you are invited to spend a day in the life of her.
the gal who you might think has it all together. the mama who seems to do it all.
guess what? she doesn't.
guess what? she doesn't.
let's fight those lies. this new series is an effort to dispel the superwoman myth. it is a time to be encouraged and a place to be challenged.
i have invited some wonderful women who want to be real with y'all. they want to share their struggles and triumphs. they want to give you a true glimpse into their everyday. it might not be glamorous, but it is real and beautiful.
each thursday this summer, come walk a bit in the shoes of another.
Hello everyone, my name is Rebekah and I blog over at a Bit of Sunshine. It is such an honor to be here today! When Annalea first asked me to be a part of the a day in the life series, I was so immediatley drawn to the heart behind it. What we present to the world on our blogs can sometimes give the impression that life is perfect.
But we all know life is not perfect.
I long to bring light and truth to that misconception - I believe that when we are faced with beauty it is always a temptation to try to measure up or compare. To take that beauty and use it to decide our own value. But here's the thing: we are ALL fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14). A creator so perfectly made each one of us unique, to worship Him with our lives.
In preparing my post for today, the Lord reminded me of my own introduction into blogging over four years ago now. I was a young woman who suddenly found myself thrown into the grueling task of motherhood. My sons were born just sixteen months apart; the first a preemie needing frequent and difficult feedings the first months of his life. When I found out I was pregnant again after just seven months, it was terrifying. My second son was the extreme opposite, a really large colicky baby with severe acid reflux - his ear piercing screaming was enough to make me want to poke my eyes out. I was so weary and lonely with very few friends who even had one child let alone two. Post-partum depression rocked me to my core, my husband was working long hard ministry hours and the pay was so low that we were barely making ends meet. And it didn't make sense for me to work. I never finished college, so the cost of childcare made it useless to get a retail or part-time job.
A truly dark time in my life.
It was during this season that I discovered crafty family blogs. Late at night during feedings I would pour over them, imagining the lives of these other moms doing what I was doing. Their lives seemed so beautiful not painful and exhausting and full of the kind of screaming hell and sleeplessness I found myself in.
I became infatuated and in a way that felt like these other moms were my friends too. I would visit daily to see what they were up to and how they managed life and it gave me hope.
They would make simple things like apple muffins and oh.my.gosh they were the most beautiful muffins I had ever seen. I would tell myself: Rebekah, today just do one thing that feels beautiful, find something around you and make it beautiful if they can do it so can you.
I would ask God to show me something beautiful in my day. I would organize a shelf and create a little vingette or bake cookies. And I know this sounds totally crazy, but, in a way, reading those beautiful blogs saved my life - I was headed down a very scary road of isolation and depression and God steered me towards beauty and life.
I started my own blog (Orangepoppy) and began capturing snapshots of our day too looking for the beauty in the grueling routine of motherhood.
And you know what, it helped.
But I totally get it I do. Sometimes reading a blog can leave a taste of jealousy or comparison in my mouth. When this happens I try to remember that what I am reading is only like 1% of someones life. I try to remember that I too want to bring the bright things to my blog to maybe encourage a struggling new mom who could be lonely or weary like we all are at times. I don't share it all most of the time just a little sliver of happiness if I can.
So with that let me let you in on a little secret:
I am still weary and tired. My home is not pristine. I am up to my ears in laundry and my kids did not eat their vegetables today. But oh my gosh were there some beautiful moments God suprised me with, you better believe it. This is what a day in my life really looks like:
6:30 my kids are usually up or at least two of them and so is my sweet husband he knows I hate getting up early so he sacrafices to let me enjoy a few more moments of peace and quiet. But I am awake too.
7:15 Chris will bring Josie, our baby in to nurse and spend some snuggle time with mom in bed while the boys eat breakfast with Daddy.
8:00 if I am not out of bed yet then all the kids have now joined me and are most likely chatting, wrestling, tickling each other. Lots of crazy laughter in Mom and Dads bed in the morning! Chris will quickly finish getting ready for work and then kisses us all goodbye. He has a long commute so I am very thankful for his helping hands in the morning.
9:00 I usually let the kids watch a show if we don't have any activities lined up. I have stopped beating myself up over this - when they don't have preschool or something to get ready for I really need a bit more time in the morning to wake up and ease into my day I am just not a morning person. I will get a cup of coffee and try to get into the word of God and if that doesn't happen at least some worship music. What a difference some worship can make especially in the morning. I load the breakfast dishes, get dressed and try to map out the rest of the morning. I also check email and load any posts that I have ready to go for the day
10:00 Josie is still taking a nap most mornings so while she is asleep I get the arts and crafts stuff out and have the boys working on something. On this morning Levi was painting and Simon was going through a magazine cutting out letters to spell his name. We came across a fun ad for koolaid and the boys liked the pictures of all the kids with colored tougnes so we shifted and made puppets with some craft sticks and then a puppet theatre ensued it was really fun!
11:00 Now the boys have moved on to something else maybe legos or puzzles or wrestling - whatever it is it's noisy. I am cleaning up the craft stuff and looking at the floor probably and how it needs to be cleaned badly. I might run down and start a load of laundry if I am really on top of it or pick a room in the house and clean it. I find it's easier to clean if I pick small goals so I pick a room and focus on it. If there is one clean room in the house I can escape to it when the rest starts to overwhelm I always try to have at least one room clean.
12:00 Lunch time for everyone. Maybe sandwiches or mac and cheese - yes my kids eat mac and cheese. Josie is up too and she loves to eat - I will also steal away for a bit to nurse her at some point and this time is so special it's a quiet moment to be alone with her. I will check emails or surf all the pretty blogs I love to read. And then we rejoin the boys who are finishing up lunch and I am again at the sink loading dishes and cleaning up lunch.
1:00 Sometimes we will go for an outing around this time or this summer we have had swimming lessons. We might meet up with friends at the park or run to the grocery store although I hate grocery shopping and taking three young kids including two wild boys to the store is always a major adventure!
2:00/3:00 Josie is getting ready for an afternoon nap and I usually put her down around this time. I like to bake during this time or read with the boys. We might build a fort or get out the playdough or run around outside in the yard if the weather is nice.
4:00 Josie wakes up from her afternoon nap and I will nurse her again before starting dinner prep. This is another good time to let the boys watch a show, Josie will be in the kitchen with me in her high chair eating some little snacks and talking with Mommy while I am cooking and doing more cleaning...the cleaning never ends does it!
5:00 Last minute dinner prep, laundry, house pick up in preparation for Daddy to get home. Maybe a late coffee for me or a phone call to see if Chris might come in a little bit earlier than usual. A few days a week we also have things like worship practice and my counseling session so the evening looks a little different on those evenings but for the most part I am just ready to see Mr. Gough walk through the door so we can all give him a big welcome home!
6:00 Chris is home by now most days and I usually have dinner ready to go. We sit down and enjoy dinner as a family. The kids are still young so there is of course usually some sort of major spill, baby Josie is yelling for me to feed her, we try to ask the boys a few questions or tell Daddy about our day and we love to hear about what he is doing at the Union Gospel Mission too.
7:00-8:00 Time for baths and dinner clean up. Josie gets a bath in the sink while I finish cleaning up the kitchen and Chris will give the boys a bath in the tub. We have this time pretty dialed in right now I take Josie and the mess and Chris does the boys bath, jammies, brush teeth and story time. After I finish clean up and Josie's bath I get her jammies on and nurse her again before bringing her in to join her brothers in their bedroom. Prayers and music and lights out but of course we all know that means a million times getting them water, or potty one last time.
9:00-12:00 The kids are usually asleep by this time and we finish picking up if there is energy left for that. I might fold another load of laundry before heading downstairs to upload photos from the day, work on writing a post or do some crafting late into the evening. Sometimes I will plan a little date night at home or Chris and I will watch a movie but I am almost always working on something in the evening I like to keep my hands busy. We usually crawl into bed late - I always tell myself that I am going to go to bed earlier but it rarely happens it's a work in progress. Lights out, prayers and hope that the kids will sleep until at least 6:30 or 7...I never feel rested but I suppose that's the season we are in.
So, there you go, a normal day and I feel very blessed. Thanks for letting me share a little about my life with you; it is an honor. I hope that you feel encouraged knowing that we are all in this season together - look for that beauty today, friends. I promise God will not disappoint!
my goodness, rebekah, did your words just strike a chord with me. thank you so much for sharing. i am off to just find one beautiful thing today.