Guest post from Kelly of Exceptionally Average
I’ve enjoyed reading many of the posts bloggers have been sharing about rising early during this month’s Early to Rise challenge, and I have read most of them at quite an early hour. However, I have been going back to bed as soon as possible afterward.
Not because I’m lazy, but because I have a new baby. I’ve traveled this road through Newborn Land once before, so this time I haven’t struggled as much about wishing I had my life more together, because I know that season will return again soon enough.
However, just knowing and believing doesn’t always ward off the negative feelings that appear when sleep deprivation and spit up replace routine and order.
I was inspired to come up with my own manifesto for all of us moms of babies after reading Crystal’s and Ann’s. I hope you find encouragement in it if you find yourself up at 12:30, 2:00, 4:00, and/or 6:00 in the morning with your little bundle.
1. Embrace grace.
You must do this. It’s sometimes easy to think you are the one who has it together when you’re living life without a baby.
Now that baby is here, acknowledge that she is God’s way of reminding you it’s only through Him that you can accomplish anything, let alone great things.
Meanwhile, don’t get embarrassed when you’re forgetful and unable to to keep up with the fast-paced world outside. Instead, thank God for the respite He’s giving you.
2. Hold that baby.
Soak up the beautiful simplicity of these days — savor the new baby smells, memorize the feeling of the cuddles, study the eyes taking in the world for the first time, and smile at a face that adores you and depends on you like no one else in the world does at this moment.
Soon enough, that baby will be crawling, toddling, and then running around when you’d rather take a few minutes to snuggle.
3. Spend five minutes filling your soul.
Maybe it’s just one minute some days with a solitary verse in the Bible, but do it.
This isn’t the time to study profound books on theology, but it’s a perfect time to admit your need for God’s strength…especially on those days following the nights where you only get an hour or two of sleep.
On those days, I seem to read my solitary verse a dozen times just so my brain can make sense of it. Doesn’t that count as meditating on it?
4. Set one attainable goal a day.
For the first week or so, my goal was to survive and feed the baby. Now that my little one has a couple of months on her, I can choose things like complete a load of laundry, including putting the clothes away.
I’m making it a point to take this time in my life to dream and plan. It’s crucial for my sanity to be slow in adding responsibilities back into my routine. The extra time to think ahead has made me want to get busy too quickly sometimes, and the needs of my kids bring me back to reality when I start getting ahead of myself.
5. Don’t get discouraged.
When you start to feel discouraged, remember that you are rising early, sometimes multiple times.
Give yourself a break and be sure to implement rest into your day. If you find yourself getting out of bed at 10 a.m. and dreaming of an afternoon nap, don’t sweat it. The time for routines and online challenges will come again, meanwhile enjoy this time holding your baby.
What advice do the rest of you have for moms of newborns or women who are in particularly busy and exhausting seasons of life?
Kelly is a stay-at-home mom who is passionate about encouraging others to join her in embracing confidence in the average, day-to-day ministry of motherhood, marriage, and friendship. She blogs at Exceptionally Average.