You’re Enough, Even During Times of Rest

0

“Why do you have to rest so much?”

It’s the question I’d been diligently trying to dodge over the last few years, and up until a couple weeks ago, I’d been successful—through antidepressant withdrawal, through morning sickness, through Postpartum Depression. When my oldest posed the question at prayer time (after I said I was grateful for the ability to rest that day), I knew my façade was starting to crack and all I could feel was devastation.

restA Little Backstory

The last few years haven’t been easy. They’ve been pretty hard. My last pregnancy did a number on me health-wise and my fourth trimester nearly did me in. But that was three years ago. My littlest blew out three candles on her birthday cake just this past New Year’s Eve. Yet, here I am, still healing.

The stressors from pregnancy and recovering from childbirth can affect a woman in ways I never could have imagined before having children of my own. The impacts can last long after the final hot dinner from the meal train has arrived and sometimes it can even take months or years to pinpoint the pregnancy-induced problem. Not to mention working to find solutions for healing. 

This has been my last three years—in and out of doctors’ offices chasing answers and hoping for solutions with a whole lot of rest in between. I thought I’d gotten good at functioning despite feeling unwell, but it turns out my kids were catching on.

Now what?

How my kids see me is of the utmost importance to me. Because I’m aware of how an image of a parent can have a lasting impact on a child, I’ve always worked hard to show up for my kids even when I’m not feeling able to. So I couldn’t shake the question. It made me start to feel a level of defeat and fear that my kids were beginning to see a lazy, unproductive mom. The following Friday, I took this to my psychologist. And what my psychologist told me was one of the most beautiful and profound things I think I’ve ever heard.

“You’re showing her how to rest.”

What?! Surely I’d heard this wrong. I didn’t know what I expected her to say, but it certainly was not this. It was such a positive “spin” on a problem that I didn’t think could be spun. But, she was right. We went on to talk about the super-mom image, how many expectations of women are unattainable, and how our value isn’t determined by our productivity. To lead our kids, our daughters especially, to believe unrealistic expectations are normal is not what we want.

Welcoming Rest

So, I rest when I need to. If necessary I have the tools to explain to my daughter that abundant periods of rest are sometimes required during various seasons of life. I’m learning to accept that the cracks in my façade aren’t my enemy. It’s when we strip back our mask, take off our capes, and allow our kids to see we’re just as human as they are, that we are doing ourselves a favor.

Luckily, in recent months I’ve found a functional medicine doctor who knew exactly what tests to order which got me the results I needed to begin physically feeling better. And the trajectory is looking hopeful. But even now after the answers were found, the doctor has reminded me I need to try to put “rest” at the top of my priority list.

Part of me believes this time has come into my life partially to teach me this lesson. And to be able to teach my daughters a similar one. Because what a beautiful lesson to learn—that I’m enough, that I’m whole, that I’m valued, that I’m loved, even during my times of rest.

If you are looking to create some new routines that incorporate rest as well as productivity, head on over to The Reimagined Morning Routine.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.