The Smith Project

family

Joy

Life, Family, Motherhood, Marriage, Pregnancy, QuotesAndrea SmithComment

This quote is so hard for me to hear. I literally just sat here and re-read this about 20 minutes. 

I have been in a hard, long season of depression and joylessness. I don't know if that's a word but I just invented it, so whatever, it's my blog so my rules :-) Anyways, simple put, joy is a choice. Just like most emotions in life. I wrote on our blackboard this phrase,"Today is a good day, for a good day." So every time I get upset or want to yell at little Liam (my son) I see that big annoying board and it reminds me that I have control over my emotions, and I get to choose if we are going to have a good day or not. I am the homemaker and I am the one setting the tone or atmosphere in our home, so what will I choose today? 

So next time you're frustrated that the house is a mess and you didn't get anything on your unrealistic check list done, just remember that it's really not the end of the world. You get to be the person that affects your home, that little face looking at you, and the people who surround you. Joy is a choice, so what will be your choice today?

25 & Pregnant

PregnancyAndrea SmithComment

I never thought I would be a mom. I wasn't one of the those girls who grew up wanting to get married, have kids and live happily ever after. I knew it wasn't a reality, so I never really thought about it. Being a mom comes with so muchresponsibility and sacrifice, that I was not willing to give up. Yes, you can say I am selfish. I'll be the first to admit that. But from my broken perspective, having kids was a burden, a dream destroyer, and a life sucker. I see so many burnt out parents, kids acting wild to get some love and attention, and families being torn apart with divorce. So yes, I didn't want kids, sometimes I am still hesitated in bringing forth a living human being to this war-torn world.


As I looked around me seeing all of these moms so excited to have babies. But I was freaking out. I still have my moments, something that I am working through everyday. How can I be a mom?! I'm only 25, I haven't even landed in my career yet, it's been a rough of marriage and now there's this kid that decides to show up. I was so angry. This is just all so sudden. You can say, "well at least it wasn't a honeymoon baby" yeah I get that, but seriously, shut up, no one wants to hear that. I felt so alone even with friends and family surrounding me. Everyone would asked me if I am excited, I was getting fatter, I wanted to throw up every two seconds and sleep at the same time. So no, not really excited. Now go get me some Chinese food and a Costco box of Tums ;-)

I started to think about why I was so upset, why I was so angry, why I was letting fear take over my life. I feared that I would fail. I feared that I wouldn't be a good parent. I feared I wouldn't love my child.  I feared that the kid(s) would drive a wedge between myself and Jared. So much fear and for what? Like really, why should I give into fear when I have a God who has literally given me life to live without fear.

I began to think about the last seven years of my life. How I was a train wreck out of high school, having no direction, pissed drunk and hated who I was and where I was going. Then Jesus showed up, and completely filled my heart up with love for the first time in my life. I never felt so free. The past seven years has been a time of preparation spiritually, and mentally to walk fully into the calling that He has for me. The number seven in the bible means "complete" "coming into fullness". So when the  Holy Spirit was reminding me of this I sat down in awe, as tears were streaming down my face. I grew up in a broken family and now the Lord gave me a husband who will never leave me till death do us part. He is giving me a child to raise in a godly home, and to be a disciple maker. He has been telling me the last couple of years to begin writing and I am actually doing it. Yeah, I fail at doing it a lot of the time, but it's better than not writing at all. All this to say, the Lord has been more than kind to me. He really does care and has bigger plans for me than I could ever imagine.

I know I won't be the perfect mom, I know I will have scary times, I know my kids won't be perfect. But I have a God who is the perfect Father, nothing scares him, and my kids will be perfect because that's the way he sees them. All I can do is trust that the Lord knows what He is doing, through the hard times and good times. I can now say the Lord is still in the process of healing my heart from past wounds and changing my perspective on parenting. As I look into my son's eyes, I can now say I am excited to see what adventures await for us and our growing family.

Giving yourself is the best gift

FamilyAndrea SmithComment

This quote is so true. Once you become a parent, you can't help but think about yourself and your little one. I follow the Honest Company blog and I love it! I not only get great deals with baby products but I get to hear about what other moms have to say about parenting. If you haven't tried out their products or checked out their blog you should give it a try and see what you think.

www.blog.honest.com

Grateful

FamilyAndrea SmithComment

There's something about going to a new place. Your mind begins to wander, and think about the endless amount of possibilities that can come to you in life.

My husband was born and raised in the state of Michigan. We were newly pregnant. Just finished reconstructing our basement to rent out, went to work part-time n market place. As well as working full-time as missionaries for a christian organization, and now needing to raise up our ministry team. All in the span of three months. So many changes have occurred since we've been married it doesn't surprise me in a bit that it's happening to the Smiths'.

Going into full-time ministry we have the privilege and responsibility to raise our own support. When I was pregnant, and we had a tight deadline for time off work, we thought Michigan would be the best place to go and raise up our ministry team.

It was September in Michigan, and I felt like I haven't touched fall in so long! The beauty of the leafs changing, Pumpkin Spice lattes at Starbucks and everyone was changing into cozy sweaters and adorable boots. The chill air reminds me that times are changing. A time to grow, a time to learn, a time to prune, a time to die, and a time to be refreshed.

Being up North was an amazing experience. I was introduced to people who have known Jared's mother since infancy! Getting to hear stories from there past, hearing the joy of their lives now was so rewarding. The sense of community and home was so refreshing and beautiful to see. I already miss my friends up there.

It's been so good and challenging to step out in faith and believe that Lord has called you to do something. Though, it's another thing to walk out. I am excited for this new adventure He has us on. Even though it's a hard road, we have been so abundantly blessed by those around us, and from our Father. I wouldn't trade this narrow road for anything else. He truly has given me the best life, and I know He only has more wonderful things for myself, and for our little family.

That Thing No One Talks About

PregnancyAndrea SmithComment

That thing that no one talks about. The shame, the guilt, the sadness, the anger, the rage, the random hurtful thoughts. It's overwhelming and consuming. This is something that can not be dealt with alone. So let's talk about it.

What is PPD? Here is a definition from Wikipedia.

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women after childbirth. Symptoms may include sadness, low energy, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced desire for sex, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. While many women experience self-limited, mild symptoms postpartum, postpartum depression should be suspected when symptoms are severe and have lasted over two weeks.

Symptoms of PPD can occur any time in the first year postpartum.[8] These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

Are you a mother going through these mental, emotional and physical changes? You are not alone my friend. I was diagnosed with PPD shortly after having my beautiful baby boy. I was constantly frustrated with breastfeeding, not getting enough sleep, having no appetite to eat or drink anything, and having no interest in anything or anybody for that matter. I was severely depressed. Guess what, I am still going through this.

I thank God that He gave my husband the wisdom, discernment, and courage to confront me about it. I had not idea what was going on with me. Why I was only feeling intense sadness and anger toward everything and everybody. I had no interest in life anymore. I even considered ending my life. These thoughts bombarded me everyday. Sometimes I still face these lies, that this, me being mentally and emotionally unstable is my fault. That I'm a bad mother. That if I can't do everything, then you're worthless.

My husband approached me one night and told me he was looking up postpartum depression and he thought I had it. I wasn't offended at all.. I think I was too tired honestly to care. I just sat there for a minute and said, "well... ok then, what do we do?". He suggested we go see the doctor to confirm it was indeed a problem. She encouraged me and of course gave me some meds that might help. So far they have worked to a degree, but I think honestly the best thing for me has been to face it and talk about it. I sought out council and have been meeting with a mom (who now has three kids), but went through it with one child. Honestly, talking about it, hearing her talk about her experience and feelings has really opened up my heart to not only be honest with her, but to be honest with myself. Of course I still have my ups and downs, but I quickly recognize it now, or my husband will pursue me and take time to sit and talk with me about what is going on.

At first, I felt so embarrassed that I had to deal with this... thing that I had no control over. It's literally a chemical imbalance in your brain, and all you can do is walk through the trenches. It sucks because you keep getting stuck in the mud and trying to get your leg to break free and sometimes you do and sometimes you fall flat on your face in the mud. But a solider is never alone. There's always someone there to help get you back on your feet and to keep plowing through.

Listen, Postpartum depression is a very real thing and a real issue in our society. If you don't have a support system. Please go see your doctor. They can refer you to a professional counselor. But get support! Whether that's a good friend, counselor, another moms, your spouse, whoever. You need to talk with someone, and you don't have to go through this alone. We need to make this issue more aware to women and men! I bless you if you've never had to go through this, but if you know of someone who is going through this, or is showing the symptoms listed above, please, please have the courage to talk to them. Although, be warned, you might get yelled at, just being real. A lot of women will be in denial about this and it takes them a long time to realize they are going through PPD. So be gentle and have grace for them. Be a support for them.

I want to take just one more minute of your time and just show all the difference between PDD and Maternity Blues and/or Baby Blues. This is something ALL woman go through. The major difference is you only should have the Baby Blues for a few weeks and be getting better as time goes on. With PPD, you tend to get worse and worse as time goes on. Being disconnected to everyone, feeling angry, disappointed etc. Listed below are the symptoms of Maternity Blues.

Symptoms

  • Weepiness and bursting into tears.
  • Sudden mood swings.
  • Anxiousness and hypersensitivity to criticism.
  • Low spirits and irritability.
  • Poor concentration and indecisiveness.
  • Feeling 'unbonded' with baby.
  • Restless insomnia.

Again, you are not alone. There are people who want to help you. And guess what, you will get better. Trust me. It does get better. I know you're thinking everyone says that about having a baby, when you go through stuff  it's hard but worht it, but it's really true. Just like you didn't stay pregnant forever, you won't have PPD forever. You can do this.

As a wonderful 2-year-old girl said in a little ol' movie called The Help. You's kind, you's smart, you's important.