Parenting is not for sissies. Parenting when you have a chronic illness is a whole different, much more complicated, ball game. So what is parenting with chronic really like? It involves scheduling like this:
7:00 am- Time to get my daughter up and ready for school. My body likes the midnight- 10 am sleep schedule, but since the school system doesn’t follow my body’s schedule I’m up a creek.
8:00-9:00 am- Lay on couch while my son sits on my back as he watches cartoons. I hear the theme song to “Jake and the Neverland Pirates” in my nightmares.
9:00 am- Guilt of letting my son watch tv for an hour forces me to turn off the tv and play with him for a while. He’s such a goofball he makes me smile and laugh. I’m glad I expended the energy to play with him.
10:00 am- Hmmm, I can kind of smell myself, do I have enough energy to take a shower? A bath is less tiring, but I’m can’t exactly take a bath with my three year old. I guess I settle for a three minute shower punctuated by “Mom, Mom, MOM!” every three seconds.
10:30 am- How bad do my arms hurt? Should I blow dry my hair or mop the kitchen? My OCD tendencies win out and I opt to put my hair in a pony tail and decide to mop the kitchen.
11:30 am- I really need to go to the store but I’m not sure if I have the energy to shop with a three year old. All we have left in the fridge is broccoli and oranges, so I really should go to the store.
12:30 pm- After I unload the groceries I collapse on the couch in exhaustion. My son jumps on me and begs for lunch. I beg for three minutes to lay down in peace, but it’s a no go with my hyper three year old. I make lunch for him but am too tired to clean up after him or make lunch for me.
1:00- I lay on couch again while I let my son play the kindle. I feel guilty about my terrible parenting the whole time. My son however is happy as a clam.
3:00- My daughter gets home from school and I spend the next half hour feeding both kids while my daughter begs and begs to have a friend over because she never gets to have friends and I apparently want her to never have fun ever again (she says this on a regular basis since apparently having her friends over the last three days in a row doesn’t count as letting her have fun).
3:30- I give in and let my daughter have another friend over. I spend the next two hours picking up messes and running interference between my kids (my son wants to play too, my daughter doesn’t want her little brother following her around).
5:00- Start dinner a midst whining of “I’m hungry” “When is dinner going to be ready?” “Why don’t you make anything good?” “Do you not love me because you never make anything I like!” (Note, the foods on the like list are: spaghetti, macaroni from a box, and alfredo noodles with no chicken. Not exactly culinary variety)
6:00- Dinner is done. Kids are still whining about being hungry because they refuse to eat the amazing meal I just made them from scratch. They’ve managed to spill half of they were served on the floor even though they didn’t actually eat it. I’m two seconds away from completely losing it and locking myself in the bathroom so I can pee alone. Unfortunately I know they would just bang on the door and scream “when are you coming out, I’m hungry!”
6:30-7:30- Homework and bath time. I’m running on empty at this point and I can no longer handle the whining. I’m just holding on for dear life until bedtime. Somewhere in this time range my husband will most likely come home (there’s never a guarantee though). Luckily he appreciates the awesome dinner I made which is nice. After he eats round two of dinner clean up begins, because that’s my life.
7:30-9:30- Battle for bedtime begins. My daughter is wonderful and generally goes to sleep very quickly. My son has never been able to sleep appropriate amounts so even though he can barely keep his eyes open he bounces around for hours before he collapses into exhaustion.
9:30- I attempt to use my child free time to get something accomplished.
10:30- Too tired to get anything accomplished so I go to bed. Before I do I tiptoe into my kids room and look at them while they are sleeping. They are so freaking adorable I can’t wait to be with them the next day (there is something magical about looking at kids when they are sleeping, it somehow makes parenting all worth it).
12:00- Still awake because I hurt to much.
1:00 am- Still awake, oh crap I’m going to be so tired tomorrow!
2:00 am- Apparently I fell asleep because my sleepwalking husband just woke me up.
3:00 am- Can’t go back to sleep
4:00 am- Still awake
5:00 am- Still awake
7:00 am- Alarm goes off, press snooze.
It starts all over again. It’s a good thing I love my kids, I don’t know what I’d do without them.