Let your dream be battered
This wasn't my dream.
I had never planned to be a stay at home mother. I went to college for four years and had a job that I was great at and that I enjoyed. I dreamt of sending my son off to daycare so he could socialize. I imagined returning to work after maternity leave and picking him up after a days work, with him filthy from playing all day and full of stories and smiles. I pictured him being a wild little boy who would run around and keep me active. I couldn't wait for this dream life I established in my head while I was pregnant. How we would spend weekends at the local state park, sharing picnics and carrying him through nature in a pack on my back. I thought of what he would look like and how fun it was going to be to see him outside running around on our three acres of land beside his dogs. My little boy was going to be active and one who loved the outdoors as much as I do.
We all have thoughts and dreams. Expectations of how our future will be. Often we get caught up in those plans and are so eager for them to play out exactly how we want them to. Life's about dreaming after all, isn't it? I guess if you'd ask me that question two years ago, that would've been my response.
My current situation at home is what others might call different. "How do you do it?" is a question that's often accompanied by a head shake from someone who truly can't wrap their imagination around what my normal is. Some might think I'm part of a lucky tribe of parents that are financially fortunate enough to "be able" to stay home with my 22 month old son. I get a lot of mixed assumptions and opinions from others. Mostly I'm surrounded by encouraging messages and words from others who tell me how "great" I'm doing at this whole mom thing.
There are moments when I feel like I haven't stepped out of sweatpants all week (mostly when I'm folding my laundry and noticing how there's not a sign of jeans or anything more than a big t-shirt and leggings in the basket). I have times where I wonder where the heck my day went when dinner time is here and I have nothing prepared. Some days are so filled with e-mails and calls from different specialists, therapies and other entities that service my sons medical needs that I picture sending my phone with a hefty throw in the garbage. On rare occasions I keep my head above water and just keep kicking my legs to stay afloat.
Most normal days here? I can't imagine my life heading in any other direction than being here with him. I've learned that being present is so important than any dream I've manifested prior to having him. I never would have believed anyone if they predicted I'd be staying home with my son when he's nearing age 2.
If I've ever felt anything more solid than being a stay at home mother, I can't place a name to it. I thought that who I was was so filled with what I did for work, what I spent my weekends getting into, and planning out dreams that had to pan out how I envisioned them. I will always be me. I'll always have my own interests and things that fulfill me. Being able to stay at home with my son is what I'm most thankful to be. I am so proud to be able to watch him grow, develop, and not miss out on the days that aren't going to last forever. He trumps any accomplishment I've had in my 28 years. Being able to work with him to sit, crawl, eat by mouth, stand, and rehabilitate him holds more meaning to me than any paycheck could ever bring in. My normal is pretty rewarding. I watch him smile and grab for toys using skills I wondered if he would ever develop. It brings me immense fullness in my heart. This little boy who has battled his entire life for good health and stability( due to a congenital defect and genetic syndrome) is worth every ounce that goes into his needs. Those needs require 24 hour care, and I am more than okay with that.
In our home we practice constant advocating and helping our son rehabilitate. Meanwhile we know that the world outside of our medical miracle at home is full of people speeding through life.
If I could offer up one question to ask yourself:
What are your dreams? It could be one thing. It could be several. Now imagine that dream is an expensive car you've saved up for for a very long time... Kick the car. Cruise down a dirt road after a rainy day and get it covered in mud. Let a tree branch fall and crack the windshield. Drive over a nail and let it embed into the tire. The car still runs, doesn't it?
Here's what I mean:
You have this thing that you've manifested would be perfect. You spent so much time saving up for that car. The truth is that after you purchase the car is where the real work begins. It takes maintenance, patience, and a little roughing of the edges to know how the car will run and to truly make it yours. To make all of that effort worth while. As soon as you drive the car off of the lot, no one else will ever have that exact car. It won't run like yours, it won't even compare. The scuffs and handle of the car have uniquely added character that is priceless. If you choose to look at it in just the right lighting, you'll see it's beauty.
My kid isn't a car. Similar to that dream car though, is the planning and dreams I had prior to his arrival. After many changes to the plans I made and unpredictable medical complications that have surfaced, my dream is far better than any that I could have dreamt of. Let your dream be a little battered. Let it be shaken up, stirred or covered in dirt. It might find its way of being the most remarkable dream you've ever had. Mine is.
-Dee - Founder and proud owner of My Hero Calls me Mama