I woke up bleary eyed and silenced my alarm. Sighing I slipped out of bed trying to move my heavy limbs as quietly as I could down the stairs. I missed most of the squeaky spots, but I cringed as I misjudged and a creaky stair interrupted the sleeping silence. I padded my way into the kitchen, the cold tiles firm against my bare feet and pulled out a bag from the fridge.
I flipped the light on in the dining room and sat down with my supplies at the table. A quick squirt from my purelle and I put my hands to autopilot. Alcohol prep. It’s early, early enough that the sun gently rises to my left gearing up to bathe the room in a golden glow. Saline flush. I’m tired and my body aches from a poor decision involving an overpriced mattress. Alcohol Prep. I’d love to go back to bed but I know I need to do this first. I’m tired of feeling tired and so I push through this. Hook up IV. Open clamps. Now we wait.
I continue on with my internal monologue sitting alone in my empty dining room. Important questions arise; should I have my morning coffee now? Or wait until I catch another hour of sleep after this med finishes up. I’ll wait, on the off chance it inhibits my precious sleeping.
I sit, mindlessly scrolling through pretty snapshot of Instagram; carefully cultivated perfection in a small 2×2 square centered on my ipad, when it hits me. The doubt. The self scrutiny. The self inflicted disappointment. I read a book recently that asked, “what could you do with an extra hour a day?” Well, I had one… not by choice, but I had one. And all I could do was scroll through pictures that falsified the reality of life.
I looked around disheartened. My table didn’t have a cute vignette, or fresh flowers and instead it was smothered in countless water stains from game night beers and a small mountain of medical trash. I sat in my chair knowing my hair that I haven’t washed in more days than I care to admit wasn’t perfectly coiffed into the coveted messy bun, but rather was the more literal sense of a messy bun. I was foolishly pining after a life made up of tiny, filter ridden photos… when I had my own, very unique life. So why couldn’t I come to own it. Why did I feel the need to feel badly about wasting my hour scrolling through pretty pictures? They are just that. pretty pictures. they represent a daydream and fantasy life. But I don’t have a fantasy life, I have this one. I have one filled with a blonde haired little girl, who keeps her sounds close and chooses with careful analysis when to give out her smiles. I have a life filled with sarcastic witty banter between myself and my caring husband. I have a life filled with an extra hour of IV medicines–for now.
Mothering with an invisible, chronic illness can sometimes feel limiting, unfair and isolating. Mothers in general question everything we do; are we raising our children correctly, are we providing the best environment to thrive, am I enough? But I am enough. My daughter is loved, fed, clothed and happy. She laughs, cries and I am enough. We snuggle, we read, and I hug her close when she needs it. I am enough. I may cough and rest while she plays, but I am enough. Some days we have outdoor adventures, and times when my energy doesn’t allow, we stay inside…but I am enough. Sometimes I can’t do it by myself, but I am enough. I am enough. I am not perfect, but I am enough. I will always be her mother, heart filled with laughter and love, and I will always be enough.