Let me start by saying I love my family. If these past couple years have taught me anything. It’s that I’d do anything, go anywhere, change everything just to make them feel happy, loved and special. It’s just not enough anymore. My symptoms have grown frequent and severe enough that whether its a good day or bad day, Mommy just can’t do everything or anything anymore.
We consist of a pack of 5. Mr. Mango and I, our oldest Buddy (9) the brainiac, Princess (5) the stubborn sister, and Little Dude (almost 3) either the spawn of Satan or the cutest little angel you would ever meet (seriously terrible twos with this one…..). We are an insane bunch of personality, quirk and passion.
Back in the day, especially before Little Dude came around we were just getting our life together. Mr Mango and I had quit smoking, lost weight and were eating healthy. Our weekends were filled with amazing active family and couple time. Going for 10k walks around the zoo and local parks, camping, tobogganing, roughhousing, goofing around, days at the beach, you name it.
Fast forward to now. I’m lucky if I can mentally, emotionally and physically make it through grocery shopping, making supper and watching a movie. Oh the guilt I feel.
I see the expression on Mr. Mango’s face as I wince from having to bend for a can of tomato sauce. I hear Buddy tell his younger brother to quiet down because Mommy’s head is hurting and they can’t play like that. I watch as they all bundle up to go play outside in the fresh snow, while I’m warming up my hot pack ready to take a rest from the exhausting morning chores instead of joining in.
Week days are still hard during a flare, don’t get me wrong. I think a big difference is they are much more scheduled and there just isn’t the same expectation of fun, games and activity as the 48 hours of no school and no work. No one is there to see me take a minute to get up from scrubbing the toilet, or writhe in pain from stomach cramps because apparently there is some new trigger food in our current diet. I have time to figure it out for myself, without feeling judged or causing disappointment.
As Friday approaches every week, I hope, I pray that this time it will be different. That I’ll feel good enough that we can keep plans to do something fun, epic, memorable. By Sunday morning I feel guilty, ashamed and honestly like they’d be better off without me. Either because I had to cancel plans or sit out of fun, or because I’ve pushed myself too much already and am dealing with the consequences.
Don’t get me wrong, for an active guy and 3 kids under 10 they are super understanding and for the most part handle it better than I would have ever expected. We still manage to make some memories (not that the brain fog lets ME remember) or at least have some moments of easy going fun. More like easy going enough that I can hide what I’m feeling inside, and pretend like everything is alright.
It just somehow always ends with feeling frustrated, agitated, anxious and yearning for Monday to come, where at least I can be miserable in peace.
While I worry that this repetitive cycle is going to effect the kids in the long run (especially during our long Canadian winter when both the physical and mental symptoms are usually worse), it really is a more active problem for Mr. Mango and I. He feels guilty for pushing, I feel guilty for needing to slow down, cancel and sit out. A lot of the time leaving us both frustrated, angry and stressed.
He looks so forward to his weekends, especially when work is busy and stupid all week and he doesn’t even see daylight for 5 days straight and I feel like I kill it for him. Yet every weekend is the same, he has hope, he feels passion, he makes plans, he tries to make the most of it.
I hope for our sake and the sake of the kids that he can keep that hopefulness up through the worst of this. Someday I hope to love weekends again. Someday I hope to look forward to making the most of our two days together.
Until then…. I hate weekends.