Well, I finally got a break from my babes . . . in the form of pneumonia! I was shocked when Dr. S (whom I love and adore) told me I had pneumonia. And it was not just a touch of pneumonia. It was the kind that I couldn’t catch my breath. At 2am, I thought my nose was just stuffy until I tried breathing from my mouth and couldn’t take a deep breath. I was very scared when my inhaler wasn’t working longer than 20 minutes. What healthy, young-ish person gets pneumonia?!?! It sound so 19th century. Oh, I know! A mom of a preschooler and demanding baby who wore herself down, that’s who! All those times I would silently (and sometimes not-so-silently) pray for a break, and I finally got one. I decided to take this as a little nudge from the universe to take some time to reassess how my life was going. These were the reflections from my sick bed:
- I will never underestimate what I do again. Ever. I turned the lives of three people (five if you count the babes) because one, little person couldn’t do her job. Harrington was running the babes to my parents’ house before and after work. He was taking Marie to preschool during his lunch. My parents (when they weren’t running Marie around to preschool) turned their house into a daycare facility for Marie and Thomas. I knew I did a lot, but to see how it took three people to fill in for me on my sick days really put things into perspective. (And it really did feel like I was calling in sick. I was sitting on the couch watching movies and the clock wondering if they day was running smoothly and according to plan, much like I did when I called in sick as a teacher).
- My babes actually do miss me. I thought they viewed me as that cranky lady who killed all the fun in the house. When Marie said she wanted to be just like me, I thought she might have Stockholm syndrome since I am always nagging her to wipe her nose with a Kleenex rather than the back of her hand or put her toys away. Nathan probably thought I was a jail warden for all the time he spent in his crib not sleeping. When I saw how needy and clingy they were after a two-day absence, I was surprised. Maybe I’m not the fun police that I often feel like I am.
- Along that same theme, I thought Marie was going to love preschool. She loved it the first week, however, there was a change of heart when I couldn’t bring. She cried because she wanted me to take her. She also cried the week after when I could take her, but perhaps that was from an undisclosed ear infection. I understand that mommies are important, but sometimes it’s easy to take that for granted when I am always there.
- So during my sick days, I was able to watch Ellen in peace. DAMN! She looks awesome! I hope I get better looking with age (especially since my birthday is in a few weeks)!
So I felt with all the stress of Marie being sick and Thomas’s sleep issues, I was starting to feel upset ; upset because I was not present and enjoying them. After not being able to take care of them and seeing that what I do really matters, I’ll think twice before letting my frustration get too overwhelming. Which brings up another matter. I am really upset that I let myself get this rundown. I think if I was just grownup enough to say, “I need a break.” And by break I don’t mean a Target run for diapers. I mean a real break away so I can rest and recharge. So I am going to have to carve out a plan and put a premium on it so catching 19th century illnesses doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
Do you ask for help when you need it? How do you recharge your batteries?