As a mom who is chronically ill this is something I repeatedly hear from oldest child and I’m sure my youngest is soon to follow. It’s something that hurts so deep in my soul that every time I hear my kids say it, it tears me up inside. Can you imagine living everyday in so much pain that it effects your ability to parent? I couldn’t and didn’t but it surely does. It effects my ability to be fully in the moment with my own children. It is definitely not something I had envisioned for myself as a mother that is for damn sure.
The guilt of not being whole for my kids is 100% real. My almost 3 year old doesn’t fully realize yet why I cannot chase him. He doesn’t get why I can’t lay on the floor and look at bugs with him. He doesn’t realize why I cannot pick him up and fly him around the house like an airplane or run fast like Sonic. He doesn’t realize why mommy has to lay down so much to rest. All he sees is Me and he’s wants me to be able to do what he can, WITH him.
As I thought about what my life would be like as a mom, I had always thought I’d be able to run, skip and hike with my kids. I thought I’d be able to teach my daughter how to do cartwheels and play jump rope. I thought I’d be able to dance with her and teach her how to hula hoop, ride a bike and rollerblade like I did growing up. I pictured myself sliding on a slip-n-slide with them. I pictured myself doing cannon balls in the pool, playing kick ball, badminton and tag with them. So while I had all these dreams of what I thought my journey as mother would be like, my body has decided to go a whole different route.
Despite living my life this way and knowing this is permanent and adjusting as I go, it is still so hurtful and raw each time a moment comes along that I cannot be what they want and “need”. Every time my kids play, I sit on the sidelines, literally and just watch. While I am blessed that I can still be with my kids and be in their presence, I cannot lie and say that it doesn’t hurt my heart knowing I cannot join in the fun.
Damn you Chronic illness for affecting every aspect of my life and taking memories I had always wanted as a mom away from me.