I’m slowing down.
Whether I want to or not. I am. My mind is. My body is.
Here’s the problem.
Life is not.
In fact life is going in the complete opposite direction.
I have three very active children that seem to keep growing…don’t they know they’re supposed to stay little forever?
With those growing kids come more and more activities like soccer, t-ball, piano, church activities, time with friends, etc. As each child starts the activities multiply.
Full Time Work.
Then there is work. I work from home. I started my blog shortly after my oldest was born as a hobby. But it has grown into more than just a hobby. I have to work on it daily. And it’s a LOT of work. But now instead of just my own blog I help with someone else’s blog and write for several other blogs and magazines. Those hours add up very quickly. And none of them include child care.
I also started home schooling this year. Which I absolutely love and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. But it does take work. I have to be more organized and I don’t have as much free time during the week.
Did I mention we are moving to a 10 acre farm by the end of the year? That means we’re in the process of packing and cleaning right now. Soon we’ll be selling our house and then doing the big move…during the holidays. Yeah, it’ll be busy.
No Big Deal?
This all sounds like normal stuff. Most people can handle it.
But I’m struggling.
It’s not something I like to admit. But I am.
I am the kind of person that likes to say yes to everything and everyone. I also don’t like to ask for help. Those two traits don’t go so well together.
I also don’t have any help aside from my husband. We don’t have close family in town. If life is feeling crazy and hectic I just have to deal with it. I can’t call Grandma to take the kids for a few hours so I can catch my breath. Instead I get a few minutes of nap time to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest before jumping back in.
The thing is I used to be able to handle more busyness. So what happened?
I didn’t listen to my body.
I wasn’t honest about my struggles. I never accepted help. I never asked for help. Not even from my husband!
I’ve had a lot of really big stressors in my life over the last fifteen years. Bigger than I realized. And they took a toll. Major colon surgery. Years of infertility and treatments. Years of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and working with a psychologist.
I thought I was over a lot of the major stuff after that. So I didn’t even realize until just now how stressful the last three years have been.
Three Years Of Worry.
In mid 2013 I went through my last (7th!!) round of IVF…which ended in a miscarriage. The miscarriage lasted over a month. And my adrenals and thyroid went haywire. My whole body was swelling. I was gaining weight every week. Things were out of whack. I was trying hard to make huge lifestyle changes.
And just when I was making some progress I got pregnant with my miracle baby…the thing I had been working towards.
I was so happy, and the pregnancy went smoothly.
But it caused me a lot of anxiety. I worried about the health of the baby every day. But I just dealt with it. As I did my adrenals continued to suffer.
Wait, It Gets Worse?
After my daughter was born things were good for a bit. Then she had multiple severe vaccine reactions. And I spent the next year and a half fighting for her life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I did during that time. I worried about her and cried about it almost daily.
Her malnutrition and fighting to keep her nourished through nursing impacted me so much that even now, at 2 years old, every time I nurse her I have heart palpitations. Even though she only nurses a couple times a day and is a great eater. It’s my body’s natural response…worrying she won’t get enough.
To add to the stress of the last three years we’ve dealt with health issues for my other two children. It started as allergies and general gut health and has now turned into neurological issues.
As I’m typing this I’m still trying to unwind from a morning of my five year old constantly screaming at me and responding to everything I say with an extreme negative. Sometimes to the point where he shuts himself in the closet and screams over and over that he wants to kill himself.
It’s exhausting, disheartening and just overwhelming at times. All I can do is keep praying.
It is also a lot of work to cook for my family. With so many varying allergies I always have to cook multiple meals and make just about everything from scratch…even if I don’t have time.
There is no such thing as ordering pizza or going out to eat when I just don’t have the energy. Or even pouring a bowl of cereal when I can’t even think about breakfast.
It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. If I don’t do it my kids can’t eat.
Waiting For Our Dream.
Over the last year we have had some huge ups and downs in our house search too. We have had multiple offers accepted but then things not work out for one reason or another. It’s been very emotional and at times has felt very similar to our infertility journey. We are praying this house is really the one and we can move past this by year’s end.
When I was growing up my mom dealt with anxiety and depression. At about the same age as I am right now she had a nervous breakdown and was in in-patient care at a mental health facility and was on lots of medication. We got to visit her once in a while and had to have my grandparents help take care of us. I was in third grade. My little brother was in kindergarten. Right now my daughter is in third grade and my son is in kindergarten. Yeah, it really makes me think about how things could go if something doesn’t change. I don’t want that to happen to my kids.
I’ve also always thought I’d have four kids (just like my family growing up…girl, boy, girl, boy. Right now we’ve got girl, boy, girl). From the time I was five all I wanted to do was be a mom…and have four kids. There were times during my infertility journey I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all. But I still held on to that dream of having four kids.
Now here I am with three kids…and the desire is still there, stronger than ever. But I also know my body is not healthy enough right now for another baby. And I’m not getting any younger. And life isn’t getting any easier. It weighs heavily on my mind almost daily. Though I try my best to remember that God’s plans and timing are perfect. We’ll see what the future holds.
Taking Its Toll.
Through the last few years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and stress my body has become extremely depleted. Which really doesn’t do good things for you, trust me.
Over the last few months I’ve started having more and more heart palpitations (which freak me out). I have started to gain weight in my abdomen over the last nine months (something I’ve never dealt with).
I thought maybe my thyroid was getting worse. I had my levels checked…perfect. I still tried increasing my medication just to be sure. No luck. If anything it made me feel worse.
So I did a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. It’s really not bad. My levels are in the normal range most of the day. But I think they are working very hard to stay there.
My adrenals are really being taxed on a daily basis.
So I’ve been doing some research on adrenals. A few of the things that always come up:
- Get more sleep and go to bed by 10 pm.
- Don’t skip breakfast and eat a good balance of protein and carbs.
- Reduce stress.
I always thought sleep was my biggest problem.
But I don’t really think it is. I go to bed at 10 every night. I have for many years. I’m not a night owl. And although I am an early riser I get about 7 hours of sleep a night. So I could improve, but it’s not horrible.
I never skip breakfast. I am ready to eat the minute I get out of bed. I’ve been that way for many, many years. And I eat a big breakfast.
I also don’t skimp on calories throughout the day. So I’m not restricting in any way when it comes to quantity…a huge bonus for adrenal health and your metabolism.
Oddly enough the things that are a hindrance to most people are the things I’ve been doing right for years.
Sleep and morning routines are great. It’s the rest of the day I have to figure out.
It comes down to two things – stress and a limited diet (due to a nursing toddler with allergies).
So now what? I can’t just stop life. Can I?
Well, not exactly. But I can make some changes.
My body is getting older and slowing down. Life is getting busier. I’m ready to switch that around.
So I’m making a few goals for myself. And if I share them with you it will help me stick to them.
Maybe you want to join me?
These are goals for my myself as an individual and for my family.
- Lay down during the day for 5 – 15 minutes. Resting isn’t always enough. Physically laying down can really help recharge your body.
- Eat a snack in the afternoon to help with blood sugar regulation (I can’t wait to learn more about this in the Fix Your Blood Sugar course!!)
- Eat less before bed to give my body time to rest and truly recharge at night instead of working on digestion.
- Change my exercise routine. Try more T-Tapp and yoga and do less cardio.
- Sleep in on the weekends (this is a HARD one for me…but I am really going to try)
- Take time off from work (another really hard one…I love sharing my stories and my food with you…but it’s a lot of work…I may be MIA here and there over the next few months/years…it’s because I’m heeding my own advice). Keep the weekends more open for family time.
- Use our move to get the house organized and more functional for us so we spend less time with chaos and cleaning.
- Start using some hormone-supporting essential oils (still researching these a bit).
- Start the big kids on some herbs that help with calming their nervous system and a cleanse to get rid of parasites.
- Continue to have my oldest work with the functional neurologist to also improve the nervous system. And possibly have my son start as well.
- Take time for my marriage and connecting with my husband (it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been on a date due to the above situations…I think it’s about time!!)
- When my toddler is done nursing I can add a few more to this list – hormone level testing and another hair tissue mineral analysis to see where I’m at. Then go from there with flooding my body with the nutrients it needs.
- Read as many of the books and take as many of the courses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle as I can. After I download them I’ve got them for life. So I can take my time. But for once I am going to make the time. There is just such a wealth of knowledge contained in the bundle. It may take me a few years to get through it all. But I really hope to. I’m starting with the Perfect Periods course and the Heal Your Gut Summit. Then I think I’ll switch over to some of the books on kids’ health. Maybe I’ll even include it in our home school curriculum and read it with my kids!!
Life Is Still Crazy.
I know the next two months are still going to be pretty stressful with moving. But I know that up front and am going to take measures to deal with it as best as I can.
I also know that there is much more to the root issue than adrenals. I’ve got to work on hormone balancing and overall gut health.
Then once we get settled I’m ready to start a new lifestyle.
One that includes home schooling all of my kids, starting a farm and watching them learn about raising animals, getting away from the busy pace of life and just slowing down. Having that goal in mind keeps me going.
If I can remember I hope to do an update on this in a year. I love to look back and see how much has changed. See where God has led me and how He has directed my path.
Even this post was not one I had planned to write at all. I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing. Really. I wanted to share a piece of me with you today. And that is one last goal. To do more of that moving forward.
At the start of this year God really laid it on my heart that this would be a year of huge change. I had no idea what. But I knew stuff was coming. He also told me to be fearless. And I am trying my hardest (though it is REALLY hard for this natural worrier). So far He has been true his intentions. If you had told me at the start of the year I’d be nursing a healthy toddler, home schooling my oldest and getting ready to move to a 10 acre farm I would have said you were crazy. But God is good.
I feel more changes still to come.
Including even more change in focus in my writing. I’m not even sure what that means. But I trust God does. And He’ll guide me.