Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things I'm happy to sacrifice

Everyone tells you that being a parent is the most selfless thing you'll ever do, but like everything else, you never really get it until it happens to you. Honestly, it's hard to even know what it means to be selfless until you are a parent. And I'd wager that what it means to you is vastly different pre and post children.

When we had Madelyn our life didn't really change. Sure we lost some sleep and the ability to travel without 19 suitcases and a monstrous SUV, but we still traveled. We could both easily take off for an afternoon to have some alone time because managing one kiddo is relatively easy...especially, you realize, once you have two.

With Davis things are very very different. Though he looks healthy, happy, and thriving, he is still a 13 week old baby with a heart condition. And this has taken the meaning of selfless sacrifice to a whole new level.

We have very little social life because our sweet boy isn't supposed to be around a lot of people, especially children who could potentially be sick. We've forgone holiday parties, playdates, and even church for his safety (and per doctor's orders). What this usually means is that Matt and Madelyn attend all of the fun things and me and little D stay home. This is actually ok with me-knowing that this is our last baby I want to soak up all of his sweetness as long as I can- and it certainly isn't fair that Madelyn suffer because of her brother's health obstacles.

We don't eat out. We used to love to go out for Mexican or hit up a burger joint on a Saturday night, now we stick to once-a-week Chick-Fil-A drive through that we can bring home. I can't just throw him in the car and run up to the grocery store or Target because those are the other venues the doctors would prefer he avoid. It's just too risky to have him in those environments, especially during this time of year.

Once we were sure of Davis' diagnosis we knew our life would truly never be the same. He can't attend daycare due to the dangers of illness so we've hired a nanny to stay home with him while I work. This is obviously an unplanned financial burden but one we're happy to take on, given that it means we are home with him and the alternative would be waiting for a heart transplant in the hospital. We've completely given up our peace of mind. We can't ever fully relax and assume he is "ok" because we just don't know.

His sweet sister can't even kiss her own brother for fear of what she might be carrying, so she sweetly kisses his toes and his head until we *hopefully* find out, some time down the road, that he's fully recovered.

I'm not saying these things to complain, in fact quite the opposite. It's amazing what you can give up without even a second thought for the sake of your children. Sure I'd love to take Davis out to eat or to a Christmas party where I can show him off to everyone we know--part of the joy of having children is being able to share them with people-but I know right now my selfish wants have to take a backseat to his well being and I am 100% ok with that. I thank God every day for my two little monkeys, and if it means I have to drink my wine at home with Matt instead of in a fancy restaurant, that is fine with me.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I can relate except I am a new mom of one. Our lives were completely thrown upside down when our daughter had a hard time breathing through her nose at birth. We also spent time in the NICU (9 long days!) and at 2 months, she had surgery. Only now at 4 months are we allowed by the doctors to take her anywhere. I lived my life from our living room most of the time (and dr's offices!). I hope at some point we'll be "normal" and not worry about every tiny germ, but in the meantime, I'm happy to be the crazy mom with antibacterial gel at every moment for myself and for anyone who wants to touch my baby! Small price to pay for protecting my little one!

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