As a stay at home mom of two young kids, I’ve got a lot to handle. Cleaning the house, cooking up a storm, changing diapers, chasing troublemakers and calming meltdowns. But since I’m at home, I always feel like I should be able to handle everything. I’m home almost all day. Why shouldn’t I get all the chores done? In my head I feel like a stepford mom. In my wildest dreams, my house would always be clean and organized. I’d always have a healthy dinner on the table that everyone would actually eat. My kids would get lots of playtime and I’d take them everywhere. Theyre only little for a little while right?
In reality, it’s not that easy. If I decide to sit down and work on some bills, my back starts to hurt from sitting too long. So then I’ll have to get comfy and rest a bit. If I try to clean the bathroom, my back will be roaring in pain by the time I’m done. So then I have to rest a bit. Whenever I need to do laundry, same thing. My back. Bending and folding and climbing three flights of stairs into my apartment multiple times… You know the drill by now. Same goes with any sort of cleaning, cooking, organizing. As I sit and type this, my lower back is already starting to protest. By the time I’m done, my neck will hurt from the angle I’m looking at the computer. I can’t win here.
So when I have people over, or I’m out somewhere and someone lovingly tells me to take it easy, or be careful when I try to lift something, I ignore them. When I’m playing a little too rough with the kids and someone tells me to be careful not to hurt myself, I smile, tell them I’m fine and play on. Especially when it comes to my kids. When they were babies, I would rock them for hours just to keep them happy. If my son was crying from colic, I’d be up half the night rocking him until I was sobbing in pain. Quietly, because he was finally asleep. I’ve made it such a habit to play with them however I want that I’ve noticed people have stopped warning me to slow down!
But I want my loved ones to know why. It’s not that I don’t appreciate your concern. It’s not because I think you are being nosey or judgy. I know that people only say it because they are concerned for me. But here’s the thing. If I do too much in a day, yes, I’ll be in pain.
“But pain is just pain.”
I’m not trying to sound tough. The truth is that I’m used to it, and I’ve missed out on too much already because I went through life slowly, afraid to hurt myself. I’m done doing that. Life is gonna keep going on with or without me and God knows, I’ve got plenty of other issues holding me back from living it. So when it comes down to it, I know that roughhousing with my kids is gonna cost me later. I know that cleaning my bathrooms today is gonna have me laying down with a heating pad before bed. I know that walking around a zoo or a fair for hours is gonna cause back spasms and that making snowmen in the cold will make my arthritis flare up. But pain is temporary. Just like life. Just like my little babies that are less little every day. When they are grown, my kids won’t remember me popping aleve with breakfast and dinner. They won’t remember my heating pads and my groans of pain after a long day. I don’t show them those things.
So yes, I know that how I live makes me hurt. But in the end, it’s more than worth it.