I've written previously about what I would tell a younger me. This morning I was thinking about what I would want to tell the "now" me in ten years. Without the life experience, I cannot be certain, but I think it'd go something like this:
1. Take care of yourself. You already know good health is not a given. It is not heroic to put everyone else's needs above yours, especially since their biggest need is for you to be well. The rest of this list does not matter if you are not.
2. Sleep is great, but there will come a day when you long for early morning cuddles with a sleepy baby who looks at you like nothing else matters in this world.
3. You are doing a good job. I know it's a daily struggle working full-time while rearing two children. I know you feel guilty a lot, but I also know you are doing the very best you know how to do....and they know it too.
4. I realize stepping on a toy in the middle of the night is startling and sometimes painful. However, again, there will come a day when you will miss little things like this. Try to smile when it happens, and store it for a day when you are lonesome.
5. Nurture your marriage. I promise they will grow and move on to other interests and people. It would be horrible to wake up and realize you live with a stranger. Take time together, just the two of you. Make sure he knows you love him, not only in your words but also in action.
6. They will be okay. They have you in their corner (along with the small village you've helped build). I know you want to protect them from all things, but part of making them well-adjusted and happy people is helping them navigate a world which is inherently a study in yin and yang. They must know some sadness to truly appreciate joy, some fear to stay safe and understand security. They must endure some scrapes and bruises to experience the pride that comes with finally mastering something. If you are there to help them pick up and dust off through it all, they will be okay.
7. You are more than a mother. You are a wife, friend, colleague, daughter and sister as well. The people in your life who truly care about you are those you need to expend the energy upon. The relationships you have and foster, and the memories you make along the way are what makes life worth living.
I'm sure I will have more to say to me when the day comes, but I think if I bear these things in mind along the way, I will be proud of myself when I get there!
Friday, April 5, 2013
As soon as I started this blog and started talking about my son, lots of moms reached out to me to talk about their own children. We all hope and pray that our children will be born with ten fingers and toes, functioning eyes, ears, nose and everything in between. When that doesn't happen, there are a lot of feeling that go along with it. Some of those feelings, however, are taboo. Some you think you aren't supposed to have, and some you just don't feel like anyone else could understand. So...you keep them inside and don't talk about them, and sometimes that just sucks.
I recently had a conversation with another mommy. Not every part of her child's body functions the way in which it was intended. We talked about a lot of things regarding our children, and I felt I was able to be honest with her about some of my feelings, fears and frustrations. She did the same. We talked about insurance, and some of the ridiculous things people say or do regarding our children.
I walked away from that conversation breathing a little sigh of relief. Truth be told, it changed nothing about my son's condition, treatment or possible outcomes. What it did, however, was bolster his mother for one more fight with insurance, one more explanation about his treatment, or one more night holding my child while he's in pain.
I encourage parents to TALK to one another. About all of it. I promise you are not the only person who has felt the way you do, is scared of what you fear, or feels frustrated. It feels better, in some ways, to know someone really does understand how you feel. I'm glad mommies reach out to me because of this blog, and I hope even one conversation has helped one mommy the way my recent conversation helped me.