So we are a fairly large family, at least by the world's standards and even by much of the church. 9 children, two parents, one baby on the way. We're also preparing to move across the country into a brand new way of living, (city versus country) and a new ministry. A new church/fellowship setting and a two family home, altho that family has separate living quarters. Just want to make that clear. :) Still, it will be an adjustment, to put it mildly. So how does a woman stay sane in the middle of homeschooling, packing, saying good bye's and being a good, fat 6 months pregnant?
I'm going to sound cliche here but it's the only real answer. God. He has been stepping in and it's just astounding my heart. However, He has also given me some practical answers and i'm going to share them in hopes it might be an encouragement to other mothers out there who feel like they have one foot on the slippery slope of complete failure and discouragement and the other on a banana peel.
Just the other month i was feeling completely snowed under. I felt like my homeschooling was scattered, i wasn't keeping up with checking on the middle sized boys school, and my energy level was at the point where i felt exhausted just eating breakfast. And this in spite of whole food prenatals, caffeine and extra iron. My irritability was, well, i would walk away from whatever child was threatening to push me over the edge, and pray frantically. I looked ahead at moving and shuddered at how i was going to cope. I was also fighting one cold after another and simply couldn't seem to get on top of it, esp since i backed off of using essential oils while pregnant.
Meanwhile i kept thinking about the vitamins i had taken while pregnant with the twins and remembered how amazing that pregnancy was. I considered buying them again and trying them but the prenatals i was using had such an incredible ingredient list that i hesitated. Besides, that meant spending money and i am trying to be frugal and if that means feeling evil instead of trying another vitamin, well then, so be it. So we were in Ohio, visiting family and friends the beginning of January when i stumbled across those vitamins that kept coming to mind, and since i was feeling footloose and fancy free (kids were not along, just two couples, Starbucks caffeine and baby in womb) i bought them. Within a day or two i started noticing a huge difference but maybe, just maybe it was my adrenaline kicking in while chillin' with people. It was when we got home that i saw how big of a difference it really made. I've been sleeping much better, my energy level has soared, and that awful, terrible, bad irritability has disappeared. Sure, i'm still not a gentle, super sweet, laid-back kind of person (takes more than a vitamin for that to happen) but at least that slippery slope, banana peel feeling has gone. So for those who are interested, here's the link. https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Plus-Ultra-Juice-Tablets/dp/B00028N1KG?th=1 I do want to put a warning out there for newly pregnant ladies that it's not a prenatal so you may want to supplement with extra folic acid that first trimester. However, it was my midwife with the twins that recommended them to me so i feel comfortable taking them while pregnant. I also take extra calcium/magnesium.
But that still didn't fix my scattered feeling when it came to homeschooling, esp with starting to pack up our house. I'm not a major list maker but when we have upcoming plans i like to scribble on paper what needs to be done. So one day i'm at Walmart and i see these huge monthly planners. I've never had one and they were pretty so i picked one up and pondered long and hard if i should buy. Would it be one of those things that i would buy and then hardly use? It wasn't overly expensive and it was overly large sized, but might it be an answer? There's nothing like realizing on Monday that you've forgotten to give your middle schoolers their spelling tests for like 3 weeks in a row to make you feel like a loser. Maybe a planner would do the trick. Still, that whole frugal thing kept me from splurging and i walked away without the planner. Besides, it WAS rather large and my belly is all the large i can handle right now. (doesn't help when someone kindly asks me if i'm SURE that my due date is right. and that was after i had looked in the mirror and thought i don't look to bad. Why, oh why are most pregnant ladies around me so cute and tiny? Makes me hungry for some cinnamon, raisin toast.....)
So i just continued stumbling along my cheery, vitamin induced way when what do you think showed up. We were with friends when one of the dear ladies wondered if anyone wants a planner. I held my breath and hoped no one else was interested. After waiting a few minutes to make sure there were no other interested parties....maybe it was seconds but whatever......i said "i would love one!" Let me tell you, it's perfect! Perfect size, perfect color, perfect spacing, perfect everything. I still can't believe it and I've been happily scribbling in it ever since. Not only that, i'm now remembering spelling tests, reading sessions with the littles in the afternoons, and all kinds of other things. It has a space beside every week for a to do list, and instead of feeling scattered and slightly panicked, i write down what needs to be done and cross it off as/if it happens. Even if it only gets used til we move, it's been a sanity saver. And best of all, i know that it was a gift from a loving Heavenly Father who blessed his scatter brained daughter with something that has brought some organization to her life.
He is simply amazing and i love Him. Not because of planners and vitamins but because while i was crying out for Him to show me in a BIG way that He's in control of our lives (nothing like hurt to make you run to Him) He chose to show me in small ways that had a huge impact. Sometimes when we're walking through a tough time we need fasting and prayer, and sometimes we simply need vitamins and planners given from the tender hand of a big, big God.