Here we are again. A new year, a new cold/flu season.
We mamas take the extra time needed to be sure hands are washed, doorknobs are wiped, clothes are scrubbed, sink handles are cleaned, and yet we still all get it. The terrible, horrible, sniffling, sneezing, hacking, wheezing, feverish, achy, itching, stomach turning, no good, very bad, sick. Confined to our beds, couches, and gliders, we try to get the rest we need to get better, all while caring for the needs of our little ones so that they can get better.
The last 24 hours I have been ready to throw in the towel. Ready to gripe and grumble and feel sorry for myself. “I can’t hold any of the new babies at church. I can’t sleep at night, because I can’t breathe. I’m sure I’ll get the stomach flu the boys had and I’m just waiting for it to hit.”
Whine. Whine. Whine.
I don’t really like being with me, today.
But I’m fighting the whiner in me in order to choose joy. To choose peace. To choose contentment. Instead of seeking sympathy (“oh poor you!”), I want to seek the good in my circumstances. Because the truth is, in the grand scheme of things, I will get better. In a week or two or three, my nose will be clear, my kids will sleep through the night, I won’t be dependent on Nyquil, I will be ok. Until then, I am doing these things:
1. I am enjoying my Christmas tree that is still up because I haven’t had the energy to take it down. The sparkling lights remind me to hope; that there is beauty all around me.
2. I am appreciating the work of my husband who has done several loads of laundry, taken care of meals and the kids, and has stepped up to care for me when I need it. It has not been easy on him to see me struggling to get out of bed and he continues on. I know I don’t tell him enough how much I appreciate his work. So, I’m bragging on him to you. Maybe it’ll get back to him.
3. I am snuggling with my 3 year old who has been extra cuddly these days. Even though his fretful, endless, “Mommy, I want you” grates on my nerves, I choose to stop, sit, and hold him. I know he needs to be comforted as I need to be comforted. So, we cling to each other. Sniffling and tired.
4. I am learning new skills, like how to effectively rinse out my nasal passages or hock a loogie. TMI? Sorry.
5. I am accepting that these days are not “normal” (if that even exists). I am growing in my ability to bend a little, go with the flow, roll with punches, and practice those other clichés that go against my nature. Yesterday I dealt with a major blow out, broken dishes, and our puppy’s allergic reaction to a bug bite. I took deep breathes, noted that this is just another day, that these things need my attention more than my writing or the laundry, and believed I could get through it. I did not yell (this is a big deal, I don’t know how much more shocked I could be that I did not yell when the dishes fell or the poop ruined a one of my throw pillows). I did not feel like the world was going to end. I just knew that yesterday was horrible. And that it would end. It did.
All in all, I am feeling better. Not because my body is better, but because my heart is full. I am choosing to not let this thing get me down, but to seek out goodness in it. I am changing into a mama who accepts her needs, limitations, and weaknesses in order to be strong.
Has your family been sniffling, too? How do you cope with the sickness and fatigue during this season?