Putting in Mom Hours

I’ve been putting in a lot of Mom Hours lately. You know, days when one doesn’t even get a solid fifteen-minute break.  (Not to say anything of the night.)

Of course it’s been busier than usual with the selling of our home and the purchasing of another, but it’s more than that. It’s the start of a new school year with many new elements thrown in. For example, two of our children are now attending a brick and mortar school, which requires more driving. And I am still homeschooling three others with a Toddler and a Baby bouncing along in the background.

And somebody has to make sure supper is on the table.

Now, I like doing all these things. But I don’t like that my 9-year-old son suffers from migraines. This throws me for a loop every time. I can always sense when one is coming on because I find him sitting on the couch, not moving. Then, there’s a glassy look in his eyes. Then, he doesn’t want to eat, which is a constant worry for me because he only weighs 60 pounds to begin with. And finally, within an hour of that, it’s an all-out migraine.

His migraines last anywhere from 4-10 hours. And they almost always end in vomiting. Last week, as he was throwing up in the toilet, I was moved to tears. He was so weak that when he finished, he simply slumped to the floor and lay there.

I felt helpless. I finished scrubbing the toilet and turned to him and said, “I’m so sorry that you’re hurting. I wish I could take it away.” Then he got up and looked at me with his big, sunken-in eyes and said quietly, “Mom, you are not meant to suffer migraines. I am. It is God’s will.” And he slowly walked back to the couch.

It is God’s will.

He’s right, and I have a lot to learn from him. Even while he was clutching the toilet, he was praying for my cousin who suffers from alcoholism. Surely God hears the prayers of the little suffering children. It was painfully beautiful to witness.

If only I would remember to pray during my hardships – my sleepless nights of insomnia, for example. For the Office of Compline reminds me, “In the silent hours of the night, bless the Lord.”

And again in Psalm 91, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.””

My God, in whom I trust. To whom would I rather go?

It is God’s will that my son suffers migraines, and it is my lot to care for him. It is also God’s will that I suffer from insomnia. And yes, it means putting in long Mom Hours. This is no 9-5 vocation after all, and it requires a lot of sacrifice and prayer.

Kim Heilman and her husband live in the cold, cold north where they are raising seven children.  She is a stay-at-home mom and is thankful for such things as coffee, wine, and the Catholic Church.  Her conversion story may be found in Ascension Press's Amazing Grace for Families book.  She also blogs at Musings From the Home.