I’ll spare you all the details, but it’s been over 6 weeks since all four members of our family were well at the same time. We’ve passed around a terrible cough, Benjamin’s asthma has been bad, and now Lucy has the cough/fever. And here’s the thing, having sick children completely exhausts me. Sure, the bajillion night wakings due to illness wear me out (I think last night’s count was 4 wakings for Benjamin and 6 for Lucy) but I also find caring for my sick babies emotionally exhausting. I keep second guessing myself. Do they need to see the pediatrician? Is this just a little bug that will pass or something more serious? Will the Dr. try to give them antibiotics they don’t need? Is that a cough from congestion or a wheezy asthma cough? I worry about my sick babies and I get exhausted from dealing with the constant crankiness a sick 3-year-old exudes after several days of being cooped up and sick.
When Daniel was leaving this morning at 7am, I told him, “I don’t know if I can do this again today. I don’t know if I can make it til bedtime.”
It was one of those mornings that you’re so tired that it just hurts to be awake. Maybe part of the reason I felt grumpy was that I was woken up in the middle of a weird dream that I was being chased by centaurs and giants (that’s what I get for falling asleep to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on audiobook, amirite?!).
I poured myself a cup of coffee and saw that we had leftover heavy whipping cream from last night’s pasta recipe and went for it. (Mmmm) I was generally bemoaning how hard my task as a mother has been for the past couple of weeks. Then it hit me: I get to stay home and care for my sick babies. I don’t have to leave them with anyone else and worry about how they’re faring, whether Lucy’s fever is higher or whether Benjamin’s breathing is more labored. I get to be here. I don’t have to scramble to make arrangements because they’re too sick to go to daycare. I don’t have to find a sub or do remote work from home to make up for not being at the office. I just get to take care of my sick babies. And that shift changed everthing.
I lit a candle and put on the Cheiftains because Lucy loves to dance to their music. And the sweet girl danced even though she has a fever of 101.5. We snuggled down with blankets and read picture books. Lucy nursed back to sleep and Benjamin and I made a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast while she napped.
I decided to say “no” to feeling sorry for myself and saying yes to the following today:
- “Will you snuggle with me?”
- “Will you sing me a song?”
- “Can you read to us?”
- “Can I watch a movie?”
Sweet girl is a little more clingy and a little more sleepy from whatever bug/virus has been running rampant in our house. But still the world’s sweetest baby despite feeling icky.
And I’m going to remember that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but right here. Right now. And also that the day will be a success if everyone survives until Daddy gets home.