Living with cancer has forced me to know my limitations, even though it conflicts with my “can-do” personality. I simply can’t be everything to everyone, and that’s OK. So when fighting medication side effects and juggling doctor appointments, sometimes normal life tasks like folding laundry or running errands have to take a backseat.
When I take Henry to Mother’s Day Out two days a week, most of the moms there are dressed for busy days filled with yoga and lunch dates. Me? Well, I’m either dressed to go downtown for a doctor’s appointment, or I look like I just rolled out of bed, threw on some clothes and let my kid eat a PB&J for breakfast in the car.
Last week Henry needed an Easter basket for his classroom Easter egg hunt. Since anything he gets his hands on will be thrown, kicked, filled with dirt and possibly even chewed on, I picked out what I thought was the perfect Easter basket for the two-year old wild man: a plastic bucket with a picture of a yellow chic on the side. Then I held my head high as I placed his bucket on the table next to all the fancy pink and white gingham fabric-lined Easter baskets… apparently I was the only mom in his class who ran to the dollar store to cross that to-do item off her list!
Before I was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, I was able to “power thru” when I was tired or not feeling my best. But that’s just not the case anymore, and now if I overdo it, I suffer from what we call, “hitting the wall,” because my body will quite literally STOP. Energy has become my most valuable commodity, and the more I spend running all over town searching for the perfect school bag, the less I have to spend with the people I love. Do you think Henry cares if his school bag has his name handwritten in black marker instead of monogrammed with cute letters? Because I KNOW he cares when Mom is too tired to play cars with him on the dining room floor!
Even though my pride hates to admit it, I have officially removed myself from the Super Mom competition. Because when I have to choose between spending time with my two favorite guys or looking like the mom who has it all together, my guys will win every time.
So if you see me in the grocery store, and Henry’s wearing his reindeer pajamas in April because it was the last clean shirt in his drawer, don’t judge until after you see the big grin on his face. He may not have Super Mom, but he is one happy kid. And that’s all that matters to me.
Carrie Corey was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at age 29 and with a stage 4 recurrence in 2012 at the age of 31. She is a wife and new mom living in Dallas, and will be reporting frequently on her cancer experiences.