I’m not going to lie, the last two years have been rough. Yes, there have been some amazing and beautiful moments, but there was a darkness festering and growing in our lives that almost consumed me. Anxiety and panic attacks stripped me of my joy and left me in a world of helplessness and fear. It’s too soon for me to share all of the reasons that led me to that dark place for fear of being sucked back in, but I am overjoyed beyond measure to have found a way out.
I will say that one of the main reasons for my anxiety and panic attacks was feeling like my life was out of my control. Having five young children is no easy task by any means, and I felt pulled in too many directions. There was an emptiness and a sadness in me from being spread too thin. My husband felt it too, and we tried to fill that emptiness with the wrong things…things that pulled us in opposite directions.
About a year ago, we decided to stop seeking happiness outside of the home and away from each other and instead focus within. We started staying home more, and spent insane amounts of quality time together. My husband and I got to know each other all over again, and our love grew deeper than I ever thought possible. I also got to know myself down to my very core.
But there was still something missing. I kept feeling like I needed something just for me. I thought that if I created more, blogged more, finally finished my reading program, or even got a part time job, I would feel more fulfilled. As I dabbled in those things, I did not feel a sense of peace, however, and it actually brought more stress as the rest of my life piled up and made me feel out of control again.
I started reading Above Rubies again and am always inspired by the stories of mothers dedicated completely to their families and who find total joy in the gift of motherhood. I decided to REALLY dedicate myself to motherhood. I decided to organize and clean every nook and cranny of our home, to plan and think about the structure of our day, to spend quality time each day with every child snuggled, cuddled, talking, laughing, and playing, to meal prep like a boss, to research and plan for the best diet for my husband and I to finally lose weight (keto and intermittent fasting), and to be firm with the children about my expectations.
Little by little, I could feel my power coming back. As our home became more organized and clean, I felt more in control. I knew where everything was, I could find anything at a moment’s notice, and I knew in the back of my mind what things we needed so I could plan the most cost effective ways to get them.
Things aren’t perfect (Are they ever?), but what’s amazing and completely heavenly is that I know we are on the right path. My husband and I notice that when we are on the right path, little coincidences arise that let us know we are making the right choices. That has been happening a lot lately!
The more organized I am, the more I can be proactive rather than reactive. Having a schedule for the day, having food prepared before they are starving, being clear about expectations, having them help me out with whatever I am doing, and following through with consequences when needed are all things that are helping me to feel like I am in control.
Here’s a tour of the inside of our home. Everything is clean and organized and there are plenty of things for the kids to do at a moments notice that keep them busy and independent.
Here is a tour of our backyard. It’s a lot of work to take care of the mowing, weed whacking, yard maintenance, organization, and cleaning, but my husband and I love working on projects outside in the summer. We also love that this backyard keeps the kids so busy and entertained that we don’t feel like we constantly need to leave the house to have fun.
I can’t say for sure if my anxiety and panic attacks are gone for good, but I haven’t had to take any medication in awhile (just some valerian root which is an AMAZING natural non addictive anti-anxiety remedy), and I feel like I am on the right path. I know that I still have some healing to do, and I can’t wait for the future when I will finally have time to blog more, finish my reading program, explore organic chemistry, human physiology, and all of the things to satiate my curiosities and desires. But for now, I am happy to just bask in this stage of my motherhood journey, enjoy each and every day, live in the moments, and continue to be the master of my home and in control of my life.