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My body aches. An undeniable ache that prevents me from being the fun mom I want to be. The fatigue sets in and my arms and legs feel heavy. For years, doctors told me that nothing was wrong. They did blood work and scans, and could never find anything. We kept fighting. I’m now told I have fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue, among other potential findings. It’s a relief to get a diagnosis, but still a struggle because there’s not much that is helping. It’s been getting worse over the years, and on top of that I now have a 2 year old. My duties as a SAHM include sitting on the floor, running around, squatting in front of the toilet seat with my daughter, etc. Long story short, I’m feeling the pain more than ever.
I try not to complain, but it’s written all over my face and my body language. A stranger wouldn’t know, but my husband knows me too well. My sweet husband asks me what’s wrong. He knows already, but he’s wanting the details of what hurts. He cares so much and desperately wants to fix the pain and help. He asks if he can do anything. Then he offers me the best gift he could offer…rest and silence. “Go lay down”, he says. “Go relax”, he says.
It happens so often, my daughter is taking on the concerned role as well. All on her own, she’ll ask, “How are you, Mama?” She’ll look at me and say “Go lay down, go relax, Mama.” She’s learning from her daddy, how to take care of me.
I hate taking them up on their offers. All I want to do is spend my evenings with the two of them, laughing and having fun. But the truth is, I need the rest. My body needs to heal. I’ve been up running around, playing, laughing, disciplining, cleaning, and trying to be the best mom I can be all day. By the time my husband is home, my body realizes the pain. The fatigue sets in badly. So after refusing for 30 minutes or so, I finally go.
I lay in the dark and put the heated blanket on to warm my body. It’s peaceful, it’s the first time all day that I haven’t been on mom duty or up getting things done around the house. It’s the first time I’ve sat without a care and felt the pain melt away. The heaviness in my limbs isn’t as noticeable when I’m not moving. The pain is better. I’m comfortable. Except now I feel the guilt. The guilt of not being with my family. I may need rest time, but I want family time.
If I had any sense at all, I’d not only stay comfortable in my quiet dark room, I’d lock the door! LOL I know all of the stay at home moms are out there saying “WOOHOO! Take advantage, Mama!”.
It’s not long before I hear my daughter come upstairs. They are playing in her room and I can hear her big playful stomps. I hear her talk about me “Mama is laying down upstairs”. I miss her. I miss my husband. It’s not long before my daughter or I crack and call for each other. I know I should rest, but suddenly my mouth opens and I call for her. I need to hear her laugh, feel her skin, feel like I’m not non-existent, since it feels like I’m so often gone to relax, lately. When she hears me call for her she gasps and says “Mama called!!!!”. “Yes,” says Daddy, “let’s go see where she is”. They come in and I am able to steal some cuddles and hugs for all of 2 seconds. “Come play please, Mama!”.
I mean how do you say no to that!? “Of course, I’ll come play!”.
For the few minutes that I’m taking advantage of the stillness and the silence, I realize how big the gift really was. Not only do I have such a loving, understanding, and caring husband that is providing me with the gift of relaxation, he’s being the best Daddy in the world, and teaching our daughter one of the most valuable lessons. He’s teaching her compassion. He’s teaching her to notice how other people feel, and how to take care of those around her.
Her little echoes of Daddy’s words, will soon blossom into her own understanding of compassion and caring. Her little echoes make me so proud to call this man my husband. His gift is so much bigger than he even realizes. I take so much comfort in that fact. While my pain hinders so many things, and is incredibly frustrating, it’s also given us this amazing teaching opportunity. Without even realizing it, he’s shaping her into a strong, compassionate, thoughtful and loving young girl.
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