My joints hurt. I’m literally always uncomfortable. Some days are better than others. Some days I can do gentle yoga. Some days any movement hurts. I recently received a special care package of soft and warm things to make living with pain more comfortable and I’m so thankful for how much easier it makes life. In the background, stuff still aches until I start the process to soothe again. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop because I feel like I need to for a minute.
There are still things to do, people to see, tasks to complete. There are memories to make, lessons to teach (and learn!) and a young life (or three, depending on the day) to participate with, and these things don’t wait just because I’m achey. It can be hard to remember to take a deep breath and not let the fatigue creep into my voice. I have to pause and make sure my reply is gentle and doesn’t betray that my body aches and I’m sleepy. How well that goes really depends on the day and it’s a work in progress.
I really don’t want to be remembered as the cranky mom, who was too tired to do fun things, who was snippy and short. I want to be associated with warmth and love and, above all, patience. I want to be receptive, open and the best mom I can be. I used to think my little dude might have been ripped off with a broken mama but I’m realizing this challenge can teach us all something.
We are learning about compassion. We are learning to exercise self-compassion and to have it for others. There are few things more important in a world that seems to lack empathy some days.
We are learning about self-care. We are learning to take the time to fuel our bodies, sleep the sleep and move when we can in a way that makes us feel good. We are learning to stop when the body says stop and go when we can and move and do things with intention.
We are learning patience with each other. Things might not happen when we want them to and we might have to wait. Life may move at a slower pace some days and that has to be okay.
We are learning about taking care of each other. We are learning how to make each other feel better, to offer to do things to make life easier and pick up the slack where appropriate. It’s about teamwork.
I don’t get to stop being a mommy just because my body hurts. I just have to learn how to be a mommy in a different way than I expected: gently, softly and with intention. While movement is uncomfortable, I’m still pushing forward to reach my goals.
And I hope my kid will too.