I’m at home, sitting on a couch that is half full of clean laundry. Diaper laundry to be specific, with the occasional pair of pants and sock thrown in the mix. Instead of folding it, I kick my feet up on the pile of diapers, as if they are one with the couch cushion. My baby is napping in the other room and I could think of a million things to do with my time other than folding laundry. So I sit here with cold hands and my sweater accidentally inside out, and scarf down a muffin, banana and peanut butter, not knowing how long I have to myself. I type away at the laptop, seizing the silence. It’s just me and the computer. For now.
At 12 months of age, Gunther recently started “sleeping through the nap” (er, some days) and I am loving the new change! Some days I fix myself lunch while he naps. Some days I do housework. Some days I get lost on Facebook. Other days I rest alongside him. But every day, I want to kick my feet up with coffee in hand and watch a meaningless chick flick.
Because this parenting thing? It is hard. Especially when dealing with a chronic illness.
As a mom, I’m constantly fighting a balance of what I want to do and what I need to do. All I feel like doing is lying down – all day, every day. This week in particular, my head has been spinning in a vertigo-like trance. I’ve had migraines galore. I struggle to find my balance. Each step hurts. But instead of lying down, I stand for the majority of the day, preparing meals, doing laundry, and chasing around a walking one year old. What’s more, I basically do a cardio workout for every nap and bedtime. G won’t fall asleep otherwise. So I breastfeed him while rocking, bouncing, and dancing with energy I literally do not have. By the time he falls asleep, I’m often too exhausted to get up or even to think. I cherish the quiet moments, knowing they won’t last long. Lying still, my knees and feet radiate with pain. Pain that was there all along, but went unnoticed until the moment my body stopped moving.
I honestly feel like superwoman at the end of every day. I don’t know how I do it. The energy comes from no where. Then again, that must be incorrect because it has to come from somewhere, right? I believe it comes from within me, from the mama bear part of me. Because no matter how much my head is throbbing, I can’t let my baby climb over the couch. Or go hungry. Or cry himself to sleep. No, I must put his needs above mine on a daily basis. The present me is exhausted, but I also know that all of the work and effort is very much worth it. Not because he is cute, but because I love him. And this is what love is: caring for one another. Even through the sickness and the storms, we can love each other tenderly.
Happy Friday friends.