This post is part of my series, A Real Picture of Pregnancy, where I document my pregnancy every 4 weeks. But rather than a perfectly-styled outfit, airbrushed makeup, chalkboard art and a clean house, I take the photo just as my life is. A beautiful mess. Unedited and not touched up.
Pity party, table of 1.
Yeah, that’s me.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been the sole attendee at a pathetic, lone pity party. The venue is a really boring, miserable place. The ugly, desperate invitation came vis-à-vis sleepless nights due to various kid-related issues, a constipated preschooler (oh, the poop drama), a barf bug that took 2 of us down, strep throat, a cough and head cold that kept my 3-year-old awake almost all night and a trip to urgent care and the ER for some minor head trauma caused by… well, let’s call it “brotherly love.” Oh, and a husband who was traveling for 10 days straight. Let’s not forget that.
The stomach bug was especially relentless, and hit me the day before the hubby was due to leave town. In the eleventh hour, he was able to postpone his trip by a day so I could lay in my barfy bed.
Praise. The. Lord.
Let me tell you, Mama, the second he got off the phone with Delta, dark and desperate that morning at 3am, and I heard the words “I changed my flight to tomorrow,” I could have cried.
Instead, I got up to barf again.
A few days later, I read an awesome Facebook post that talked about the dangers of self-pity. Since I’ve been wallowing in a nice little frothy pool of it for weeks, it was especially poignant for me.
Satan is sneaky, and uses self-pity to bring us down.
Here’s some of what the post said:
“[Satan] never was in the disasters for me or the cancer, or the traumas. Because he knows people are so so good, and they bring casseroles, and love, and get on their faces for you in need. But he shows up in the daily, mundane, unseen, death-to-self everyday monotony of life where we have to choose between our way and God’s way.”
I. Love. That. And, I’m so grateful for the reminder.
It’s so true.
The testing of my character comes in the form of a full bowl of cereal spilled on the tile floor, dog poop on the living room carpet and bath water that’s been carefully dumped into a huge pool on the bathroom floor. It comes in the form of today’s third toddler tantrum over putting his jacket on, a frustrating phone call with Verizon and tree roots in the pipes at our rental. It comes in the form of a husband who travels for work, an 8-month-pregnant body and 2 toddler boys who need my guidance and help on a minute-to-minute basis.
Mama, let me be real with you.
I need to be on guard. Against the small things. The menial, tedious, day-in-and-day-out parts of my life that are frustrating and can breed bitterness and can leave me open to becoming someone I don’t want to be.
The small things can be so big.
The small things can also be awesome.
Like, that day last week when my friend volunteered to watch my kids so I could go to my 32-week OB appointment.
Alone. Like, alone.
(A moment of silence, please.)
It was a small gesture that completely put my entire day on a different track. That hour of alone time, that warm cup of coffee, the quiet drive to the doctor’s office. It was therapeutic and soothing on a level that’s deeper than anything that could have happened after the kids are in bed, or on a girls’ night out. Seriously, it was transforming.
See that huge smile on my face?
That’s the smile of a woman who feels taken care of, cherished, and refilled. Just enough to get through another tough toddler day with her hubby gone.
Let your small things be big. The good and the bad.
I’m due April 23, and I usually deliver between 1 and 3 weeks early, so we’re getting close to the final stretch! If you’re seriously bored, check out all my posts from this series, and don’t forget to subscribe for updates when little boy #3 gets here.