Why Today Was Hard

I’m a big fan of vulnerability. I want to share the hard stuff as well as the good stuff. I think it’s important but it’s not easy to do. I’ve written several posts (which I haven’t shared….yet) where I’ve felt like I’ve had to have some kind of silver lining. But today, at the risk of sounding like a bit of a whiner but in the spirit of being real, I’ve decided I’m simply going to tell you why today has been hard.

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We’ve both done a little of this today

  • It’s hot. This is the hottest time of year. We have no air-conditioning and a few fans when the power is working. But sometimes it just feels like more hot air blowing on you…which it is.
  • I have a baby. I love him. He’s a gift. He’s adorable. But this week has been hard. He’s been way more fussy than usual, especially around nap time. His naps are short and I have no sweet clue how to change that. I feel like a first-time mom all over again. My usual soothing techniques have had little effect this week. It’s frustrating not being able to help him.
  • It’s hot and I have a baby. Have I mentioned that already? Sometimes breastfeeding or cuddling or soothing is no fun when the two of us are dripping in sweat. I might cry too if someone picked me up and held me tight in this heat.
  • Power outages. We just learned that in addition to our 8 hour daily outages, the power will also be out from 6pm to 9pm each day. Enough said.
  • Being homebound. Sometimes it’s hard having nowhere to go. I don’t mind being a stay-at-home mom for now but I miss having options…going to the gym, a playdate, visiting grandparents or a trip to the grocery store. We didn’t even make it on our daily trip to the office today. The farthest I’ve gone is the clothesline.
  • Neck and back pain. I’ve had neck pain since the early weeks of Nathaniel’s life, likely due to breastfeeding. And my back hurts from carrying him so much. I would love to be able to book an appointment with my chiropractor or massage therapist today. My pillow is too soft and I wake up in pain. But instead of a two minute walk to Homesense to buy a new one, a decent pillow is a seven hour drive away.
  • Food choices. I was actually thinking this morning how many more options we have in Zambia than we did in Zimbabwe. But I’d still love a chocolate croissant, or some ice cream or a bowl of raspberries. I miss the luxury of unlimited choice.
  • Friendships. This is hard to admit but it’s easy to feel forgotten. I know life goes on back home and I can’t base my happiness on the number of messages in my inbox, but on the days or weeks when there are none and I feel like I could really use it, it can be discouraging.
  • Cloth diapers. Not the worst but not my favourite and definitely more work. And today some cows tried to eat them off the clothesline for lunch (thanks to Arja who noticed and chased them away before they did too much damage).
  • Validation. It’s hard being a primary school teacher at a primary school and not teaching. My boy needs me right now but it’s not easy being an observer in the busyness that surrounds us and feeling like my biggest accomplishment of the day was a load of laundry.
  • Living on a school campus. Let me be clear, this is generally an awesome thing with many perks and I know I signed up for this. But when you finally get your son to sleep and over 150 kids walk past his window, it can be a little frustrating.

How is your day going? Do you have someone you can tell the truth to if it’s not “fine” like we all tend to say? I encourage you to try it. I feel better already. 🙂


7 thoughts on “Why Today Was Hard

  1. You got me at heat! Lol! And you had me in tears! Hope it gets better! I know it will but yes some days you just want to shout at it all.

  2. Julianne, thank you for your honesty! It’s a beautiful and brave thing and so are you. Love that you can be grateful and funny and frustrated all at once. Will be praying that your wee one will be able to get some sleep.

  3. Thanks, Julianne, for sharing the “bad and the ugly.” I’ve never had to deal with an infant in Africa so I can’t empathize fully but you did a good job of describing what it’s like. Thanks again for being brave enough to share.


  4. Hi You guys – am sure sure the heat is tough on all of you. I know it’s your heart’s passion to both be down there with your kids serving and loving people. God has given you the strength governed by your passion to endure such times. I secretly pray that God will give you a heart to come back here some day soon. There are a remnant few that really enjoyed your wisdom and insight and contribution to home church. I am a better person for it and I thank you and miss you both!

  5. You are indeed a strong woman! Keep it up. Thanks for sharing your stories with us. I did shed some tears because l can imagine how hard it can be. Always know we are praying for you and your family. Hugs

  6. What a great post huli…I feel your heat and pain…it’s funny..I understand the loneliness thing as well. For some reason it can feel just as real hear in the middle of everyone…I can’t imagine how it must feel out there. Don’t forget…this too shall pass…the heat will come and the rain will eventually come…find a shining light in the darkness…enjoy and celebrate your beautiful children even hen you don’t feel like it cause your dripping….I wish so bad I could mail you a big tub of mint chocqte chip ice cream,….i send things to my sister in law in South Africa and nothing ver gets there…is that the same with you ….or can your recieve mail?..

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