.. big or small...  I realize there are mommas (and dads) that have these silly "baby won't cooperate" moments and have to get up and go to work the next morning... so I have (or at least I think I have) been pretty good about not complaining and just "dealing with the hand i've been dealt" (such a sac-religious saying if you ask me)... I have tried not to complain other than to ben, ha.  I have honestly prayed so intentionally that the Lord would just help me to be thankful in these times.  However, IT. IS. HARD. not sleeping is hard.  it is really hard.  it has really taken a toll on me.  There's no nice way to put it other than IT SUCKS.  I love Millie Willard.. she is so happy-all the time unless someone is being obnoxiously loud (and most people don't stop being loud even when they realize it drives her bonkers, but that's another story)... and therefore, I've continued to tell myself "I mean i can't complain because she is happy".. right??? BAH.. WRONG.  I've realized it is okay to not be okay.  It is okay for it to be hard for me to function on such little sleep.  It is okay for me to cry. It is okay for me to want to scream so super loud that our new neighbors wonder what in the world is going on...... Sunday I had quite the meltdown.
I need sleep.  I don't know what else to say.  I need my child to sleep.  She has done so well with naps lately- I put her down awake and she is asleep within 10 minutes just like at night and she sleeps 45 min-1 hour which is much better than what she was doing.  So, for that i'm thankful, but I have still been struggling with "being thankful in my circumstances" when it comes to her not sleeping at night.

Last night after we put her to bed, my throat was hurting so Ben said, "Why don't you get out and go to the new Harps (woooo what joy haha I get to go to Harps... but seriously getting away for 15 minutes no matter where it is seems like a field trip for me)... and get some medicine and ice cream..." so I did.  I really don't have many windows throughout the day to get on "social media".. other than to post a pic quickly (and i'm the queen at that).. so i sat in the parking lot for a second before going in and scrolled through instagram. Meredith had posted the quote I was talking about.  Ohhhhh eeeemmmm geeeee.. I honestly don't think i took a breath for what seemed like 30 minutes after that.  My gracious.  What a life I have.  What a joyful bountiful life I have.  WHAT A BLESSING IT IS THAT I GET TO LIVE THIS LIFE ALONGSIDE MY SUPPORTIVE, GRACE-FILLED, JESUS-LOVING, ALWAYS SMILING, GLASS HALF FULL HUSBAND AND JOYFUL DAUGHTER.  Ben Willard sees me at my ugliest, most desperate times and he still loves the heck out of me.  WHY?? i mean i don't know.. maybe because Ronnie Parrott made him promise after our vows that he wouldn't divorce me??? ha.. kidding that isn't really WHY.... :).. He just selflessly loves me every single moment of every single day.  And then there's Millie...... she seriously may be one of the happiest babies I have ever been in contact with.  She is my life... she was sent here straight from the Lord's breath to make me happy every moment I get with her.  So..... if the "crying it out" hasn't worked the past two weeks then maybe I should just cherish the few moments I get with her at 3 am when I get to rock her back to sleep? Is that what you're telling me, Lord?  Maybe? I'm sure many moms right now (well let's be honest that many people don't read this) are reading this thinking-- NOOOOO stick to your guns.  Make that baby cry it out--it will lead to you being a LITTLE more sane in the long-run. I don' know what the answer is right now, but I do know I serve an awesome God who is going to see our little family through this.  I also know (going back to the quote) that there are mommas out there who wish they could provide a crib for their babies... that they wish they could go scoop them out of in the mornings... that wish they didn't have to work through the night and wish they had the opportunity to put their babies to bed...    I also know there are babies out their crying for their mommas who will never see their momma's face again... or even mommas out there who won't get to hold their babies again...      There are babies who are hungry, thirsty, cold, sick, hurting.  My baby and I are in this comfy house, not lacking a single thing (well sleep, yes), nestled closely to each other, getting the opportunity to study each others' faces and get acquainted with each other all over again every single day.  THANK YOU, JESUS.

Now, where does the title of my blog come in?... Comparison is the thief of joy.  While I enjoy social media because of the fact that i get to share in the joys of my family and friends' lives, lift others up with encouragement when they need it, ask for encouragement when I need it, and show off my little bundle of joy to people who don't get to see her often, i have come to realize that to this new mom it can be the devil at work if I allow it to be!  So much comparison can come into play, and I have allowed that to happen so much lately.  It seems that Facebook statuses are the place to post about how many hours new little babies sleep.. This isn't me saying there's anything wrong with that... I know the excitement that comes when your baby sleeps.  It is amazing, and I would love to shout it from the rooftops, too. n butttt.....AHHHHH. Do you know how many times i have wanted to chunk my phone or computer across the room after reading that????? I so badly wanted to post MY CHILD DOESN'T SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or something so sarcastic like "Millie slept three hours last night... yayyyyyy"... but i did catch myself one time posting a pic and saying "she sleeps"... ha got knocked off that high horse pretty quickly.  I think this is how society works now, though.  As a mom of an almost 8 mo old (I'm so seasoned, right? ha) I have come to realize that there are just some people who never ever let you see the "ugly" times and those are usually the people i catch myself comparing my life to... So my goal as I walk through this tough (yet usually so happy and fun) season is to make myself transparent.  I mean i realize I shouldn't complain, but I do need to be real--- everything about being a mom isn't FUN or HAPPY or PRETTY.. (there are some reaaaaaallly ugly, nasty times....just ask BEN WILLARD)...  What I've learned the past week is that my life is unique.  Just as the Lord made us unique AND in His image... he makes our lives and stories unique also--- it's our job to make sure our lives reflect his image (this is what the lesson was about in Children's church on sunday... just put it together at this exact moment as i typed it.. ha).  My life is what I make it... as I've said before-- we GET to CHOOSE JOY.  I MUST STOP COMPARING MY JOURNEY DOWN THE ROAD OF MOMMYHOOD TO OTHERS... all babies are different, all philosophies on motherhood are different, and counting my blessings rather than focusing on the not so fun circumstances is key.

NOW..if you just read this, would you please send up a couple of prayers for this sleepy mommy that Millie Willard would sleep past 3am?? THANK YOU KINDLY!! :)