To the Mama Who’s Falling Apart With No Energy to Exercise…

Hey Mama,

If you are falling apart then it’s time for a hard reset.

You know, like when you hold down all the buttons to power down your phone and leave it off for a few minutes so all the things can reboot? Yeah, because moms need breaks too.

We can “run a lot of apps”, process a lot of info, and even handle a few immersions in utter toilets if we can get a good night’s rest in the proverbial rice bowl once in a while…

But we aren’t getting sleep, and we suffer all the wet cold of winter and daily immersions in bodily fluids and floor mopping with 95% calmness and 5% not-calm-ness that we then feel guilty for. We are running non-stop, and we are run down. Motherhood is beautiful and hard and amazing and scary and joyous and traumatic… All in five minutes on repeat.

Every. Single. Blessed. Day.

You’ve got to plot it, mama. Write down what it would take for you to get a break and get yourself put back together: Three babysitters, a plane ticket, a ton of pumped milk, your husband to take one day off, your mom to come visit, a house cleaner, a pied piper in a pear tree?

Sweetie, you made tiny humans and keep them alive every day! You can figure out how to get away for a few days or even a few hours. And it will all be there when you come back, whether it’s from a 3-day trip south, a trip to the store to shop BY YOURSELF or a hot Epsom salt bath with the door locked.

This is personal for me, so I did this live chat webinar with my good friend Alice and her naturopath who specializes in helping people balance their crazy. I’d love for you to watch it and hear our stories.


More info from Dr. Hyatt http://biogenicnutrition.com More info from Alice Behnke http://rawalice.com

 

Replacing us for any of those events pretty much takes all that stuff doesn’t it?

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you can’t get away because your kids will fill-in-the-blank-here with whatever age appropriate mischief you worry they’ll get into while you’re away.

Yeah, but what if you go “round the bend” completely, mama friend?

Then your family can’t replace you at all.

Suicide among young mothers who are depressed and overwhelmed is real. It happens more than we like to think, as in, it’s the second leading cause of death among women who’ve had kids. It shouldn’t happen at all, but we start falling apart, and we ignore it.

We can’t. We have to see it coming. We have to do what we can.

And you might need to leave for a few days so that you don’t leave forever.

It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to take some time now, so you can come back and be more present, so that you’re HERE for the rest of the time.

If you feel like you can’t take a break (let alone breathe) please reach out. Tell someone: a sister, a friend, a doctor, a spouse, anyone.

No, it’s not easy to get yourself what you need — and shame on the people who call it selfish for a mama to put on her oxygen mask before she puts one on her kids — but it’s necessary!

Take a break. Get your hormone levels checked. Get your daily time to yourself. Get a weekly massage. Get a monthly pedicure. Get your yearly checkup on your ladybits. Get yourself what you need so that your family isn’t left without you.

Because you matter. You are needed. You are pivotal.

A change of scenery can reset the brain. The right doctor can help balance the crazy hormones. The right babysitter or house cleaner can help the ledge feel further away. The right counselor or preacher can help you sort it all out.

Do what you need to do to take care of yourself for the long term, Mama.

Oh, and as a mom who has been on Zoloft for severe anxiety, and successfully come off it now that I can manage my “demons” with techniques I learned in various types of emotional, spiritual, and nutritional counseling that are very specific to me and what I’ve been through, you need to know I’ve been there. I get this.

It wasn’t easy for me to fight back, but it was SO worth it. Fit2B wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t. Neither would I. Because there was a time I wanted to shut myself in a garage with the car running, and no one else knew I was having those thoughts but me. I was the only one who knew I needed help even though I was part of a mom’s group, part of a Bible Study, part of a great marriage, part of a great church, part of a great neighborhood.

I was so good at hiding, I was nearly lost forever.

I had to face it, get it out, and get help. You need to get help. Whatever that looks like for you.

Please, mama. Because your unique version of strong beauty is so very needed in this world.

Blessings to you, Mama…

Beth

Additional Resources for Anyone Who’s Struggling:

  • PPD Moms: full of information about postpartum depression.
  • Suicide.org: a nonprofit specializing in prevention, awareness, and support.

28 thoughts on “To the Mama Who’s Falling Apart With No Energy to Exercise…

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Oh, it is sooo hard. I know it, friend. From the other side of that hardness, though, I can tell you it’s a smokescreen. It looks harder than it is. Each time you advocate for yourself, it gets easier. We’d like someone else to advocate, but mothers make the best advocates, and we have to be our own. The lie is that we aren’t worth it. The lie is that it won’t be enough, and then we will be even more “not enough.” The lie is that where you are now is easier than changing it, that changing and fighting will be harder than just laying down and staying bogged down. Lies. The second you poke through that smokescreen of lies, a ray of light will shine through. Then another poke, and another ray of light. And pretty soon, you aren’t poking, you’re jabbing and punching and kicking AND YOU ARE BACK!!! So start poking, mama… Please?

  1. Dawn says:

    I’ve been there too! I was in the middle of a crazy awful marriage I had tried to hold together for too long. I now believe I had post partum depression and didn’t realize it. I pray this reaches many who need it right at this moment.

  2. Tricia says:

    Beth- You are amazingly transparent about your experiences. I am so glad I found you and Kelly Dean at the Tummy Team, and the communities of ladies who share openly and give caring advice. I come from a very loving family, who just doesn’t talk about their personal struggles. Postpartum anxiety was a shock for me and my husband, who was an amazing support even though I know he was terrified at the time. Zoloft and Ativan were a major part of my recovery, as were friends and family, journaling, and my constant hope in Jesus Christ. Even though I am long past the dark days, your words have reminded me to be intentional about making time for myself to recharge, so I can be the best wife and mom that I can be. Thank you.
    These verses came to mind as I was typing this…
    1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.”
    2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Tricia, I love those verses. People often just quote the first part of 1 Peter 5:7 … Cast all your cares on Him … but that second part? Isn’t it beautiful? Because he cares for us!!!! The MAKER of the universe CARES for US. We matter to him, and if we are precious to him, should we not care for what he cares for? When we intentionally turn to HIM in our weak places, that strength he gives us at just the right times is so needed!

  3. Katy says:

    Thank you Beth. 6 little boys + financial issues was about to equal no mama, but praise God He made a way for me to get some real, trustworthy help. Thanks for the added encouragement that everything can turn out even better than what I can imagine. <3

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Oh my goodness, Katy! Can you imagine your six little boys with no mama!? I’ve got one little boy, and he needs this mama right here so much. He tries to tell me – more and more lately – how he doesn’t need me, but I know otherwise. I’m so glad you found the trustworthy help you needed. Keep getting help for every stage as it comes. And never believe your boys if they act/say they don’t need you. My hubby still calls his mama each week. Swoon!

  4. Patty says:

    Thank you for being real. I too have been there. looking for small steps and progress not perfection. thanks for being the real you

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Patty, I’ve been accused of being “too real.” And you know what? It’s when I try to dull my sparkle and NOT share my story that I spiral downward the fastest!! We can only be who we are. When we try to be anything different, we will fail. Of course, I’m not saying to be rude and blunt and say all the things that pop into our heads regardless of how crass or hurtful they are. We need to filter ourselves a bit (whatever is true, noble, kind, helpful, and all that, right?) But when we take small steps toward honoring ourselves and our limits, we do make progress like you said!

  5. Kim Osterholzer says:

    I was there once, too, twenty years ago now, but the memory is nearly as harrowing as the time itself was. It was a year of utter darkness. It’s a miracle I didn’t end it all, as I imagined doing so almost every day. Thanks for sharing this, Beth ♥

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Kim, the memories and how dark they still feel… oh yes. So much yes. When they hit me, and I start to feel “less then” for even having experienced this, I have to physically shiver. A counselor told me this: Physically shake it off. Physically wave and pray those thoughts away. The physical motion helps to literally shake them loose and recenter us, just like we give our phones a shake when the GPS isn’t right. Ha! There’s another phone reference for ya!

  6. Heather says:

    I didn’t even finish reading this and already, I’m crying. I’ve had one trip away in 8 years (hint: my oldest is 8) and it was a working trip at that. in 2017 I will make this happen for me because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy… and we’re ALL miserable. I have depression and anxiety that’s brought on mostly from my ADD – which I was diagnosed but am untreated for. I will get help. then I will get out of town for a few. Mama needs to remember who she is again…. Thank you for this – have a happy and blessed new year!

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Heather, you nailed it. Moms need to remember who they are. We wouldn’t want our kids losing sight of their identity in the midst of any trial. We’d want them to walk tall and shine bright, especially as they become parents. There is so much hope through treatments, and I love who I am now. I love that taking a hot bath helps me. I love that some of my favorite foods help me. It’s not a treat to care for myself; it’s what keeps me going. When we tune into our triggers, instead of pushing through them – and counseling helped me sort mine out – then we can start to grow and improve!

  7. Jen says:

    Can you recommend some Portland area providers? I have had lots of therapy but haven’t seen a naturopath. I have a counselor/prescriber and meds but no matter what I try, I am stuck. Mostly due to a deceptive spouse. years and years of the same. My relatives are all in the Midwest. Is there a new coach or counselor or provider you can suggest? Thank you!

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Jen, I can’t speak highly enough of The Tummy Team and their counseling and rehab services – both emotional and physical. They are in Camas, but not far off the hwy. Even though it might take you 30 minutes to get there, they have helped everyone I send to them, consistently and well. They are (360)952-CORE

      • Jen says:

        Thanks, Beth, I forgot to mention that I went through a diastasis correction program with Tummy Team, although I have fallen off the exercise wagon. what emotional resources can they help with?

  8. Stacy says:

    Hi, I was so excited about signing up for this service, but I live deep in the country where satellite internet is the only option. I could download videos while at work and then watch them at home on my computer, but that’s it. I could not actually do the exercises at work. Is it possible to do that with your service? I know you advertise up front that it is video streaming, but I was hoping that maybe there was an option to download? I’ll wait on your answer before I sign up. Thanks so much for sharing your insight and experiences. I just read your post about depression and taking time for myself and it really touched my heart. I got as much from your responses to the comments as I did from your original post. I have 5 daughters and a full-time job and feel incredibly run down all of the time. Just reading that someone else understands helps some. May God bless you richly for showing such love to the rest of us.
    Thank you.?

    • Beth Learn
      Beth Learn says:

      Hi Stacy, We have two DVD’s available on Amazon. Here are links to those.

      Fit2B Beginning – http://amzn.to/2jr2ghV

      Fit2B Firm – http://amzn.to/2j4jWn7

      We also have a Roku Channel that is included in membership. I’m not sure if you have one, but we have slow internet where we are as well (the irony isn’t lost on me) and I love our Roku for watching netflix and Fit2B and quite a few other shows as it doesn’t burden us as much.

      Hopefully one of those options works for you. We are also hoping to put out a couple more DVD’s this year. I’m sorry that downloads aren’t currently manageable for us.

      • Stacy says:

        Hi Beth,
        I’m not familiar with Roku…but you mentioned that you have slow internet where you live, so I thought I’d ask-
        Do you use satellite internet at your house? We only get 10 Gigs a month (that’s the only plan we can afford), which sounds like a lot, but we always run out because of my daughters. With our budget, I don’t want to pay at least $45 only to find out that I just can’t watch the videos. I SO wish we had fiber-optic like almost everyone else- it would even cost less than what we pay for our 10G satellite!
        Thanks again. I am definitely interested in buying the DVDs if nothing else.

        • Beth Learn
          Beth Learn says:

          Stacy, I can’t say whether or not Roku will for sure work in your area, but I know a lot of our members with poor internet find it helpful. Best thing would be for you to ask around your community to see if anyone else has one and how it works for them. Otherwise, my DVD’s will give you 10 routines to keep you busy for a while for sure!

  9. Candace Dayaz says:

    Great post. I agree that you have to make time for you. Getting involved in an exercise group or class is a great way to get away for a little bit and do something healthy for you! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for this…I’m so overwhelmed that even the idea of READING this was a lot. I’m a wife and mama and can’t even type this without being interrupted by my toddler.

  11. Chelsea says:

    I needed to hear this. Thank you do much for your openness. I have five kids 9 and under including a three year old and14 mon old twins. I homeschool and have no support system. In Jan of last year I got a bombshell that rocked my marriage and we are still trying to repair. All this being said I have really struggled with depression and anxiety this year. It’s debilitating at this point. I know life wise I have an excuse, but it felt like more. Every blog basically has the jist of organize, get up earlier, be thankful, exercise etc. I would feel guilty because I. Just. Can’t. I felt like something was broken inside, but no-one understood. With a husband that works alot. I have put off seeing a Dr telling myself too just try harder. But today after reading this I immediately called my dr for an appt. And then called my husband and told him he had to get off early because I truly cannot wait anymore. So thank you for opening my eyes to what was desperately needed. I am so grateful.

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