Hello, My Name is Kristin…

We’re starting a new series here on the {moms at hope} blog, called “Hello, my name is…”

We want everyone to get to change to know other moms, so what better way than to use the internet? ūüėČ So we’ll be compiling stories of people within our moms ministry at Hope.

I’ve shared my story before, but just for kicks I’m going to get us started with it again.

 

Hello, my name is Kristin…

In June 2009, I became a mom.

I was working full time in a competitive sales department,¬†concentrating on climbing the corporate ladder.¬†I had a plan and kids weren’t a part of it. (Or at least not¬†for another¬†few years).

So my world was rocked when I found out my husband and I were about to become parents, a mere 3 years into marriage and 2 years into my corporate ladder climb.

McKenna arrived as a healthy, round faced, little ball of screaming lungs. To be honest, I don’t remember much of those first few weeks with her. It is a blur of dirty diapers, pediatric appointments, gas relief drops, spit-on onsies, and hazy midnight, three and six AM feedings.

What I¬†do¬†know is I wasn’t prepared.¬†Nobody told me what it would¬†be like.¬†(Or maybe I just didn’t pay attention. That’s a very real possibility.)

I wasn’t prepared for¬†the exhaustion or the basic steps in¬†keeping a brand new human alive. Life ran its course on a three hour time block, restarting at¬†every feeding.

I went back to work a mere 6 weeks later.

Yet again, I wasn’t prepared.

I wasn’t prepared for the emotions of leaving my little one¬†every morning.
Or the balance of breastfeeding (i.e. pumping) while working full time.
Or the balance of work pressures with newborn and family pressures.
Or how to handle¬†missing out on all of McKenna’s “firsts.”

I didn’t know what I was doing and¬†I felt very alone.

Sure, my husband understood what it was like living our family’s day-to-day, especially since he was the one who took on the bulk of parenting in those early years while working from home. (Here’s an¬†official shout-out to my awesome Baby Daddy! *throws up a fist pump*)

But there’s something about being a mom that he wouldn’t understand…¬†because, well, he’s a¬†dad.

I didn’t know it at the time, but I needed another mom. During McKenna’s first few years of life, I felt¬†really¬†alone, despite all the people around me, because I didn’t know anyone experiencing life with littles.¬†In¬†my group of friends, marriage wasn’t even on the radar for some… let alone¬†children.

I needed a fellow swimmer. Someone alongside me, so we could encourage one another as we took stroke after stroke.

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

I wanted so badly for another mom¬†to come along with me.¬†And to be able to tell me,¬†“me too.”

But they didn’t.

In the spring of 2012, I left my full-time job.¬†I started¬†a different,¬†part-time one¬†just before my second baby girl, Meda, arrived in May of 2013.¬†Even though I’d been through the newborn thing once before, when¬†Meda arrived (yet again) I wasn’t prepared. (I am¬†confident¬†God makes you forget the details of newborn-hood intentionally. Because, if not, there’s no way there would be such a thing as “siblings.”)

With raging hormones, minimal sleep, two young kids, a working husband, and a part-time job constantly emailing, texting, or calling… I found myself in¬†a small¬†battle with postpartum depression that summer.¬†I could go into the details on my day-to-day and how lonely, upset, and sad I was ALL THE TIME, but I’ll spare you the details. (They’re a real drag.)

Just before the fall semester, in a desperate attempt to just GET OUT OF THE HOUSE, I attended a Monday night Heart 2 Heart event at Hope Church.

At the beginning of the evening, I found myself face to face with Abby (our amazing, most awesome EVER, genuine, loving, super cool {moms at hope} leader).

Before I knew it, she¬†had me¬†sitting in a room full of women¬†I didn’t know the next Wednesday morning. Some of them still had babies attached to their hips. I had¬†always been the only one with babies hanging around, but now, it wasn’t just me. In fact, my¬†kiddos weren’t even¬†there, but¬†in the church nursery.

Confession: I was slightly nervous to share too much about myself and my family with this new group. They all looked as if they had it together¬†in the parental department, and there I was, struggling to not be sad ALL THE TIME (have¬†I mentioned I was sad ALL THE TIME yet? Dang those hormones.) and just make it through each day keeping kids alive. Not to mention I probably still had baby spit-up in my hair and clothes…

As we began chatting and introducing ourselves, I found myself relaxing as our conversation seamlessly¬†moved into stories and quirks about our husbands and kids. I relaxed enough to find myself telling (admitting?) a story about something dumb I’d done in my parenting that week. As the story¬†fell from my mouth, I tensed, knowing judgement was sure¬†to reign down. But instead, I heard this:

“Me too.”
METOO
~~~~~~~

Since that first day, I haven’t looked back. My postpartum depression began to subside, I felt energized, accepted and above all РI knew I wasn’t alone.

I had my group‚Ķ my “peeps,” if you will.¬†People to vent with, to laugh with, and pray with.

moms
Photo by: Hope Wmn’s Ministry, Melissa Fagan

My {moms at hope} became that¬†lifesaver that for so long, I desperately reached¬†for… the one thrown out to me in the middle of the parenting storms. With them¬†swimming alongside, somehow I know it’s okay.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 ESV)

We don’t see each other everyday, nor do we talk everyday. Many weeks, the only time we talk is during our Wednesday small group meeting.¬†But I know they’re there. And they’re going through this thing with me – stroke by stroke.

Us moms? We need each other. In a genuine, messy, and very real way.

“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:25-27 ESV)

It took me a long time to realize this. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I¬†had¬†it. (Hindsight’s 20/20, y’all.)

I don’t even think they know it, but my {moms at hope}¬†saved me in a way. And (selfishly) I hope I have helped one of them¬†too.

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3 thoughts on “Hello, My Name is Kristin…

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