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My Why

This is the post excerpt.

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I wanted to have a place where I could come and write about the feelings I have or the struggles I sometimes feel like I face. A place where I won’t worry about what others are thinking because I am hoping that there will be others out there who feel the same way that I do and who will feel stronger knowing that they are not alone in it. Other women, wives, or mothers who struggle with depression or have kids who struggle with depression and or anxiety. Kids with sickness or just crazy stages where you wonder what has possessed your child to make them act the way they are currently acting. I hope that this won’t always be the case but I seem to always have the best ideas between the hours of 10 pm and midnight, when I am laying in my bed trying to sleep but instead all these ideas come flooding in.

Tonight’s idea came from a video that a friend posted on Facebook. I want to be able to share a quote that I like and a personal experience that goes with it. The quote that came to mind tonight is one that hangs on my mother’s wall at home. It has a picture of a lighthouse (something that I have always loved) and it says “Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.”

I think this quote has stuck with me for all of these years because in life I often feel like there are some pretty big storms going on all around me. Sometimes it’s finances, sometimes it is my relationship with my husband. Often it comes from the chaos of my home that is filled with my 6 wonderful children and the havoc that plays on my house.

I chose the title of this blog to be Keeping It Real because so often I have felt like I am trying to hide something. Usually the clutter in my house. 🙂 I have heard it said many times that these days we paint a picture in our mind of what everyone else must be like. Pictures on Facebook that show clean houses, healthy meals, nice family pictures, … the list goes on. I know that depression and anxiety have been pushed out into the public more lately to make people more aware of its effects and how common it seems to be. This is a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately because I have seen it in several people in my family. I have struggled with it and still do at times. The more I have learned about it in the last couple of years the more I realize that this is something that I believe I have struggled with my whole life. Now I am seeing it in different forms in some of my children. For a while I felt like I must be doing something wrong as a mother that I have so many children that struggle, but when I really think about it, I know that I have always wanted what is best for them and I love them with all my heart. Which means, I am doing the best that I know how.

This is the picture that goes with the quote on my mom’s wall.

lighthouseinastorm

“Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.”

An interesting twist to my happiness blog

“You don’t find the happy life, you make it.” Thomas S. Monson

I have been thinking a lot about happiness the last couple of days. I decided to join my husband on a small walk to check the mail yesterday. As we were walking back home he made a comment about how I seem to be happier lately and smile more. He asked me what had changed. I told him that I really didn’t know and he replied, whatever it is, keep doing it.

The problem is that I am really not sure that anything has changed. I feel like I could blame most of my sadness and struggles on hormones.  Probably mostly even on that time of the month. But that’s a whole different conversation. I think when I am not struggling with hormones it’s so much easier to see the positive things in life. I can’t even explain how excited I am for this new year. I have big dreams, but I think the biggest part of my excitement is the personal development that I am working on. I am making some changes in my life physically and spiritually this year. I am reading “self help” books which I think is a really big part of it. These kinds of books are the ones that motivate you to better yourself. As I read them I feel like I can see the areas that I want to improve and then I am given strategies to help me make those changes. It seems easy to pick out the things that we don’t like about ourselves. It’s not so easy to know how to change those things that we want to improve on. There are a lot of good books out there and I would be happy to share with you my journey and the things that I learn a long the way.

Ok, this is where things got interesting. I was in the middle of writing about the quote at the top and essentially choosing to be happy and my thoughts went in a completely different direction. This is still a little bit of a confusing topic for me though. I have had people talk to me about the aspect of making a choice to be happy. My husband and I just had a big conversation of it. I do think that sometimes happiness is really a choice. In my current thoughts, and maybe one day as I am working on this personal development stuff, my thoughts will be changed, I think that sometimes, your head can be in a place where you just can’t focus on the positive because you are down to far to see anything but the negative. For me depression is a real thing and I feel like when someone is struggling with depression, telling them just to be happy, think good thoughts, things like that, just won’t work. What I share next is a very personal experience. Something that I know that other people have struggled with to different degrees. I want people to know that this is an ok thing to talk about. To find people that they can reach out to who understand because they have been there too.

A very special lady to me recently passed away. She was special to me for more than just the reason that I have known her since I was a young child. A few years ago I went through a very dark time. I struggled so much with feelings of inadequacies, feeling like my family would be better off without me. I did not like my life. I hated the way I felt all the time. I felt like I just had no control over anything. This lady came back into my life at this time and she talked to me on a few different occasions. She was the one that told me that it is ok to talk to my doctor about going on medication for depression. She helped me understand that sometimes we need help. She helped to take away some of the negative feelings that I had associated with depression and medication. I can relate it to another part of my life and it makes a great comparison. I have learned that I am anemic. Several times I have gone to the doctors and been told to go on an iron supplement to help my body get the iron that it can’t seem to get on its own. In my head there was nothing wrong with that. It was just medicine that was needed to help me not feel so exhausted all of the time, that would help me be healthier. I realized, with some help from others, that medication for depression is the same thing. For some people are bodies don’t produce enough of what we need to be happy. We can feel tired, and struggle to do day to day things that would be easy for other people. This includes seeing the positive things in life. There is something that can help us to make life manageable. Help us deal with the things that would otherwise, to us, seem overwhelming.

The next lesson I had to learn is that sometimes (probably even often) things aren’t easy, short term fixes. When I first started medication, I told myself “this is just temporary, help me get back on my feet”. I didn’t want to admit that it was something that I could need long term. Well then that iron problem came back to teach me another lesson. After a couple of years of working with my doctor with my iron levels, he told me that I had two choices. I could either continue with what I had been doing, blood work to tell me my iron was low, supplements for a few months, blood work to check my iron levels, off of iron supplements for a few months, blood work, back on iron supplements. Or I could just choose to go on iron supplements for the rest of my life. Let me tell you, I have a huge fear of needles. I know it’s all in my head, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s there. So, naturally I chose to just do supplements for the rest of my life. I have, in the last 3 years gong back and forth trying to tell myself that I thought I was ready to come off the medication, slowly worked my way down to the low dose just to realize that I wasn’t where I needed to be. I have been surprised though how I have learned the signs and feelings I get as I better understand my body and what it needs. As that has happened I have learned that for now, it looks like medication is long term for me. Now I am ok with that. I know what it does for me and I know that I don’t like the person I am (especially to my family) without it. My husband always seems to get the worst of it too. Good thing he is so patient with me. 😊

I have to say that when I first started writing this blog, this is not where I intended to go. I guess the purpose to it now is that, if there is anyone reading this who is really struggling with feelings of being overwhelmed. Something that lasts more than just a couple of weeks. I know from personal experience that it is a really good idea to go talk to your doctor. They will help you with different options until you find what is best for you. For some people, maybe all you need is a good friend to vent to. For some, it might be a professional counselor that will help you work through some of the feelings that you are struggling with. For some, medication will be what is needed, and that is OK.

Life is hard, but the good thing is, we don’t have to do it alone. I wanted to end with this last quote. No matter the struggles or failures we go through, there is another day tomorrow to try again. We can learn from experiences and use those experiences to help others.

“One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.” Thomas S. Monson

Motherhood

“Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles and happy kids”

-unknown

What a great way to start the thoughts I have going on in my head. This is a quote I need to put on my fridge. Most days I feel like my house will never be clean. My wonderful husband tries to tell me often not to stress about it too much. He tells me “our house looks lived in”. I still hope to one day have it looked not sooo much lived in though. 🙂

As I laid in bed again trying to sleep a quote came to my mind. I knew that this is a topic that I wanted to talk about. The tricky thing is, I couldn’t remember the quote or who said it. I knew that it was a quote that I had on my fridge for a long time. I checked, sadly it wasn’t still there. 😊 Then I had took to the challenge of trying to search for it but struggled as I tried to remember anything that would lead me in the right direction. After finding many great quotes on motherhood (including the one at the top) I found it. I remembered that it was a quote found in one of our church conferences, but it was a quote that he shared that his daughter had found on a blog. This is what he said “My daughters recently referred me to a blog written by a Christian mother (not of our faith) with five children. She commented: “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. … Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get.” She then adds: “Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”

He went on to say “Having young children is not easy. Many days are just difficult. A young mother got on a bus with seven children. The bus driver asked, “Are these all yours, lady? Or is it a picnic?”

“They’re all mine,” she replied. “And it’s no picnic!”

This can be found in the talk by Neil L. Anderson called Children.

There are a few things I like from this, I really laugh at the part that says, “They’re all mine, and it’s no picnic!” I do get asked often if they are all mine, or some kind of remark about having my hands full. Sometimes these comments can upset me as I worry about what other people are thinking. Sometimes, I enjoy the look on peoples faces when they find out that yes, they are all mine. There are many days when I feel like “it’s no picnic” but I don’t want it to feel that way. I wanted to have six children ever since I was a teenager and I love each one of them. Their different personalities bring different blessings into our family.

The other day I was at a company work Christmas party and was talking to another mom. As is so often easy to do, we were talking about the wonderful stages of children. They say “the terrible twos” and you think great, and you get through that to find that the threes have there own name too (which I’m blanking on right now) and then they turn four, and it’s still crazy. Someone sitting at the table with us who doesn’t have children said, “you sure know how to make a person excited to have children.” And I realize, great job Laura, there is a lady sitting right beside you who will be having her first baby in a few weeks, way to help her look forward to what’s coming. I wish that I had been quick enough to share some of the good things that comes with children because really, there are a lot. I need to work on focusing on those things more. I am pretty sure that I hear from at least one of my children on a daily basis, “you’re the best!” and I know that they really mean it. The amazing thing is that they say this from some of the simplest tasks that I do for them. Last night I was giving my little one a bath and I was rinsing the shampoo out of her hair with her laying in the water and she loved it and said “thanks mom, you’re the best”. Though it sometimes feels overwhelming, several times a day I have a child climb on my lap because they want to have some mommy cuddles. These are some of those things that I know people are talking about when they say, enjoy these moments, they grow up so fast. I just seem to find it easy to focus on the screaming, fighting and mess and think, what am I going to miss about this?

With the new year starting, I want to make a resolution to focus more on the positive and less on the negative. This applies to me in so many areas of my life, not just motherhood.

mommy quote2