“I can’t wait until you’re healed because then you’ll be a regular mom again.” Nothing stabs or encourages like the honesty of a child. Eli said this to me a couple of days ago and my immediate reaction was a knife to the gut. Before I allowed tears to drip down my face, I calmly (sort of) asked him what he meant. He said, “Well, you know, now you have to sleep a lot and when you’re healed you won’t. Then you’ll be able to do stuff like regular moms do.”
Oh how I hated hearing this. Eli meant no harm and I am THRILLED that he truly believes this cancer will be gone some day. I really should focus on this but, as I’ve said many times, I love being a mom. I’ve never had any regrets about choosing to stay home and raise my brood. It makes me sad that for 2 1/2 of Eli’s 8 years, I have been on chemo. I doubt he even remembers what it was like to have a “regular” mom.
To be honest, I don’t exactly remember what my days were like pre-chemo. What I do remember is super high productivity even late into the night. I was high-productivity obsessed and it wasn’t healthy. But it made me feel good. Feel successful. Everything was spit shined and organized before I turned in for the night. And there was almost never dirty laundry because I was washing it almost daily. At one time, a long, long time ago, I actually ironed all our shirts. Plus, I was cooking regularly, taking part in a Bible study, and homeschooled with field trips. I expected a lot of myself and was discouraged if I didn’t meet my own expectations.
Contrast that to today...it’s literally a 180. I look at that list now and think “how in the heck did I do it all?” No wonder Eli doesn’t see me as a “regular mom”. But I also know he compares current day me to what he sees other moms doing with their kids. Baking, cooking dinner, going on fun adventures...interacting more. Not sleeping away a day, or doing school from mama’s bed, and he almost never sees me at the stove.
I have dealt with massive guilt about not “being there” for my boys in the way I think I should. That’s why the comment stung so much but I can’t change what’s happened and I have no desire to be the intense person I once was. I’ve seen growth in other areas of the boys’ lives that wouldn’t have happened had we not all gone through this journey together. I’m hoping once all this cancer is gone, I can be about a 90 (instead of 180). That to me will be success and my new “regular mom” norm.