I am a housewife, and a mother to two young boys. There are no toys in my room and no laundry on my bed and I will tell you why.
I am not a co-sleeper, mainly because I am a light sleeper. After giving birth, my light sleeper status upgraded to full-blown insomniac. I cam to the disappointing realized after Dakota (now 8 1/2) was born that I had pretty significant postpartum anxiety and depression, which only slightly improved after Wyatt (now 7) arrived. My dreams of falling asleep with my baby beside me were crushed when I realized that I could not sleep a wink, especially when they were near me. I was uncomfortably aware of them and the anxiety that I was experiencing increased my natural hyper-vigilance to a level that made rest and sleep unattainable. The tiniest sound out of my precious babies and I was sure they were suffocating or choking. I let the urge to guard them like a sentry take over my ability to reason that would have allowed me to also care for myself. I quickly found myself – in spite of the guilt, moving my boys from their bassinets by my bedside and into their own cribs at as early as three weeks postpartum.
Since those early days, with the right help from my physicians, I now enjoy an anxiety and insomnia-free life. But I feel like I had to go through those experiences early on in order to learn about myself and my needs. As I wife and mom I give…a lot. In fact, giving is an addiction for me. I find it hard to stop because for some reason I think the more I suffer and exhasut myself, the more I have proven my worth to my family. As I am geeting older, I am learning better how to recognize this issue and deal with it before I burn out, but the urges are still there.
One of the things I have learned is to provide for myself a sanctuary. A place to go to relax, retreat, and rely on God to restore me. My room seemed like the best option. It was already defined as my space. All I had to do was to set up some guidelines. If my boys are sick, scared, or in need of extra affection and attention they are more than welcome to climb into my (and my husband’s) bed for what they need. We have play time and story time before we tuck them into their own beds at night, say prayers and turn out the light. We have special movie nights in mommy and daddy’s room with popcorn and snuggles. But at the end of the day, everyone puts away their books and toys. Laundry is done and sorted and put away, and Jacob and I are left to our own space. It’s neat, quiet, and most importantly, ours.
Over the years I have heard friend after friend express to me the need for a place to go to get away from it all: a space to themselves. And I’ve always wondered if they ever considered that they could have that in their very own home? Yes, I know it takes the effort. I am responsible to make sure everyone does their bit to maintain that space, including myself. And no, it’s not always going to be quite as tidy as it is in the photos, but its mine and its something I am proud of. And for me it’s totally worth the extra effort when at the end of the day I get to enjoy my little sanctuary.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
~ Matthew 6:6