Survival mode is a mode that sometimes just happens in this house. It’s not my favorite, and I try not to let it hang around long. There are certain times of year where this shows up for me, and quite honestly, after several years of it, I have gotten pretty good at juggling these parts of our life. Spring, summer, and fall are Brandon’s busy seasons with farming and working for my parents, and for those few week stretches, life looks a little different around here.
In the summer, I am more lax with our routine. I am relaxed about meal planning, and I try to plan some fun things for the kids so that they aren’t constantly asking what time daddy will be home. We hang around the airport a lot so we can see Brandon, bedtime is a little more leniant, and now the kids pitch in to help with some of the house work. Spring and fall are similar, but the kids are on more of a stricter, school schedule. It’ just about knowing what works for us, and sometimes it’s nice to just BE. It takes a little of the pressure off and I am able to just enjoy this time as opposed on focusing on how I wish it were different.
Survival mode has taught me to thrive.
My survival mode started when we had Brayden. He was born on a Friday and on Monday morning, Brandon took us home from the hospital and then went back to work. Trust me, I was not loving that scenario but I didn’t have a choice. His role at work was important, and his family and my family stepped in to help. I’ll admit, it was tough. Those nights where I just couldn’t get the baby to sleep and I couldn’t wake Brandon for reinforcement were really, really hard on me. But in the end, I learned that I could do it. I could thrive in the midst of a tough situation, and overall, I think it made me a better wife and mom. This held true when we brought Kenley home from the hospital, and thankfully I had lots of help learning to parent two children.
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Isaiah 43:1-2
Survival mode is something that I try to not let get into my mindset. If it does, it doesn’t stay long. I know that I can thrive in the midst of a hard day, a hard week, or even just a tough moment. I try to embrace survival mode and I choose to soak up the time just me and the kids instead of spending it wishing that Brandon was home. Being able to shift my mindset quickly also relieved a lot of anxiety that first plagued me after Brayden was born. When Brandon is home, my head is clear and we can truly soak up that time as a family.
You can thrive even when you feel like you are just trying to survive the next 5 minutes, the next 5 hours, or the next 5 days. Take a few minutes to shift your mindset, lower your expectations, and you might be surprised how much you learn about thriving in the midst of a hard season. It won’t be perfection, and thriving looks different to everyone — but finding the silver lining in the midst of a tough day/week is so unbelievably worth it.