Life · Uncategorized

The Truth About Weekends

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.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “The Truth About Weekends

  1. Hi Ms. Mango, this sounds so frustrating, and I’m sorry there’s such a cycle of hope and disappointment. Your children sound like angels though when it comes to helping you feel a little better. Are you usually left with all the chores during the week, while your husband is at work? And how do you feel about completing the chores vs. playing with the family on the weekends? I hope questions aren’t too forward! Feel better soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Honestly the hardest part about chores is learning to accept a little lower of a standard of what is clean and tidy. Mr. Mango helps a lot with things like taking out the trash and vacuuming, things I just can’t manage without issues. I’m sure him and the kids would be fine living in a bit more of a mess but certain things like dishes piling up or the bathroom getting dirty really egg at my anxiety. So I get them done somehow pain or not. I do feel jipped or guilty sometimes, putting getting stuff done ahead of having fun but I guess I also assume that parents both chronically ill, or not feel that way from time to time. A lot of the time my body can handle chores better than more active play so it makes sense for the ‘healthy’ parent to do that part.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that’s super hard! How do you go and clean just half the bathtub right? I actually started keeping one of those ikea brushes with the suction head in the tub, and every (other or…three) day(s), I’ll just lightly brush the rim of the tub to get the scum off. Then maybe once every two weeks, I just let the Scrubbing Bubbles do its magic. 🙂 I’m glad Mr. Mango helps with the vacuuming and the trash. So you both have chronic illnesses? And your kids (all of them) are definitely old enough to wipe down the sink area after brushing their teeth every night and to help with the dishes. And you can even make washing the dishes somewhat of a fun family activity too so you’re not missing out (did anybody say soapy hand bubbles??) 🙂 Hugs!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for the tub tip, learning little tricks to make jobs faster and less work is becoming a very important life saver. Thankfully Mr. Mango is in relatively good health, he’s being seen for some cardiovascular issues (asthma possibly) but other than that just the aches and pains of a now desk job. I definitely have to start including the kids in little chores more, even if its just washing down the table. What kid doesn’t like bubble of any kind!! xoxo

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yea! (What adult doesn’t like bubbles too! :p) I hope you and Mr. Mango are able to find new ways to maintain your health and wellbeing as the challenges come along. In terms of the desk job, please feel free to have Mr. Mango send me a pic of him in his workstation and I can help give some quick pointers on how to adjust his desk to it’s more ergonomically fit for him, lessening his aches and pains. No pressure, I hear some people are shy hehe. My thoughts are with you guys!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. You paint such a clear and poignant picture of the way that chronic illness impacts a whole family. This was was heartbreaking but so important to share! Mr. Mango sounds like an amazing individual, a complement to your own strength. My thoughts are with you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

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