“Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun
I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch ’em roll away again, yeahI’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the bay
The first time I heard Otis Redding’s famous number I was about 5 or 6 years old. Now years later, I totally understand what the dude was crooning about.
Ever since announcing my pregnancy, I have been told over and over again that my life will never be the same after childbirth. Considering the source of this information are mostly well-meaning folks, I was mentally preparing myself for these changes AFTER the baby arrives.
Not before and certainly not NOW.
To put things into a better perspective, I was no workaholic but I liked to think that I was a useful human being. I worked diligently at my regular 9 to 5, then pursued a budding music career on the side, then regularly wrote a blog, served in church, cooked out of necessity, kindness and fun, spent time with friends and regularly watched Black-ish – The useful stuff.
Now with my growing bump and pregnancy trials, most of my ‘usefulness’ is a thing of the past and I am literally sitting at the dock of the bay as I watch other people’s ship roll away with their active lives.
I know some good Christian folks will be quick to say ‘There is a reason for this season’ (Thank you brother Elijah!) and to ‘Be strong and courageous’. However, when you are logging about a growing weight in your midsection while dealing with cravings and hormonal changes you can barely understand, 9 months can turn out to be a long time.
1. Acknowledge it all
‘Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches‘ – Old proverb
Though it took me a while, I had to come to a place where I acknowledged that the music, much as I loved it, was not the same anymore. I had to acknowledge the roller coaster of emotions I was feeling, the changes to my lifestyle (the unconscious and conscious ones), the helplessness, the frustration and the unfairness of it all.
Unless you are an intergalactic traveler from Krypton or Asgard, it’s alright to let loose once in a while and have a good old bawlin’.
It’s called BEING HUMAN.
2. Encourage Yourself
‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important‘ – Aibileen Clark from the movie ‘The Help’
Amen sister Aibileen!
When my daily sickness started and persisted along with some other pregnancy-related ‘issues’ and I could do nothing but communicate like Groot, I felt a lot of emotions, most predominantly an overwhelming sense of uselessness (Enter ♬ Why me why me Lord why me♬ by Shaggy)
Anyone who’s seen the movie ‘The Help’ would remember actress Viola Davis’ famous lines as Aibileen Clark. I know it sounds cheesy but it kept my boat floating and my engines revving. Mmhmm! (why do I sound like Shakespeare?)
Encouragement from friends and family is invaluable BUT encouragement to self is on a whole new level and your options are limitless. You may want to recite Psalm 23 from the Bible or borrow Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech and edit it as you go along (we won’t judge). Let’s not forget Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger’ lyrics (♬ what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stand a little taller…♬)
‘No matter how bad you think you have it, some people have it worse’ – my father’s saying.
3. Redirect Your Focus
‘What consumes your mind controls your life’ – Anonymous
I have this friend from church who relocated from place A to place B with his gorgeous wife (no, I am not being nice cos she is truly fine) and adorable kids and was without work for a long time. They lived nowhere close to Church yet they agreed to take on the leadership of one the church’s teams and part of their responsibilities were to encourage and support others. Now they could have chosen to stay home to pray and fast for a change to come (thank you brother Sam) and they would have been right in doing so. However the only reality they would have known would have been just that – No job.
In proper church style, there came a ‘Praise God’ moment so all’s well that ends well.
In my case, to help me redirect my thoughts and focus, I decided to take up songwriting again and make time to catch up and encourage friends via the phone and over coffee when I can manage.
4. Talk to Someone/ASK for Help
‘There is no such thing as a psychic‘ – Patric Jane from ‘The Mentalist’
In a fast-paced 2017, asking for help can be a daunting thing to do. However, the responsibility to receive lies with you.
‘Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive. Then your joy will be full’ – (From the Bible, John 16 verse 24)
And to think that was Jesus speaking! (Just saying)
That said, talking to someone you trust is still a right way to go because in my case, it has helped me a great deal in coping with the challenges of being pregnant. Sometimes all they do is listen to me moan and sometimes they make me laugh or their comments warm my heart. Overall, I get the assurance that I am not flying solo.
5. Have Faith
‘Now faith is being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see’ – (From the Bible, Hebrews 11 verse 1)
I have never had my own baby before and I have no clue what he/she would look like (Jesus please remember my list. Amen!). However, my growing bump each day, sneaky cravings, puking guts, pains in odd places, perpetual sleepiness, immense love for my bed and other annoying stuff, gives me hope that one day I’ll be holding a miracle.
As a budding singer who has been waiting for my ‘big break’ since I was 17 and who is a few months shy of 32 and still waiting for that big break, one thing that helps get me out of bed, get on any platform and sing like it’s going to be my last is FAITH.
This is because it is absolutely free.
And you can have it too.
Photo credit 3 – http://humanediteddir.com/clipart/muscle-man-clipart.html
Photo credit 4 – https://nightshiftministries.org/sos/