My family is getting over a virus of butt-kicking proportions. No one was spared. I’d forgotten how crappy (and crabby) you feel with a fever. The next time one of my kids get one, I’ll try to be more patient and understanding.
Now in the recovery wreckage of a house needing a deep clean, I’m finding some unexpected wads (maybe even pearls) of something like wisdom:
#1: I heart TV. I try to be mindful with screen time for myself and the kiddos; I see it sap motivation and energy when we numb out. I’m not proud but I’ve judged the screen time of others. AND – TV was my BFF this past week. I’ve no idea how many hours we watched and I don’t care. When I could barely function and had to make sure young people weren’t playing with knives, the TV kept them entertained. I’m grateful. (And next time, I’ll skip thoughts on the screen time of others – who knows what they’ve got going on!)
#2: Sick = Unreasonable. I was going to note sick kids are unreasonable. Perhaps more accurate is sick people can be unreasonable. I may or may not have been the biggest grouch of all when I had a fever (okay, okay, I was). As I was on the upswing and my youngest was crashing, I found myself losing patience – and had to remind myself feeling sick sucks, and she was doing the best she could. She needed her mama, and I needed to be an adult and not take whining personally. If I did and it upset me, it was my own fault.
#3: Little things help. Hugs help. Rubbing a back helps. The little things we do to take care of ourselves day-to-day help (Rest, exercise, water, and whole foods aren’t guarantees you won’t get sick, but the point was driven home they stack the deck in your favor and help with feeling better sooner). Whatever you can do is great and enough. Do what you can.
#4: Very little is urgent. Man, I easily get caught in “this has to happen RIGHT NOW or the world might end!” – incapable of coherent thought and only enough energy for the bare bones (potty stops, food, and clean-ish clothing), I was reminded of what’s actually important and urgent, and what can wait (child says she needs to go potty: move; email, making beds, cleaning up toys: leave it).
#5: Early bedtimes ROCK. I try to get my kids to bed at a reasonable time. Most nights I fail miserably, trying to get one more thing done (or five). It may also have to do with a knee-jerk, hell no reaction to “rigid” schedules (after a no wiggle room structure to my days as a gymnast), but that’s my own issue to get over. Anyway, early bedtimes happened — and it was beautiful. Combined with #4, I’m going to do my darnedest to keep it up for me and the kids. More rest = a much, much less grumpy Robin.
#6: Kids change everything. I aim for food as medicine as much as possible, and save the hard stuff for when absolutely needed (hello infected spider bite on my kneecap last year; I was happy for antibiotics, though my behind is still bitter over the shot at urgent care).
When this virus hit me, I had a plan. When my kids got sick, I started to question, doubt, and worry – was I making the right decisions? Was I overreacting? I asked Dr. Google; I called the pediatrician. I talked to my husband. Then I worried and wondered some more.
When kids are involved, somehow the stakes change. Sure, mess up my own life. But mess up a child’s? Uh, no thank you. Parenting is beautiful and hard. I worry about what I’ve done and haven’t done. I worry about what another parent might think. I worry I’m screwing them up and then worry I’m not screwing them up enough (just kidding – I’m sure I’m doing plenty). I lose sleep, clean shirts, temper, and brain cells. And at the end of the day, I keep wanting to try harder, be better, do more. They are worth it. And in knowing, really knowing they are worth it, I see that I am too. So I continue to slog onward.
Anyway, that’s where I’ve been. Sending you a hug, sunshine, and if any sickness has bothered you, water, rest, and lots of Richard Scarry cartoons. 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts — what’s your favorite wad/pearl from the list? Or maybe you’ve discovered others in your own wreckage. Leave me a thought in the comments below.
To that end, I’m kicking off a free 10 Day Bust That Habit Challenge on May 15th. It’ll be virtual and schedule-friendly (an email a day with a quick activity to complete), you’ll have support, and maybe an aha! inspiration. If you’ve got a habit you’re ready to kick to the curb or one you’ve been trying to make stick, click here to join me and we’ll rock it together!