Saturday, September 26, 2009

Be Careful for What You Wish For and Other Reflections from My Sick Bed

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?


Anonymous said...

Hang in there on pneumonia! And promise to take care of yourself too, so that you can take care of the little ones.

I was attracted to your article because I truly believe in the Law of Attraction (the movie The Secret). There is one teacher who says that he's "going to be a little bit in your face and tell you that you did attract this sickness in your life." You've learned a lesson that you need to stop and take care of yourself. To heal, they say you need to watch a lot of funny movies and laugh a lot. Sickness can not be in a body that laughs a lot. I know it's a little bit "out there" in philosophy for some, but it's something to consider: that you can be in control of your health with your attitude. So smile and think of your "babes" and the wonderful people who have stepped in to fill your spot while in the hospital.

So the answer on how you recharge your batteries is to LAUGH. Get some romantic comedies or something to help you truly relax. It's good for your health.

Your twitter friend

P.S. Read the law of attraction!

Aunt Becky said...

Isn't it amazing how BORING it is to lay around being all sick? I PRAYED to be felled with something while I was pregnant with my last, and when I got stuck in the hospital with Mimi for 3 days? I spent it missing my kids so much that I cried. For 3 days. How PATHETIC is that?

Feel better soon, dude.

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Aunt Becky! So glad you visited my blog! Yeah, I felt pathetic, too. What's that all about?!?!

Annoymous, yes I have read The Secret. I do believe that people attract certain things in their lives. I also believe that some things were meant to be. But yes, I think my pace and stress level "attracted" an illness in my life. It just felt more profound than just being sick. Thanks for the comment!

Kendra said...

Good reminder! I too often think how great it would be just to have a break. But then we're talking about me going to a wedding next May by myself (rather than flying all five of us there--ouch!), and I can't imagine several days away from my kids!

I imagine you're feeling better now and hope that you don't get any more nasty illnesses. Truthfully I don't do anything to recharge--except complain, if you count that. But taking a moment to reflect on what you need and what you mean to the people in your life, that sounds like a very valuable use of your time!