messy mom feature: loving yourself

I'm excited to introduce you to this month's "Messy Mom", Grace. I've been reading her blog for what seems like forever, and just adore her. She's real and isn't afraid to show that. I'm so honored that she is going to share her heart with us as we tackle "Loving Yourself" this month. Take it away friend.



After struggling with depression and anxiety after the birth of my first son, and subsequently hitting "rock bottom," probably the most critical lesson I learned was how to ask for help. I knew I was gradually falling, I knew this was unfamiliar territory, and I knew - like a rock at the bottom of my gut - that I needed help. I resisted my intuition because I thought I wasn't the "type" of person to get depressed or to need medication or to see a psychiatrist. But, the reality was, I didn't even recognize the "type" of person I had become.

When you don't recognize yourself, believe me, it's a scary place to be.

So. How do you ask for help?

You say to your partner, "I need help."

You pick up the phone and call a psychiatrist, and you say, "I need help."

You text your mom or your best friend, and you type, "I need help."

This, I learned (kicking and screaming), is how to love myself.

Saying to whatever pain you are in, whatever stress you are under, whatever negative emotion is overwhelming you, "I see you. I feel you. And, because I am worth it & because I love myself, I need help getting through this."

When my husband and I were finally at the place to discuss having a second child, the biggest concern he expressed to me was his fear that I wouldn't acknowledge my need for & ask for help when a difficult situation (inevitably) arose. My instinct was to defend myself or to downplay his fear, but the truth was, his concern was absolutely valid. Don't we want to believe we can do it all? Don't we want to assume things will be different? No matter how frequently you ask for help, it's always awkward; it's always hard. I honored my husband by writing out a postpartum plan - complete with steps, phone numbers, plans A & B, what to do if x, y, or z happens, even the words I wanted him to say if I was acting irrational.

We enlisted family & friends, along with paid help, during those first several months. Every time I asked my mom to get up at 5 a.m., or a friend dropped by with a hot dinner, I felt unworthy. I even felt guilty.

Friends, this loving yourself business? So often it feels strange, unnatural, like wearing shoes a half size too small, or a bulky cardigan in the middle of July. But, no matter what that little voice inside your head is saying, you are worthy.

Grace blogs at Arms Wide Open and you can follow her on twitter @ourarmswideopen


Messy Motherhood Link Up will be on Tuesday, December 18th.  Topic for the month: Loving Yourself

Questions: (feel free to answer any or all or none and talk about whatever is on your heart in your post or vlog)

Becoming a mom is a HUGE transformation, how did you learn to love your new role and all that comes with it (body, sleep schedule, split ends, etc.)? How do you take some time just for you? What keeps you from loving yourself as a mom?  

See the rules below :)


THE LINK UP MISSION: We come to be real, to be loved, to encourage and to uplift. We come from all walks of life and stages of motherhood. We learn from one another and grow together in this amazing responsibility God has given us to raise His people. Bring your messes, your dirty hair and your tears. We embrace each other with open arms and love deeply because we are in this together. It’s a beautiful mess.

LINK UP RULES: Take the subject for the month and run with it. You can write a post based on it. You can do a vlog. You can answer the questions. You can do whatever you like as long as it fits within the topic for that month! Make sure you add the button to the bottom of your post and make lots of new friends!!!