My Little Reminder That “Family” Means We’re All In This Together

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I want to be supermom. I can’t help but think in my mind that I have to be. 

I recently had surgery and the doctor said I should not drive for two weeks, that I should not lift things over a pound, and should give myself six weeks to heal.  I gave myself four days and then I was back grocery shopping, back to work by day five, as well as full-on single mom duty.  I did great for a week.  Now I am realizing why the doctor puts limitations on us.  Because as a mom, I don’t do such a good job.

Yesterday, a little place on my incision looked a little irritated.  I didn’t even notice it until I was at the doctor for a post-op check-up.  Really doing a great job listening to my body aren’t I?  I hadn’t even taken enough time to notice the large, red swollen area.  I started the antibiotics and checked that off my list.  I can handle it.

This morning I got dressed for work, was pretty sore, and suddenly noticed blood all over my shirt (sorry to be so graphic).  Suddenly things clicked that I hurt because I had torn open a little part of my incision.  I can handle giving birth, my kids bleeding, or throwing up, but show me my blood and I was done.  I couldn’t figure out whether I was going to get sick or get in the car and get to the doctor.  Then I started crying.  These are the moments when I could do without being a single mom.  I missed having a partner.  I drove to the doctor’s office and convinced myself that everything will be fine.

My reality is that I have six amazing kids and I know that in my heart every moment of every day.   I am thrilled to pay my bills, but affording help is not on my radar.  At times, the enormity of it gets overwhelming.  I push myself like every mom.  Whether financially secure or a little shaky, we all face a ton of daily challenges.  Today it really hit me.  I am sore. I am trying to bounce back from surgery like it was no more than a skinned knee.  I am overwhelmed (like most of us are) and tonight, in between driving kids around, I just stopped and had a good cry in the car praying to understand the meaning in life. Then I went home to my noisy, chaotic house, which was overflowing with joyful kids and they stopped and stared (with my red eyes and runny nose) when I walked in the door. We are pretty open, so every once in a while I think it is okay to show them that sometimes even I have a meltdown.

We talked, shared, laughed, I cried a little more, and then they went into hyper-family mode. The big ones helping the little ones get ready for bed. The little ones were suddenly adoring their older siblings and hanging on their every word. I watched and listened and then it clicked.  I might be overwhelmed and a little worn out, but we will be just fine.

We are making it.  My children.  Me as their mom. The seven of us, we are finding our way.  And you know what? Tonight I realized that we really are doing it and we are doing it together.  As overwhelming as life can get, we will be okay.  I know this because tonight I saw what a family we are together.

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