The quad and I are kid free until Thursday. Holy crap, what do we do?!?!?! We have no idea… Seriously, we have no idea. I did get two movies that the kid will never be able to see until she’s our age and a bottle of wine but well, now that she’s gone, the house is so empty and quiet and we’re at a loss of what to do. And I realize that this is what life would be life if we didn’t have a child… I guess… I mean, we’ve essentially made a life around our child. Although, no, she does not rule the roost and we do plenty without her. but she’s so much a part of our life that it’s tough without her. And it shows me a world that I’m not sure I really like… one without a child. and as hard as the first few years were with her being so small (she was just 6 months old when the quad was injured), I realize now that I would never EVER give that or her up.
Yes, the first few years were incredibly difficult. As a new mom, without a second set of hands, I thought that I was going to crumble. and fail. and let down my child… There I was, 28 years old, married for only 2 years, with a quadriplegic to care for AND a 6 month old. WHAT?!?!?! I cried. a lot. I felt guilty. A LOT. I still do sometimes… I was stressed and depressed and scared and didn’t know what to do half the time. And honestly, as hard as this is to admit, I wasn’t a good parent for a while. Hell, I wasn’t even really a parent for a few months… My mom stepped in and helped out with the kid while we were in rehab and when we first moved home. And without her being there, I don’t know what I would have done. I could barely take care of myself since I was so focused on the quad that there was no way I could care for our kid. Looking back, I’ve dealt with the guilt and have moved forward and think that I’m a damn good parent at this point.
Our child has taught me so much about being a mother and a person. She is the most amazing individual that I have ever met and we’re so lucky to have her in our life and are lucky she was there when the quad was injured. Let’s be honest here… the quad wouldn’t have gotten so much better without her there. Yes, he wanted to do it for me but having your child as a reason to get better and healthy again is so much more motivation. and still is for him… Having her there forced us to go outside of our comfort zone and visit places, do things, see people, participate in life again. How can you tell your kid that you don’t want to go get ice cream since you’re scared of what will happen and what people will say and you hate the staring? We couldn’t. And even if we could, we refused. We both needed to show our child that no matter what happens, you need to live your life to the best of your ability. So we tried and over time, it became easier and easier and easier. And now, I no longer care about the stares. I don’t care about the time or what could happen (which never does) and we live a pretty good life.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m kind of excited, as a mom, to have some free time. To not have a kid banging on the bathroom door while I’m trying to have some quiet time. To not have to worry about getting her ready in the morning while also getting myself. To not have to put someone to bed at a certain time and instead just be able to have quiet time ALL EVENING LONG WHEN I GET HOME. Yes, I’m excited about it. But this break makes me realize how much I love my child and love having her in our life and how much she means to us and what she’s done for us… I hope that one day she realizes how much she saved us both… especially me. There were times when I was willing to give it all up since things were too hard. But the thought of her dealing with that and knowing her mom gave up pulled me back from the edge and kept me going. Her love is my medicine and is the best medicine at that.