This almost didn't get written this week...
I have been battling sinus issues for over a week now, and had thought I had beat it, but then, waking up feeling like I had been hit with a 2 x 4 in the face made me realize I had not. I opened my eyes to see my husband walking out the door for work, and thought "Oh my gosh, how am I ever going to pull this together, I mean it's not like I can take a sick day, it's summer and I have 3 kids at home!"
I immediately decided against the gym, (after a few minutes of deliberating actually how bad the pain in my face was...) but then panicked about what to do with my 3 kids all day long. It wasn't that I couldn't park them in front of electronics all day, it's that I didn't want to do that. I became rushed with guilt and shame that I really didn't feel like taking care of anyone else today. What was wrong with me? There went my medal for the Mother of the Year award.
I continued through the day refereeing fights, grocery shopping, asking them to please keep their voices to a human volume, making 9+ meals and cleaning up, and laundry. I muddled through the afternoon of errands and housework, trying to keep my eyes open and my head from exploding when I finally realized that I didn't need to suffer like this. My children are capable and I needed to go to the doctor. I went, got meds, bought some soup and started to mend, in a sense, standing up taking care of myself. I couldn't help but wrestle with the fact that I was choosing me and taking one tiny step back from being the social coordinator for my children, did that make me a bad person, a bad mom?
One day! It was for one day, I figured a lazy afternoon of electronics and constant snacking wouldn't kill them. Of course if I smelled smoke or felt flames, I would have gone running, but I made the choice to lay in my bed, rehydrate and try to let my body heal and repair so I could be the mom I wanted to be, tomorrow.
I am not sure why we struggle so much with letting ourselves off the hook once in a while. It's almost as if the worry of asking for help, the anxiety over not being able to handle everything in the home or the stress of making and cleaning up yet another meal is a requirement. I don't want to feel the guilt of it. It isn't right. We, as moms, need to start taking better care of ourselves and appreciating ourselves for all the effort we put forth on a daily basis, so we can be better for our loved ones. I enjoyed my 2 hours of quiet time, closing my door and letting the kids lay around. I felt better, and when the reinforcements arrived, my wonderful husband stepped in to take over while I rested.
I'm writing this to tell you that is OK to take a sick day. Part of living a healthy lifestyle is making your body your priority. It will be no one else's. Get proper rest, hydrate, make healthy choices, workout-- these are all things that seem like they would be the ideal for us, but the truth is that it won't be everyday of your life. Some days you will (either by choice or by force of illness) have to chose you. Even if that day isn't this week, be OK when it is necessary.