2 vs. 1: Overcoming The Overwhelming

For the better part of a decade, my husband and I had made it a point to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day. One, because we both feel it’s sort of a silly, gimmicky holiday to begin with, and two, we have decided to come up with our own day each year around Valentine’s to celebrate our unique love story.

For the better part of a decade, my husband and I had made it a point to not celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day. One, because we both feel it’s sort of a silly, gimmicky holiday to begin with, and two, we have decided to come up with our own day each year around Valentine’s to celebrate our unique love story.

This year, however, plans were made for us.

On February 14th, at 7:07am Eastern Standard Time, we welcomed our second son, Michael Antonio, into this world. God blessed us with a healthy 9lb 2oz baby boy, ten sweet little fingers and ten sweet little toes. He was the best Valentine’s Day gift (Psalm 127:3) either my husband or I could have asked for.

The first two weeks at home as a family were bliss. But sadly my husband’s paternity leave couldn’t last forever, and suddenly I found myself on my own with two under two.

The first couple of days went more or less okay, but soon enough the laundry piled up, as well as the dishes, toys and books remained scattered on the living room floor, which I honestly can’t remember vacuuming since we brought our youngest home. The incoming mail stacked up, library books went weeks and months overdue…basically all of my stay-at-home mom duties (aside from keeping the children alive) began to overpower me.

When my husband returned to work, I had tried to get back into my freelancing, along with my personal and ghostwriting projects. These were difficult enough to complete with one small child, but add a cluster feeding infant to the whirlwind shenanigans of an all-too-curious and prone to cabin fever 18-month old and sure enough the deadlines I struggled to meet before were missed completely.

In the moments I’ve had to myself that aren’t spent sweeping up cereal bar crumbs or wiping up spittle, I try to sit down and get some writing done. However, more often than not I end up staring at the screen, unable to get my fingers to type for me, as my mind is either reeling with the questions of the day (Was I an okay mom today? Are the kids okay? Etc, etc), or totally blue screening as I fall asleep with my eyes open.

To keep long story relatively short, this past month and a half I’ve found myself feeling totally overwhelmed, wondering how I’m ever going to keep up with anything ever again.

My oldest son has a baby book of Psalms that he loves and has asked me to read to him often for as long as he’s been able to ask for things. One of the passages that has always resonated with me is Psalm 6 verses 8 and 9, which says, “The Lord has heart my sobbing. The Lord has heard my cry for his favor.”

And I’m not going to lie, I’ve been sobbing, and I’ve been crying for the Lord’s favor.

In the moments I have needed help the most, members of the village I’ve been blessed with have either reached out to me proactively, or when I’ve broken down and asked for help, have moved heaven and earth to come to my aid. God was answering my prayers in these moments, whether I’ve realized it or not.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts (Psalm 139:23).” Mom brain is real, you guys, and for a good few weeks I found myself unable to think straight, which I think contributed to my writer’s block and anxiety. And it’s gotten to the point where I find myself afraid to sit down to write or to tackle different projects around the house, and I continue to let it all overwhelm me.

But on nights like these, looking at my children sleeping peacefully (albeit at different bedtimes), knowing that they’re fed, clothed, sheltered, and on a good day even mentally, physically and spiritually enriched, I’m reminded that I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). Maybe some nights there might be a dish or two (or ten) left in the sink, and perhaps the laundry might stay in the basket for a bit, but one thing at a time.

A friend of mine who is a seasoned Dad of two said that parenting doesn’t get easier, it just gets different. I think the same can be applied to life in general. We are always going to be tested and presented with trials and challenges, and sometimes we’ll have so much going on that it feels impossible. But it will always be toward a greater purpose, and the One who presents us with these challenges will always be there to guide us.


I am so thankful for my loving, growing family. And in the years to come, my husband and I will now have a wonderful reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the actual day itself.

Melissa Ruiz

Old Millenial, Batman and Star Wars fan, Freelancer, New England Grrl, Mom, Christian, Geek.

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