I lost almost three years of mothering.
I’m not bitter. I’m not complaining. It’s just how life worked out.
From the morning in January of 2013 when Cee woke up and couldn’t walk…everything, everything changed.
No warning. No notice. Just the unrelenting, all-consuming pain of a four year old.
All the sudden I didn’t know who I was. I had recently quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom, and I loved spending my days painting, reading, and baking with the kids.
But then we couldn’t paint. We couldn’t read. We couldn’t bake. Once in a blue moon I could coax Cee off the couch for a few minutes to paint before she got too tired. Sometimes she would tolerate reading, but it was hard to focus. Mister Rogers took the edge off, so she spent a lot of time with him and Ms. Frizzle. And early on we figured out that sugar exacerbated her pain, so the baking stopped.
I was good at my job when I was working outside the home. I was *briefly* good at staying home. Suddenly, I was just a not so great nurse-advocate-housekeeper. It necessarily engrossed me. All my energy was spent scheduling and attending doctor appointments, discussing lab results and medications, giving shots, doing research, and trying to keep everyone fed and in clean underwear.
It didn’t matter how many times I would tell myself that life is a gift. It was still hard. Almost all the time.
Over the past year, things have slowly improved. Cee’s health has stabilized. The gray in her skin has grown into a rosy pink. She limps when she’s tired, not all the time. She laughs now.
I’m not just a nurse-advocate-housekeeper anymore, though it takes effort to keep from slipping back into that role. I can’t pick up where I left off before Cee’s diagnosis, though, because the game has changed. I’m still learning how to function in this new world.
The moments I treasure as a mom are the deep belly laughs, the little smiles, and the slow, slow, slow, contented blinking as kids finally give into sleep. The inside jokes our family shares about the books we read, the songs we hear, and the places we go. The times when things go right and the kids feel like they belong, like they are needed, like they are loved. These are the crown jewels of motherhood.
Here at Sweeping Up Joy: Loving the Life Behind the Mess, I create a community of intentional motherhood by finding humor and beauty in the mundane. Choosing happiness isn’t always easy, but it is always the best choice.
So set down the broom for a minute and enjoy a smile at the knowledge that your kids aren’t the only ones doing weird things. Understand that you’re not alone, and we can get through this mothering thing together–even when it doesn’t quite look the way we expected. Especially when it doesn’t quite look the way we expected.
Linking up with the CWBN “Why I Blog” hop.