Last week sucked. Seriously, it sucked. I was fighting a sore throat for a few days, and waited a few more days to finally get to the doctor (typical mom). The weekend hit, and I couldn’t wait any longer. Off to urgent care we went. Strep throat. Home with antibiotics. Unfortunately…the next day, I felt even worse. Ended up in the ER for a few hours, and then back home to bed. Again. And that’s where I stayed. For six days. That’s one hundred and forty-four hours in bed, people.
That’s a lot of time to think. And as mommies, we usually don’t have more than a few minutes a day (if that) to think quietly. And so, I must share with you today some wisdom that I gained while simultaneously sweating and shivering in my sheets.
1.You never stop needing your mom. And your grandma. I honestly have no idea what I would have done without my mom last week. While I buried my head in my pillow and struggled to swallow three ounces of water, my mom was doing everything that I normally do (and actually more). She took my son to pre-school, took care of the other two while he was there, did the laundry, fed them lunch, cleaned (and more importantly, disinfected) my house, and bought groceries for my husband and children to eat. And this, of course, is in addition to going to her job. For the moments she couldn’t be there, my grandma came to the rescue. We are so, so blessed to have so many people who love us and help us when we need it most. My aunts, cousin, and best friend also made stops at my house last week to drop off milk, watch the kids for a minute, and help out.
2.Mommies shouldn’t be allowed to get sick. I honestly think we should propose this law to Congress or something. Moms of little children should not be allowed to get sick. Even with all of the help I had, I still felt completely overwhelmed at the thought of all of the things I needed to be doing when I couldn’t even lift my head to kiss them goodnight. Our jobs as moms are literally 24-7, and when our bodies let us down and we can’t do any of the necessary tasks, life just seems to spiral out of control. Mommies shouldn’t get sick.
3.Six days without food is six days too long. This is a pretty obvious statement, but for me in particular, this hits home. I love to eat. I am a grazer, a snacker, a eat-something-every-forty-seven-minutes type of girl. After all of those days with absolutely no appetite, I am now going on a feeding frenzy. For the past twenty-four hours, I have been eating non-stop. Snacks, meals, more snacks, more meals…everything tastes delicious, and I will soon have filled up the entire six-day space in my stomach, for sure.
4.Sometimes, it’s hard to stay away from your work. And by “work”, I mean this lovely blog of ours! My passion for all of you amazing readers is borderline obsessive…when I realized I had gone eight hours without so much as picking up my phone off the charger, my heart skipped a beat. I was dreaming about my emails, the ICMB Facebook page, and our upcoming charity race. I realize this is a problem, and to be honest those six days were really a wake-up call for me. When it became literally impossible to type an email (no, seriously…in addition to my illness, the ER nurse completely blew through a vein in my hand with the IV and my hand swelled up twice its size and turned completely black…I told you, I was a hot mess!), I realized that my inbox will actually still be there in a few hours, and I don’t have to respond immediately to every single message. This was a revelation for me!
5.Your kids can (and will) survive without you. I actually learned this lesson the hard way, back when I was pregnant with my daughter. I had a terrible pregnancy, and was on and off bedrest the entire time. Watching everyone else take care of my boys while I sat around on the couch was literally the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Mommy guilt can really take a toll on us, can’t it? But, in the end, I realized that I was doing what was best for my kids. Instead of setting them on the couch all day to watch movies because mommy couldn’t carry them or do things, they were out walking to the park with family members and eating dinner with their cousins. And loving it. And the hardest part? To realize that they really are OK without me; that someone else really can take care of them. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but the sweetest thing for me is that, although they can survive without me, they don’t want to. In fact, they wanted their mommy back very quickly last week, and in my fever-induced daze, I smiled at the thought of holding them.
6.Be VERY careful what you wish for. Another lesson learned on bedrest, and revisited this past week. I’ve told my friends, “If I ever tell you I just want a day or two to lay on the couch and do nothing, please slap me in the face”. I do not want that. I may think I do, and I may even dare to say it again, but don’t listen to me when I do. There is nothing I wanted more last week than to get out of that stupid bed and start washing my kids’ laundry and making their lunch, and I don’t even care how crazy that sounds. I value my health, my ability to take care of them, and my time to spend watching them grow. It is exhausting, draining, unbelievably challenging, and by far the hardest thing I’ll ever attempt to do in my life, but I would not have it any other way. (Although I definitely wouldn’t complain about six or seven minutes to sit on the couch without someone slapping someone else…is that too much to ask?)
Some deep life lessons learned in the bed last week, my friends. Sometimes our bodies have to speak up, when the rest of us won’t listen. I needed to slow down, I needed to get better, and I needed my family. I hope that it doesn’t take a disgusting case of strep throat for you ladies to cherish the moments of motherhood, but whatever it takes, just do it. I’d love to hear what you would add to the list…any thoughts?