This is part of a series of posts about Silver Linings. There are a lot of shitty things about chronic illness, but there are some hidden surprises that are actually quite good. These are the good things.
On the last day of school my daughter slept in by about an hour and a half. And I let her because it was the last day of school. Nothing matters on the last day of school. She woke up and we immediately got in the car and drove my husband to work. Then we stopped at McDonald’s where she ate breakfast and we completed her entire morning routine in the McDonald’s bathroom. We have done this more times than I can count. I feel like a significant portion of my parenting occurs at McDonald’s. Play dates, dinners, breakfasts, timeouts, important life conversations, chicken nuggets – McDonald’s has it all.
Last week we went to the dragon boat festival to cheer on my husband’s office team. I packed a picnic lunch and sunscreen but didn’t even think of the fact that boats = beach. We found the beach and decided to swim anyway. In our clothes, with no towels. We just ditched out bottoms and away we went. Tshirts dry quickly.
I’ve always been the kind of mum that plans just enough to be able to do things on the fly. I keep enough stuff in my car and my bag that we are never really stranded. We can almost always make it work where we are. This has only intensified since being diagnosed with MG last year.
My ability to keep parenting like this is partly attributable to the fact that I’m not working right now, and partly because I have to keep a flexible attitude due to my ever shifting illness. So this is another hidden benefit of chronic illness. It shapes our rhythms and routines in a way that is very fitting for our family. It gives us a freedom and flexibility that we love. I didn’t expect that motherhood would be so influenced by MG in this way, but I’m thankful for the opportunities that have come out of it.