Motherhood doesn’t come easy to me. I love being a mother and love my children. Motherhood doesn’t come easy to me because I’m sick. I’m sick with Lyme disease. It’s chronic, it’s life changing, its motherhood altering.
Most days I’m so fatigued, tired, even exhausted that I barely trudge through the duties of motherhood, not leaving much left for enjoyment. I get about a good two hours of activity per day and then I’m done. The rest of the day I’m going through the motions. Some days, I’m cranky from the exhaustion. Some days, patience isn’t a friend of mine.
I don’t remember what it was like to be a healthy mother. I’ve been sick 6 years. I wish I could remember what it was like to have energy all day long. I wish I could bring back to remembrance what it was like to have a stock pile of patience. I just don’t remember. I know it was there – energy and patience – but I don’t recall how it felt to be a healthy mother.
I am laying on the couch, fatigued. Air hunger, pain in my feet, exhaustion. My muscles are burning and weak, and my brain is foggy. I feel flu-like. Dash just ran down the hall in a rage, throwing things, crying, slamming his door. I yell out from the couch to stop, he screams more. I drag myself from the couch, walk down the hall, count to ten, trying to remain calm. I tell him to stop. He doesn’t. I tell him louder, stop! He flings himself on his bed and cries that I hurt his feelings. I exhale, walk to him, pat his back and say I’m sorry I hurt his feelings. I walk back down the hall and flop on the couch, tears welling up in my eyes, tired of the constant fight he and I go through.
Then there are good days. Those glimpses of hope that God gives me to keep me going, keep me fighting, keep me working so so hard to be a good mother and enjoy motherhood. I take the kids for a short walk. I breathe in the spring air. I rub the tops of their heads, and have sweet conversations with them. I don’t just go through the motions, I actually have the energy to enjoy the motions, the moments, the time spent with my babies.
Having a chronic illness and being a mother don’t go hand-in-hand. They just don’t. It would be much easier to be sick if I wasn’t a mother. I could sleep all day and night. I could stay on the couch the entire day. I could let myself get and remain cranky and not worry about how it would affect my kids.
I’m so happy I have children during this fight for my health. Yes it would be easier if I didn’t have the responsibility of children right now but if I didn’t have them in my life I wouldn’t push myself, I wouldn’t see how much mind over matter works, I wouldn’t laugh as much, or feel as many emotions, I wouldn’t have a reason to get up and face each day, and wouldn’t see how strong and determined I am.
My children give me meaning, they give me hope, they keep me going, they force me to meet each day, they give me purpose, and hope. Most days they tire me and push my body far, some days they push me so far I cry from exhaustion, but the love and enjoyment they give me far outweigh the exhaustion.
Motherhood is a hard job for anyone. When you throw a chronic, life changing disease on top of it, it’s the hardest thing you will ever do, pushing your body, and mind, and emotions past the breaking point daily. Motherhood is hard for me, and on me, and I certainly don’t get it right every day, but I love my children, I enjoy my children, I would live and die for my children, lose sleep for my children, push my body for my children, and fight for my health for my children.
I am so thankful I’m a mother.
I’m so grateful to have these little pieces of the best parts of me and my husband.
I love them dearly, enjoy them much, and am indebted to them – for without them I wouldn’t do anything but sleep my life away. They are forcing me to live my life. I love them for that. Even if some days all I wish I could do is lay in bed and never get up.