I hear it all the time: “You stay SO busy!!” I don’t know if people think my days are completely packed with activity, or if I just jump from one session of action to the next, or what. If you come to my house at any given day, you will find a load of clothes waiting to be folded, several more loads waiting to be washed, a dishwasher waiting to be unloaded and another load ready to go in, floors that need mopped…again, bathrooms that need cleaned…again, and on and on.
We have a large family….and I am in a wheelchair. The one makes a lot of mess, and the other makes it slow and hard to clean up. We homeschool, my hubby is in the ministry and I am always very involved with that, and my hubby and kids need this gals attention. So, how to get it all done and maintain some kind of sanity?
When I first became paralyzed I thought, “Oh my goodness! I thought I had problems getting this all figured out before….but now?!!” I felt defeated from the get-go. We brought in help to live with us for a few months at the very beginning, and she was a great girl. But…..everything I watched her do screamed that I could not do it. I felt replaced and useless. It was not her fault, it was mine. So, we asked her to go back to her parents. She still teases me that I fired her! I guess the reality is that instead of firing her, I hired me!
I knew that if I was still to be the wife and mom of this home that we were going to have to figure out how to make this ship run….as a family. I needed to be CEO and run my home. Some things I had to learn to do in my weird ways. Other things, I could not do and taught my children. I asked Jimmy to do more things than he had ever had to do because I couldn’t and only so much could be asked of the kids. Other things had to be delegated to outsiders to help us, but overall we figured it out.
A couple times when I thought I was going to die, I was so scared. I did not want to leave my babies. They needed their mommy! My mind started thinking about what I wanted them to remember the most about me. I know…it all sounds morbid now, but it was a reality then. I wanted them to grow up and remember a mom that lived in all of their moments with them. I wanted them to remember me celebrating every accomplishment with them, crying with their heartaches, cheer leading them in their struggles, and laughing with them in their joys.
To me, this is more than clapping at a ball game…although that is important. This is diving on a bed together for family chat, this is watching cartoons, this is holding hands with your sons and telling them how handsome they are and you are proud to be in public with them, this is wild makeup and nails put on by little girls, this is laughing at their corny jokes and begging for more, this is singing as loud as you can and harmonizing off-tune just to start the giggles, and this is learning how to let go and trust that teenager so they will learn confidence and experience the joy of getting to prove to mom and dad that they are trustworthy.
I hear people say that we aren’t to be friends with our children and I think that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. My kids are my dearest friends. I enjoy being with them. Like all friendships, you can’t smother one another and so I do need “me” time. But my kids need it too and I respect them back.
I thought paralysis was going to really affect my family and my responsibilities. I thought I was going to be changed and not the be mom I once was. I was right..but not the way I thought. It opened my eyes to the brevity of life and the short time I may have with my kids. It whisked away the cobwebs of procrastination about life and threw me into the arms of living every day with a wonderful appreciation for being alive and living out every moment. It has changed my life and I am so glad!
Chores will never stop growing, but my kids will. Am I busy? I guess some people can call it that. I call it living life…and enjoying every ounce I can squeeze out of it. .
As I am writing this, and getting a little me time while they are outside playing, my 4 year old just came in and said, “Mommy, you’ve got to come outside and see these animals!!!” ( they are lizards that his brothers caught). I would love to write more…but I gotta go. My little buddy needs me in his moment!