Moms...You Aren't Alone!

To all of you momma's out there...this post is for you!  I have a lot of dear friends who are in a battle right now in their journey of Motherhood and they need our help.  I'm asking for your tips on what helps you stay sane. These beautiful ladies are struggling...struggling with depression, insecurities, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, struggling in their marriages, and the list can go on.  Being a mom is hard! My heart goes out to these girls because I too have been there. 

About 4 years ago I walked through one of my darkest times as a mom, but no one really knew it except those that lived with me & a few select friends.  From the outside I appeared to have the perfect life.  We were serving the Lord by planting a church, we had a beautiful large new home, nice cars, I was successful in business, I had great friends, a good marriage, and two of the cutest daughters you've ever seen.  That's the picture everyone saw.  But, on the inside was a different story.  I didn't want to admit it then, but I was depressed and anxious. 

I felt as if everything was going awry and I was losing control.  One reason I didn't think I was depressed was I could force myself to get out of bed, fix myself up and put on my happy face.  I thought if I could do that then I was ok. But, I wasn't.  I believed the lie that no one could know b/c after all I had the appearance of the perfect life & I was a pastor's wife. I would stay in bed for hours during the day, go days without getting out of the house, I quit cleaning my house, I couldn't sleep at night because I worried about our future, I would yell at the girls for very small things and get so very frustrated with them for even wanting me to do something little for them, I was very on edge with Mel, and to cope...I would eat...causing me to gain a lot of weight...so, because of that I felt awful about the way I looked. I felt like I wanted to escape.  There were days I wished I wasn't a mom...it was too hard. I would cry at the drop of the hat and I began pushing away from my relationship with God.  I dealt with anger for no reason really. I didn't know who I was anymore...this was not the Kim Masengale that I was, but I struggled to find ME again.  I felt like my light had gone out.  I was in a deep dark pit.

Looking back I see many reasons that brought me to my pit.  Emma, our youngest, had whopping cough when she was 10 weeks old...she was hospitalized for 3 weeks giving us a large medical bill that we couldn't pay and it made her immune system weak.  For the next 3 years of her life she was sick...all the time.  Because she was sick, I missed a lot of church...which was where I found rest.  I also ran on little sleep, the medical bills grew, and was at a loss and really frustrated as to why my sweet precious little girl was having to go through so much.  My business that appeared successful was really struggling and my paychecks were waning and I brought in the majority of the income.  We had built this "keep up with the Joneses" lifestyle which for awhile we could afford, but no longer could...so we were in debt up to our eyeballs.  I felt it was my fault, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to make ends meet so...I was a workaholic.  I felt lonely.  I began isolating myself.  Even though Mel is the most amazing man, father and husband on the planet, I was pushing him away for really no reason at all.   I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders.

One morning Mel had to leave to go to work and I was angry with him for something completely stupid.  I don't even remember what it was.  Abbie got off to school and Emma was taking a nap and I shut all the blinds and was determined to stay on the couch all day and wallow in my pit.  5 minutes later my doorbell rang and it was my aunt Joni.  Her hair was sopping wet and she had her Bible and Beth Moore's "Get Out of That Pit" book.  I immediately asked her "Did Mel call you?" I was mad.  She said "Nope, I was praying this morning and God told me to get over to your house".  She prayed with me and let me talk and she shared her own "pit" stories in her journey of Motherhood and in their marriage and what she did to get out of them.  She had 5 kids of her own, so she had been there.  I just cried and cried.  God showed me that day that I wasn't crazy and I wasn't alone.

I realized that day that I was carrying something I wasn't meant to carry.  I was a control freak and I was trying to do life in my own power.  But, obviously it wasn't working.  You see God knows that I couldn't be what I'd been called to...I couldn't be the mother that I needed to be, I couldn't be the wife I needed to be...I couldn't provide like I thought I needed to...I couldn't be anything or do anything in my own strength, so He gave me Himself...His power.  He gave me His provision, His healing, His help.  My journey out of the pit required me to find friends to be able to talk to...it required me to press in to Him and have an intimate relationship with Him.  It required me to let Him prune some areas in my life that needed to be pruned...areas that needed to be healed. It required me to say "no, I'm not okay...I need help".   It wasn't easy, but God began to bring me out of my pit. 

With God's help, I've been set free from depression.  I've lost 50 lbs.  I'm A LOT more patient with my girls and Mel and I have a marriage that I could've only dreamed about.  I still struggle sure, but there are things that I do now to ensure that I don't go back to the pit I was in.

  1. I get up every morning and spend my quiet time with God (this one is non-negotiable)
  2. I do my best to eat healthy & when I'm having an emotional day instead of turning to food...I do my best to turn to God.
  3. I have strong Christian friends that I'm vulnerable with
  4. I tell my husband everything
  5. I ask for help when I need help
  6. I spend quality time with my girls
  7. I breathe & pray when I feel myself wanting to yell at them
  8. I take time for me

Maybe your pit hasn't ever looked as dark as mine, but maybe you can relate in some form or fashion to what I've gone through.  These friends of mine are in their pits right now, so to help them...what are some things that you do to stay healthy and of sound mind?  Please share your best tips. We girls are stronger...together!  We are not alone!

Comments

Bri Blakney said…
Isn't it amazing how alone we feel in our struggles? And we really aren't. I realized once that there are women who have already felt how I feel, are currently feeling how I feel, and will one day feel how I feel. This isn't just a "me" thing. It was relieving! There was freedom in knowing that I wasn't alone.
I've tried to make sure that I get myself out of my house. It's hard with 2 little ones, but I am a much better person when I don't stay inside all day. It takes a lot but it's worth it. And to get out without my kids when I get the chance is even better!!!
Tracey said…
What a blessing that you had an "Aunt Joni" to step in! I think your eight tips are good ones to follow to help us be the mothers that God would have us to be.
Anonymous said…
Isn't God just Amazing!? Love your trials and story. Inspiring. Motivating. It is the dark things about me that are the hardest to ask God for help. A sense of me feels ashamed. When I started asking God for help with weight loss, 15 years of trying everything (except God) and it just started falling off! It is in our darkest moments that He shines through the most.

blessings
brittany @ www.myabcsoup.blogspot.com
Kim Masengale said…
God is amazing! Yes, He is. It's truly scary to think where I would be without Him. Thank you all for commenting. I'm so glad to know that I'm not on this journey alone & that somehow God uses my junk to reach others. It's so humbling. Praying for each of you!! I'm going to check out your blogs too. :))

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