It’s been a tough week at home.
Ruby’s illness is wearing me down. Having to put a smile on my face and assume the role of ensuring everyone is happy is really really hard. Especially when I don’t feel that happy.
My own perfectionism doesn’t help. I want the house to run as always. I want the boys to do their homework as always. I want the fridge full with healthy foods. I want life to be like it used to be.
And try as I do it just can’t be as it always was.
The boys whilst coping brilliantly are also cracking. They are angry. Angry at Ruby getting all the attention? Ruby getting all the presents!? Me being absent for a week at a time? Angry at their lives changing? Angry because I am more angry? It’s a vicious circle really.
And maybe I am trying too hard to mend the cracks rather than see the cracks and acknowledge them and perhaps embrace them and move on. Takes a lot to mend crack after crack after crack. Especially when the cracks keep happening!
And then we walked into the hospital and saw Caitlin who is around 15 years old and her mum and dad. We met them months ago. Caitlin has cancer but something different to Ruby. She won’t loose her hair but she is sick.
Her mum was covering her face and then apologised. One side of her face was droopy. She said stress had done this to her. I know this all too well. My mum had this happen to her once when she was visiting me. Painful. Scary.
Caitlin’s mum looked sad. She acknowledged she is stressed. She apologised for her face over and over.
And then it hit me.
I have certainly had a hard week but it’s meant to be hard. Other mums and dads are finding it hard. I don’t have to pretend I’m ok. I don’t have to pretend I’m strong. I am allowed to cry. It’s good to cry and let it out.
Life is pretty low. I feel super low but by acknowledging that sad feeling, I feel better. I need to stay strong for Ruby and the boys. And I need to stay strong for me. I don’t want to get sick.
This week is going to be hard but it’s the last week of this stage. I will focus on that and cry if I want to. And Laugh when I can. And breathe a lot. And look forward to Thursday when we get out. Fingers crossed.
Caitlin’s mum focused me on the importance of seeing the “up”. Breathing and releasing the stress when possible. Your health is your wealth. Feeling up not down will get me through this.