Lindsay Barnett

5 Things I Do Everyday (to keep my sanity with a toddler)

By Lindsay Barnett

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If you have a toddler at home, you know that you can never really prepare for what kind of a day lies ahead. Between spontaneous temper tantrums over the wrong color sippy cup, cleaning pen marks off your white cabinets, and the never-ending snack requests, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing all sanity.

There are a lot of great blogs out there from moms who share their toddler’s daily schedules and list certain things they do every day with them. An example of this might be: read every day, get out and enjoy nature, encourage independent play, etc. I turn to these often to help come up with new activities to keep my 3-year-old busy and off a screen. But these 5 things are less about what my kiddo is doing, and more of what I need to do for MYSELF every day.

1. COFFEE WITH JESUS

I wish I could say that every morning I dive deep into the Word and spend a said amount of time in prayer. But in reality, my morning looks more like this: nurse baby, change diapers, feed toddler, clean up after toddler, run errands, repeat. The quiet mornings are few and far between. While I’ve accepted this season of survival mode and I’m learning to give myself more grace in that, I couldn’t use that as an excuse to stop connecting with my Savior. Just as I need that cup of coffee to keep up with my 2 little ones, I need those few moments to simply just pause and say Thank You Jesus.

2. CALL A GIRLFRIEND

I didn’t really appreciate the gift of having girlfriends until I had my first baby. Before I became a mom, friendships seemed effortless. It was easy meeting up with a girlfriend after work or for brunch on the weekend when I didn’t have tiny humans needing me. That shift in priorities became isolating, and I longed to have those deep, meaningful conversations again. I am so blessed to have found some incredible godly women I talk to almost every single day, who push and encourage me to be a better wife and mother. And mostly just remind me that I’m worthy and my identity lies in Christ. “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”- Proverbs 27:9.

3. SING

Worshiping through song is when I hear God’s voice the loudest. You won’t ever hear me on the radio, and I’m not trying to win any singing competitions. But as I’m getting older, and hopefully wiser, I’m caring less about my ability and more about my heart and giving it all in worship daily. “I will sing to Lord all my life I will sing praise to him as long as I live.” -Psalm 104:33

4. FLIRT WITH MY GUY

My husband and I were married 7 years before we decided to start our family. We got to have a lot of fun together during that time, but right now is our messy season. Sure, we have a 3-year-old who gets into everything and a 6-month-old who is just starting to explore eating solid foods; but the mess that we get into is when we give each other the leftover energy at the end of the day. It’s not likely I’ll be able to stay up late after the kids go to bed to snuggle up and watch a movie without falling asleep, but a simple text or phone call during the day goes a long way to keep us communicating so we can make it out of the messy season without any built up resentment, and enjoy our time together again when our kids become more independent.

5. FAMILY BEDTIME

My favorite part of the day is after dinner, right before lights out. As a family, we crawl into bed and talk about our day. Some days we may have had a rough day of temper tantrums and frustrations. But no matter how the day ended, it is always said, “we don’t always love the things you do, but do you know why we love you?”…. and she replays, “because I’m your daughter!” Just as our sweet girl doesn’t have to earn our love, we are reminded that our Heavenly Father loves us the same and we end the day in love.


It's Ok to Not Be Ok: A Postpartum Tale

By Lindsay Barnett

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After my daughter Natalie was born, which I can’t believe was almost 3 years ago, I jumped right back into living life as I normally did. Only I slept a little less and had to get all my work done during naps or with a baby attached to the hip. I had an easy pregnancy with no morning sickness, didn’t get any stretch marks, and my natural birth went exactly as planned. At my 6-week postpartum doctor visit I didn’t have to check a single box tasking if I was depressed or experiencing any type of baby blues. And I’ll admit, I didn’t understand how any mother could admit to being depressed when having a beautiful new baby to love. “Yeah, motherhood is hard, what did you expect? We’re all tired. Suck it up, wash your hair, and stop being 'lazy'," my internal voice would say. 

Fast forward to present day.  I’m 3 weeks postpartum with my second, sweet little Everly Quinn. This time around I didn’t particularly enjoy pregnancy and I definitely did not escape the beautiful tiger stripes all over my body. Despite all that, she’s perfect. She is the best little sleeper and nursing has been going great.  But out of NOWHERE, I was hit with a panic attack. 

Explaining a panic attack to anyone who has never had one is very difficult. It’s a physical, out of body experience, that makes you feel like you’re having a heart attack, or drowning, or riding the spinning tea cups at Disney on full speed. It’s terrifying and you feel like you’re going crazy. But this wasn’t my first attack. 

The first time, 9 years prior, I called 911. And then the second was 4 years ago while out on the town in Las Vegas for my sister’s bachelorette party. That episode only lasted a couple of hours and I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack, so I just retired early for the night. But this one was 14 hours. 

“Please God, when is it going to stop?” I was on my knees praying—no, pleading—for God to do something! The more I tried to tell myself to stop thinking, the more I was thinking about not thinking it and my mind just couldn’t calm down. I couldn’t take care of myself, let alone my girls. 

I’m so fortunate my husband was with me and stepped right in as super dad, but I know it was hard for him to understand what was wrong with me. I looked fine on the outside. And in the moment, I couldn’t find my voice to even explain anything other than I needed his help. All I could do was lay in bed and wait for it to end. In the meantime, I listened to worship music and read scripture.  I clung to Isaiah 41:10-13, 

Don’t panic. I am with you. There’s no need to fear for I am your God. I will give you strength. I will HELP you.  I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I am not letting go.

Like so many women, I don’t like asking for help. But why is there so much shame in admitting the need for help? So much shame in admitting that I am dealing with postpartum anxiety. If I hadn’t asked for help and trusted God to get me through the attack, I don’t want to think how my day could have ended.

I was pushing myself to get out of the house and portray to others I was a rock star mom, who could do it all with a newborn and a toddler.  I didn’t want to rest, because I thought people might think I was lazy. And I didn’t want to tell anyone about my attack because I didn’t want to be perceived as an unfit mother.  But I just had a baby! And no matter what type of delivery one has, birthing a child is trauma and stress.

I’m learning that any kind of stress in combination with hormonal imbalance is a recipe for disaster. And that, not only am I not crazy, but I’m in the majority of moms who has experienced some level of depression and/or anxiety postpartum. 

My hope in sharing my story is that other women who have experienced anything similar after having a baby will speak up. I would encourage you to reach out to new mommies and share your story without shame, as well. That might be what she needs to hear to have the courage to ask for help herself.  And above all, if this is you right now, turn to the Lord. Put all your trust in Him and know that He is not letting you go through this alone.