Monday, April 18, 2016

Moms Don't Get Sick Days

We've had so many illnesses run through our house since mid-February.  The stomach flu (three times).  Pink eye.  Hand foot and mouth disease (how did the baby get that?!).  A crazy long super-cold.

And before today, I hadn't caught much of anything.  But then that dreaded flu hit me this morning.

Meme - I'm Sick.  I'll sleep and rest all day.  Oh wait, I'm a mom.
It happened just at the right time, about two hours before my husband had to leave for work.  He was able to get the kids up and ready for the day (including breakfast) and make lunch ahead of time for them so I wouldn't have to think about it.  I was able to get some much needed sleep and a shower.

Since I can't hardly stand not being outside when it's so nice out (in the 80's today!), we spent some more time outdoors this morning (see post from yesterday).  NOTE: Had I felt way worse, I totally would have put the kids in front of the TV while I laid on the couch.

We set up camp (reclining lawn chair for me, blanket for the kids, stickers, blocks, my coloring book and markers, outside toys, reading material, etc.).  Things worked out pretty well until the kids started fighting over the Thomas the Train ball, and the middle one kept climbing behind things he shouldn't have in the garage, and the baby had a diaper blowout...

My point is, things don't stop because I don't feel well.  Even though I have the flu, things kept moving forward.  I still had to referee the argument about whose turn it was with the ball.  I still had to lift the three-year-old out from under the table in the garage.  I still had to clean up the baby after she had the diaper blowout.

And things don't stop because I'm having a bad mental health day either.  Even when I'm having a horrible OCD day, I still have to interact well with my kids.  Or when my depressive thoughts kick in, I still have to keep up with the laundry.  Or when the anxiety is so high that I feel like I can hardly function, I still have to maintain a healthy environment for them.  These kids depend on me, even if they aren't able to fully verbalize that yet.  They NEED their mommy to be healthy.  And I am committed to keeping my mental illness as far away from them as I possibly can.  They will inevitably be affected by it - how could they not be?  But, thank God, I have a strong support network that can step in when I can't.

Just as I relied on support this morning, I'm able to rely on my mental health support system: my husband, mom, friends...and the large network of mental health support online (awesome).  I believe that leaning on the support system that God has given me is crucial to managing my mental illness well.

Because time marches on, and so do these kids.

I'd love to hear what you do to get through the hard days!