Listening

When you totally overdo it at the theme park and need to take a break. Back at the car, in the shade, with a breeze. Nap time!
This recovery process is so much about rest, and paying attention when my body says no. Today I pushed a bit too far, and my body shouted “NO”. My ankles looked like they belonged to an elephant, and my walking heart rate was far too high.
It’s hard to tell your kids, “Sorry, we have to go sit in the car and be bored for a while – mommy is not feeling well” especially at an amusement park. It was the first fun day out of the house for them in a while. Thankfully, they understand.
A big part of me hates that they understand. That they have had to learn how to handle a life with a sick parent. That they have had to handle fear, grief, loss, anxiety, hospitals, and hospice. BUT they have, and I can’t change that. I can simply support them, nurture them, and help they grow through this. I can show them how to fight, how to thrive, how to be caring, how to cry, how to help, and how to be brave.
I can also show them how to be aware of their own limitations, and how to care for themselves. As parents we often put the care of others ahead of the care of ourselves. It’s just a part of parenting, and a part of being a kind person. I want my children to be caring and unselfish. However, self care is not to be ignored. Keeping ourselves healthy and balanced allows us to better care for others. I want my children to understand that it is not only ok to take a break, to say no, and to make time for themselves, but that it is important to do those things. I want them to listen to the signals their mind and bodies send to them, and to act on those signals.
Being a sick mom isn’t a picnic, but it is an opportunity for growth.

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