When You’re in a Slump
I recently shared our wonderful news that we’re expecting again! We’re beyond delighted at this gift from God. That said, I can now freely admit that my first trimester wore me out. I was not my typical, energetic self. I was in a slump.
I was queasy quite a bit and nothing sounded good to eat except Triscuits. I found myself cooking separate meals for my husband, myself and my son – something that I never intended to or wanted to do.
I was tired and dozed off more than once as I lay on the couch and watched Nathan play. Thankfully, Nathan plays well by himself and I could put up the baby gate to keep him in the same room as me.
We were those parents who were adamant our son not have screen time his first year, and now I found my pregnant self turning on Daniel Tiger so I could quiet my active son – if only for 30 minutes.
I stayed caught up on the laundry but once folded, it sat in piles on the basement floor. It took me several days to complete the simple task of finishing putting it away.
My to-do list sat quiet. I wasn’t adding to it and I wasn’t crossing things off. It just sat.
What do you do when you’re in a slump like this? You may not currently be pregnant but I know you can all relate. Maybe you’ve been in a slump due to illness or an unexpected life change. Maybe you’re in a slump due to a busy time at work or because you’re adjusting to family changes at home. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason, but you’re just in a slump. What do you do?
As I pondered this question over these past weeks, I came to several conclusions.
First and foremost, give yourself grace.
No, you may not be doing things as you typically would but for a couple of days (or weeks), that is okay. Challenges in life mean adapting. Give yourself grace as you do just that and adapt. This is a season and it will pass. No one is expecting perfection from you!
Don’t compare yourself to someone else, especially someone who is in a different season than you.
Yes, that other mom may successfully juggling a job and family, while you’re struggling to stay afloat just being at home. That other mom is not you. You are not her. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We all cope in different ways with stress.
Relax your expectations.
Do what you need to do to survive. If it means using paper plates to save yourself time on dishes or turning on PBS for the kids so you can rest, do what you need to do. Cook a frozen pizza for dinner or eat leftovers. Your kids will survive eating peanut butter sandwiches and grapes several days in a row for lunch.
Remember that this time will come to an end, like it always does.
It may only be a matter of days or it may be a couple weeks, but eventually you will get out of this slump of yours. Until then, take it one day at a time and give yourself grace.
This is what I’ve learned! What do YOU do when you find yourself in a slump or in the midst of a particularly challenging time?
During my third pregnancy I was so tired almost the entire time. I’m so thankful for an understanding husband and kids that could play well together. (And Netflix!)
Agreed! Nathan plays well, but having PBS on Netflix has been an occasional lifesaver already! Understanding husbands are so helpful, too!
I’m glad you are feeling better! I can relate to you because I was terribly sick during the first trimester also. It is so important to remember that those difficult times are only for a season. When I remember that it won’t last forever, that really helps. Another thing that helps me get out of a slump is making sure I take care of myself by getting myself dressed and ready for the day, having my quiet time, and eating healthy foods.
Agreed! Nothing lasts forever…when it seems like it might at the time. Ha. I agree that the simple act of getting dressed can do wonders for your day – and outlook!
I love your honesty, as always, such a beautiful lady! And I have to say I LOVE your commitment to attempt to do no screen time while your wee ones are young. I hear you that you used it to rest and good for you. Adjust your goals as needed. Just to have that goal is so admirable in this day and age where I see toddlers running around with parents cell phones, or tablets, with free range. Children need our time, attention, and guidance, consistently and constantly… not constant screen time. In my opinion, screens are tools and in the big scope of life they should be used sparingly and be monitored. Those little eyes are watching everything we do and will imitate our actions, not our instructions. Lead by example.
Bless you sweet Kristen!
Thank you, so much, Christina. It is a constant struggle – especially in this day and age – to limit the screen time. I agree completely that they need to be used sparingly, but it can be a challenge for so many of us. Still, we keep doing our best to lead our children with our example – day in and day out.
Oh, what at great post and so true! I think we really need to avoid comparing us to others, it never helps. I have found peace with myself and stopped comparing myself to other moms. Life is so much nicer 🙂
Thanks, Reelika. I agree completely! Life is much nicer when we stop playing the comparison game.
Congrats 🙂 I experience slumps all the time! Sometimes I go through work slumps and even though it’s just me working from home, I struggle. I’ve realized that it’s ok not to work or be perfect all the time. I need down time and separation and this makes me better overall!
Down time is indeed important, Kristin! I do so much better when I give myself permission to take that break. I’m always more productive then, too!
Thanks, Kristin! I have learned that down time is truly important, and I always seem to be more productive when I give myself a break.
Please give yourself a lot of grace when you are pregnant. It is not just a time in a slump. Your body is doing a lot of work to make a baby and you are taking care of an active toddler too.
I was hospitalized with morning sickness with my first. That really put it all in perspective for me. I didn’t care about not getting my to do list done with any of my pregnancies-I just tried to do everything possible to not be hospitalized another time.
There will be a time when you feel better and are able to do more. In the meantime it doesn’t hurt to live in survival mode-getting done what absolutely needs to be done in whatever way it takes-even if that means more screen time for a toddler than you would like. And remember what is absolutely necessary does not include your house decorated for the season, dressing everyone in the house perfectly, or making every recipe homemade.
I will tell you that my second pregnancy was the most difficult. It is really hard to have a toddler when you don’t feel well. The third was much easier as #1 and #2 could play together while I laid on the sofa miserable. So if God blesses you with another, know that you’ve already made it through the second!
Thank you for that encouragement, Rachel! I’ve learned to let lots go already. And I’m certainly not counting my pregnancy as a slump. And I agree completely, we all have times when we need to live in survival mode. The trick of slumps is realizing when those times come, so by God’s grace, we can continue thriving in our lives!
This is SO timely! I’ve been in a total slump lately due to overwhelming changes at work (that I’m the cheerleader for), financial struggles, time changes and not staying true to the diet that I know makes me feel GREAT. It’s all kind of culminated into my apartment basically being a HUGE mess. Among other things. 🙂 But I’ve been working really hard to keep my spirits up. At the very least I am washing the dishes nightly, going for walks in the morning (when it’s warm enough) and giving myself “permission” to go to bed early if I want. It’s helping a bit. I love your tips too. I definitely need to give myself more grace. And stop comparing myself to others. 🙂 Thanks so much for this post!
I’m glad to know that this was timely for you as well. Comparing ourselves to others is a constant struggle for women – but it never leads to any good. Keep giving yourself grace, Cheyanne!
Oh I remember being so exhausted and battling insomnia when I was pregnant with #2. Definitely recognizing that it’s just one phase/season in life. Sometimes it can be hard to remember when you’re in the midst of it! I think I’m still working on relaxing my expectations, especially the ones I set on myself.
I struggle with relaxing my expectations as well, Vera. Why are we always harder on ourselves than we are on others? Here’s to both of us – and relaxing expectations!
Well said, Kristen! I love the one about giving yourself grace. I’ve been working on that one lately. I have a bad habit of making an overly ambitious to-do list and then wearing myself out getting everything done. Recently I have been more intentional in giving myself grace when I find I am getting overly tired. A short nap or 20 minutes to read usually leaves me more energized. Or I may need to stop completely and turn my attention elsewhere. I try to do the most important things first, and if I don’t get everything done…oh well….there’s always tomorrow!
Wonderfully said as well, Addy! There is always tomorrow. Ambitious to-do lists have their time and place, but sometimes we need to give ourselves grace (in the form of a nap or leaving the list) to be truly productive. Here’s to our tomorrows!