Survival Mode

Okay's been quiet around here. Very...quiet...and I've been putting off writing about the things going on in my heart and mind lately. Partially because I've been so tired and partially because I can't really seem to get my thoughts together...but today I'm taking some advice from a great friend and counselor and being honest with you guys.
I'm in survival mode.

surviving motherhood

What do I mean by this, you ask?

We watch way too much TV. I lay around doing "nothing", way too much. We get out of the house in order to keep ourselves busy and entertained, way too much.

My almost two-year-old screams at me constantly and she seeks my affection and attention almost every single minute of the day. She doesn't seem to know what she wants and it causes chaos every hour.

Our conversations lately have sounded something like this...

"Do you want to watch doggy (Clifford)?"
She nods her head.
"Okay" Turn on Clifford.
She starts screaming "nooo!!!" and frantically runs around stomping.
"You said you wanted to watch doggy. What do you want to watch?"
"Anna" (aka Frozen)
"You want to watch Anna?"
She nods her head.
"Okay, let's watch Anna."
She starts screaming and stomping! "Nooo!!! Ack!!!"
"You just said you wanted to watch Anna. You don't want to watch Anna?"
She shakes her head, no. "NO!!!"
"Okay...then what do you want to watch?"
"You want to watch the doggy?"
She nods her head. "Uh huh!"
I turn on Clifford.
She starts screaming and stomping around. "Noooo!!!"
"No? You said you wanted to watch the doggy!"
"Okay, Anna it is then!" Start to turn on Frozen.
Her screaming gets even more frantic and she throws herself around. "NOOOO!!!!!!!"

Does this happen at your house???
This is new for us...and this is every day for us. Ugh.

For those of you who haven't caught up with the times...I'm pregnant. I'm 38 weeks pregnant! I can't bend. I can barely tie my shoes. By about 2:30 every day, I can hardly walk, my hips hurt so bad. Let's just say I'm ready for this little nugget to make her arrival!

Now, let me tell you about my almost two-year-old, Hannah. Hannah is a runner. Yep. I can't take her anywhere. She runs from me everywhere we go. And she's fast. Really fast. She is the most stubborn, goofy, rebellious and feisty child I know. I know that these characteristics are going to be such a blessing at some point in time, but right now, when I have to chase her in every store and fight her from climbing in and out of the's tiring...and annoying. Let's be real guys.

My toddler wants to be picked up every five minutes, carried to and from stores, to and from the car, to and from the rooms in our name it. The baby in my belly is already as low as she's going to get without escaping, and all this carrying around a 35lber, on my already strained belly, isn't helping me rest much at this point in my pregnancy.

I've been told (and I've done much reading on the issue) that kids tend to regress when a baby is born into the family. They can regress in any area, pretty much. It could be potty training, sleep training, speech, independence...anything. Did any of your kids regress around this season of life?

Well, anyways...

Hannah is regressing in the sense that she wants to be the baby again. She wants an endless amount of skin-to-skin mommy cuddles. She wants to drink out of baby bottles and is starting to recall that mommy used to supply her milk. Let's just say...things can get a little awkward every now and then.

Some people will tell you that this happens when a baby is on the way, but she seems to "know" or "sense" that change is about to happen and she's gotten clingy, shy and extra needy. I have literally had to drag her into church on more than one occasion, with her holding onto my leg for dear life.

She hates going anywhere and everywhere. Either I have to drag her to the car kicking and screaming, or I have to carry her kicking and screaming. Either way, it's no fun. It's exhausting and leaves me sore afterwards. 

So as a result, we've been going nowhere. 

On the bright side, I'm beginning to see that it's been best for us to just stay at home. I need the rest and Hannah needs more and more of my attention right now.

Here's the thing with being in "survival mode"...

It usually leads to the whole family being unsatisfied somehow. It gets hard to show affection and attention without it being forced. You know what I mean?

I have recently heard God telling me, "Slow down Stephanie. Slow down." I've heard it week after week, but I wasn't listening. I wasn't obeying him. Conviction.

So I've decided to finally listen to the wisdom God has been offering me, and I've slowed down. I've taken what I feel like is half of my normal routine and I've pushed it aside. It started with me saying that I wouldn't leave the house certain days of the week, to me actually not leaving the house certain days of the week. With it, I am realizing which activities I truly enjoy as an individual versus which activities I was doing simply because I wanted to entertain my daughter.

I have taken a step back and because of that...I rest more often. I spend more time with Hannah. I have more time for taking care of my home. I've been inspired to read more of the Word (simply because I have the time). It's amazing what happens when you quit trying to fill your life with stuff

This is such a random post, I know. So much of it is me venting about my daily struggles with Hannah and then part of it is me expressing what God is doing through it all. 

I encourage you mama, if you are in this "survival mode", to take a step back. Slow down. Quit leaving your home every day just because you're bored and irritated or just because you're at a loss of ways to entertain your little one. Even if all you can think to do is turn on Clifford and cuddle, then thank God for the few moments you get to hold your little one in your arms. Kiss her, play with her hair, read the Bible, pray over her, take a power nap, hold her hands, play with her cute little grateful.  

God does amazing and beautiful things when we listen and obey Him. Has He been telling you slow down, mama? 

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