I have been a sorry excuse for a mom today.
This morning I was awoken at 6 am with extreme and sudden nausea, running to the bathroom to dry heave. That’s a fun way to start the day! I kept trying to go back to sleep only to dream about throwing up and how sick I felt, then waking up to live it out in reality. What in the world!!?! I thought for sure it would just go away and I’d move on with the day.
I was wrong.
I fell asleep on the floor with my youngest baby snuggled into me, hoping that would be the trick to hit the reset button on this day. It wasn’t.
When we woke up about 45 minutes later, I literally had to throw my son down into his exersaucer and make a mad dash to the bathroom. I hoped after that, I’d feel fine and move on.
Again, I was wrong.
I felt like I had been sucker punched. Exhausted beyond anything reasonable, feeling like I’m 2 seconds from tossing my cookies at all times, and a headache that felt like 1,000 tiny men were inside of my skull, squeezing and beating my brain continuously. I took some medicine, to no avail. By now I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to successfully take care of 3 small people feeling this way.
I can’t even stand without feeling like death is quickly approaching. And carrying babies, running around, trucking up and down stairs, or playing outside in 90 degree heat??? Good luck!
Thankfully my sweet boys understood that “mommy no feel good” and they snuggled me on the couch while we watched Peppa Pig. I managed to get everyone to nap at the same time so I could sleep because I had to lay on the floor to build a block tower with the boys and that’s just ridiculous. Luckily my dad was able to play with them outside when he got home from work and I squeezed in a few more minutes of rest.
Because I felt like I was getting the flu, I checked my temperature earlier in the day just to see. It was a lame 99.2 so nothing to call mom about. But as I had the thermometer in my mouth, I had this thought.
“Interesting that it’s called a therMOMeter. Moms are really good at taking care of sick children, but it simply does not work for a mom to be the sick one.”
Which lead me to my next thought.
Moms kind of are thermometers. They set the temperature of the entire family. Everyone knows the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
Moms are the heart beat and pulse of the family. There are no breaks for mom. Whether you stay at home or work a full time job outside of the home, moms are always “on.” There is no rest for a weary mama.
I know in our family growing up, and even still today, my mom sets the tone for everything. If her mood is off, we’re all off. If she’s sick (which NEVER happens), the world might stop spinning.
As a single mom, there literally is no option to be sick. I’m it. They depend on me for everything. They look to me for energy, approval, fun, nourishment, entertainment, and discipline. They rely on me to meet every demand, and at these ages, there are A LOT!
Each day is chalked full from start to finish. There’s no room for some weak sickness slowing me down. It did today though, and I realized I’d SO much rather take care of 3 sick boys than be sick myself. I do have to say it’s super cute watching two 2 year olds be sensitive to their sick mommy and try to kind of take care of me.
It’s heartbreaking not to be able to play with them at full force, and when they say, “Mommy, come too!” when they’re going to play outside with their pop pop, my heart drops out of my body for a moment when I have to say, “Mommy needs to rest for a minute but I’ll play later.”
I don’t do that. I don’t nap, I don’t take breaks, I don’t not play with my boys when they ask. Sickness, even for one day, is not welcome in my life.
But, I realized as I laid in bed that sometimes we have to slow down. Sometimes in order to keep an appropriate temperature in the home, even the thermometer needs a break. Sometimes we have to push the reset button and allow ourselves to be human and get sick and need help.
It’s not fun, but it’s necessary.
Without taking care of ourselves, moms eventually run out of steam. I know. Hard to believe. The cape doesn’t work all the time. Moms are human. Shh, don’t tell anyone!
I’m grateful that these 3 tiny men rely on me for every need, and I’m even more grateful that I not only have my own parents who are helping me through this season of life in which I need a bit more help than I’d like to accept, but I also have a heavenly father who knows exactly what I need and how to take care of me.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
That be still part is the toughy. I know without a doubt that He is God, I just don’t always know how to be still. So sometimes, God provides a little assistance.
He knows when I need a break, when I need to slow down, and that without force, I won’t do it. So I’m grateful for this proverbial reset button on my thermometer so that I can maintain an appropriately warm temperature for my boys.
Here’s to parents (especially moms), both young and younger, here’s to our babies who teach us how to live, here’s to being human and needing a break, here’s to our capes requiring maintenance, and here’s to being the therMOMeters of our homes.
I’m going to go snuggle a few angels and pray this sickness goes as quick as it came. 😉