Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Was I stumped or stubborn?

The most recent dilemma in the Gorman household has been the question of childcare once KitKat arrives. (And by childcare, I mean hiring someone to come in and help out every day here at the Gorman homestead. I'm not ready to let Deirdre out of my clutches yet, and KitKat hasn't even arrived, so that baby isn't going anywhere soon!)


Johnny and I both acknowledge that I'm going to need help with the kids - sleepless nights and running on empty all day long are not recipes for flare-free living. So, as we did when Deirdre was born, we're committed to hiring someone to come in and lend a hand. Back then, we hired a wonderful woman named Leticia for 4 hours a day (from 1-5pm)...and it worked out great! She understood just the kind of help we needed - someone to help with the baby as well as do the little things around the house that I just didn't have the energy or time to do - laundry, dishes, dinners, etc. She was respectful of my need to sleep, and definitely played a role in keeping me out of flare territory. AND she treated Deirdre like one of her own. We couldn't have asked for anything more.


But now that we'll have two, I'm not sure that half a day is going to be enough. In fact, as of today, I'm absolutely positive it's not. But it took a bit of soul searching to come to that conclusion.

For the last week, I've struggled with the idea of hiring full time help. I was trying every which way to create a plan that would work with just a part-time person, but to no avail. I couldn't figure out how to make it happen, but truth was, I just didn't want to admit I would need anything more than the last time. I'm an active, relatively healthy woman - why shouldn't I be just as capable as the next mom? Why should we have to pay someone to do what I should be able to do myself?

And that's when I knew I needed to take a step back, and think about all of the lessons I've learned in my life with lupus. That the reason I am capable, active and healthy is because I take the steps to ensure that I stay that way. And that includes asking for help when I need it, and accepting it with open arms. That's what living well is all about - physically maintaining a good, healthy lifestyle, but also (and sometimes, most importantly), achieving an emotional understanding of what that requires and then making it happen. Putting pride, stubbornness, and determination aside in order to make room for smart, methodical, well-crafted decisions that help me stay healthy - that's the name of the game.

Looking at it another way (and isn't there always "another way"?) - if hiring full time help enables me, a lupus patient, to have and raise two lovely children, to be able to play with them, love them, and care for them as only a mother can - why should I even hesitate? This decision, one that requires that I put aside my pre-conceived notions of what I should be capable of or what I imagine every other mom can do on her own, requires nothing more than a mind shift on my part. Johnny's on board, my family's on board...don't you think it's time "Mom" got on board?

Consider it done.

Of course, I'm not going to claim that there weren't a few tears involved...but that's fair and to be expected. As my girlfriend says (and as I describe in my book), we're entitled to grieve for ourselves, at least a little bit. Those tears and emotional outpourings simply make room for the joy and happiness that come from living well, despite our disease. And if hiring someone to help out all day long paves the way for that happiness, I'm all for it.

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