Welcome to our new and improved series here on the blog. We have loved celebrating our mom wins these last couple of years. It’s one of our favorite parts of Texting the Truth! But sometimes it feels like a win can be hard to come by. And even when we “win” at something, we know it might just be one of many battles we fight on our journey through motherhood. So we’ve decided to update our “Mom Win Wednesday” series to reflect this journey, the moving from one victory to the next. “Moms in Progress” will be our new space to share through texts about moms like you who are on the road of progress not perfection. If you’d like to share a little bit of your journey please click here and answer a few simple questions. We will take care of the rest! And so without further ado our first (of many) Moms in Progress…
Today we are excited to introduce Lauren Hattinger to the Texting the Truth community!
Thanks, Katie. Glad to be here.
I have been blessed by your friendship ever since our college days! But, can you introduce yourself to our readers by sharing a little about your family?
Of course. My family consists of my husband, Scott, and I and our two daughters. Gwen is 4.5 years and Ava is 3 years old.
Paint a picture for us of what daily life has been like for you over the past few years.
I live with the connective tissue condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which causes my joints to slip and pop out of place. It’s painful and, at times, completely disabling.
Towards the end of my second pregnancy, though, I had symphysis pubis dysfunction and plenty of back pain. After Ava was born, I had much more back pain and trouble walking. When I couldn’t lift my legs enough to climb the stairs at home, I knew something was terribly wrong. Turns out my pelvic joints were separated and completely unstable to a degree usually only seen in high impact car accidents or falling off a horse!
Oh, my! I’m sure that is not how you expected your postpartum days to look!
Unexpected for sure! I ended up using a walker to get around my house for 4 months. I barely managed to feed my baby and put her down in the pack n’ play two steps away. I couldn’t care for my toddler. I sat by helplessly while she threw tantrums. I had no idea how to parent a toddler in normal circumstances, let alone while being disabled. Satan hurled doubt at me every hour of every day. I was weak and weary, confused why God would let this happen.
About 3 weeks postpartum, I was trying to fall back to sleep after a night time feed. In that moment, I felt God reveal to me why my pelvis had to break apart. During labor my daughter was in distress with a tight umbilical cord, and she needed to come quickly. God chose the natural route for her – which meant I needed to break. I could accept the why, but questions about how my family would survive this season loomed and threatened my sanity.
So what did you do?
We started to accept and hire help to care for my toddler. And I started intensive physical therapy. I had to relearn how to walk. How to pivot while carrying a crying newborn back and forth across the room – baby in one arm and cane in the other. We came up with practical strategies – step stools and ladders for everything my toddler needed to get into – her chair, her bed, the car. Two years after giving birth I completed physical therapy. I no longer have to calculate the worthiness of each step before I take it. Praise God!
So do you feel like God was teaching you anything during those years when life and motherhood didn’t seem to be turning out the way you planned or expected?
Definitely! My natural bent is towards a type A personality in school, work, and raising children (I’m type B when it comes to housekeeping, though! 😉) Although I knew God was ultimately in control, I almost thought that with enough forethought and planning I could determine my family’s fate. I could keep us safe from harm and mold my children into obedient lovers of Christ from the beginning.
Then, when I couldn’t even walk, I went from being an overachiever to little more than a source of milk for my baby. God used this circumstance to humble me and draw me to depend on him for strength. It is written in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that Christ’s strength is made perfect in weakness. But how? What does that mean when you can’t put one foot in front of the other?
I still ponder this verse. At times it is uplifting and makes sense to me, and in weaker moments I am just confused and seeking an answer.
Yes! You and I were just talking about that verse the other day!
At times in my life, I have missed the truth that I am not God, there is only one God. And that I do not have the power to change circumstances or people. Only He can do his divine work in our lives. Accepting my humble position as servant and not as master has been an ongoing process that I wrestle with daily.
I’ve lived with Ehlers Danlos my whole life, even before I knew the name for it. I always persevered to accomplish my goals. Becoming a parent stopped me in my tracks (literally, ha!). I now acknowledge that I have a physical disability. I can’t believe I said it out loud. I have to parent differently. My house functions differently. I still strive to do more than I possibly should. But I finally have come to rest in the Lord and share the burden with him.
Do you have any words of encouragement for other moms who are in the trenches?
You know, I have read a lot of parenting books – maybe 20 or so. You could say I’ve been obsessed with learning everything I can and putting it into practice (hello, type A). I still find all those insights from parenting authors helpful, but really letting go and trusting God with my children has been the biggest blessing of all. Put off guilt, judgement, self-loathing, and condemnation and rejoice that He has the power and love to transform your littles into who he wants them to be.
I keep this plaque of Psalm 145:8 by my kitchen sink:
As moms, we need to accept grace – really. The Lord is not sitting on your shoulder waiting to crack the whip. He is slow to anger and lavishing heaps of love on you.
So true and words I need to really let sink into my own heart on a daily basis! Before we go here, what is a mom win that you would text to a friend?
“It only took one Crazin to get my toddler into the carseat!” Even with a broken pelvis, at first, I refused to bribe my children to cooperate. But one day I realized that bribes would not ruin my children. It’s one Crazin to complete one task of getting my toddler to climb by herself into the carseat. It means in that moment, I won’t dislocate my shoulder or my hip trying to wrangle her in. And that is a WIN.