Last week I was ill. Usually I grab some tylenol and tough it out. But every once in a while I really am sick–can’t get out of bed sick. I’m talking about the full-on flu, pneumonia, bronchitis, or some other acute problem. Dealing with this last week inspired me to write this post. To Mom–all moms, when they are sick and NEED to heal. Enjoy
It’s 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning and the entire family is in the Master bed jumping with joy over the possibility of going to the Water Park. We’ve only been once at this point and I am excited too. I shrug off the body aches, the cough and the pressure in my head because THIS DAY would not be ruined by a weakling mom. Looking back I should have said — Mom is sick — “We can’t go to the Water Park.” Instead I do what many moms do all too often, I pushed through. I also packed the car, drove two hours, played six hours, drove another two hours and came home feeling, well, miserable. This brings me to rule number one when Mom is sick:
1. Don’t be a Hero
If you feel illness creeping in, listen to your body, and by golly, don’t do something stupid and go to a water park! But everyone is looking forward to it, and I would hate to be the one to ruin all the fun! You know the saying, “When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy?” It is true. When your body is fragile, and you do more than you should, you are basically saying, “Dear germs, have at it, I’m yours for the taking!!” So sacrifice a little activity now, that is unimportant, so you are well for the activities later, that ARE important, like taking care of your family. Over-doing it will only amplify the problem.
That’s a pretty obvious tip, sick people rest, DUH! Not so fast fancy-pants. I’m guessing this is the most disobeyed order from a Doctor, especially by moms of young children. “Make sure you get plenty of rest,” he says to mom. And she thinks, “Yeah, right, and have my imaginary maid servants take care of all the chores and feeding!” Here’s the difficult part with this one–when mom rests, things will get messy. That’s ok. It must be ok because the body needs to heal. If you ignore this advice, scrub the house top to bottom, you’ll make your health situation worse. So just let it go, let a few dishes pile up, and heal.
3. Ask for help
This is another difficult one for Moms. We want to do it all, and with a smile. If you simply cannot rest without doing your chores, or the babies are especially demanding while you’re ill, ask for help. Perhaps hubby can stay home from work for a day, or call a family member or friend. Sometimes we moms feel that reaching out for help is a sign of failure, giving up, or weakness. It is not. It shows that you care about your children enough to make time to take care of their mom–you. So let go of your pride and make a phone call. It may be the key to getting well.
4. Be grateful
When I’m flat on my bed, and I’ll?! Be Grateful?! Yes. So often we take our good health for granted, as something that is guaranteed, something that is OWED. Good health is a gift. And sometimes, at least for me, being ill helps remind me that I am so incredibly blessed. Be thankful for your family, for your home, for your body. While you’re resting, meditate, and take time to appreciate all that is right and good in your life. Not only will it help you get through, but I honestly believe positive thinking can help heal the body.
When Mom is sick, it is too easy to ignore the symptoms, be tough, and avoid treatment. But this will only worsen the problem. The sooner you face the illness, the sooner you’ll heal. What do you do to recooperate when you have little ones to care for?