This past week was tough- one of those when it rains it pours kinda weeks. We actually started 2019 with the stomach bug, me with my head in the toilet and then my son puking all over his crib. After making its way around our house, sparing only one of our sons, I thought we were in the clear. After two weeks of winter break and a whole lot of unstructured time with the kiddos I was SO ready to get them back to school and into our routine.
And then bam! Fever for the child who had been spared the stomach flu, followed by pink eye, an ear infection, a sinus infection for me, and then pink eye and a fever for the other kid. No school, no speech or OT, just me home alone with both boys in the middle of winter all while feeling quite sick myself. Friday couldn’t come soon enough when our beloved nanny would be back for the day. Then bam again! 9pm Thursday night I get a text from her husband that she won’t be in because she pulled a tendon in her neck.
Everyone knows being a mom is hard enough. Then try performing our typical daily circus acts while feeling like shit and it’s like trying to juggle with one hand.
I lost my mind a little bit. I had to. I was like a tea kettle boiling. I was going to explode if I didn’t let out a little steam.
Is this for real? Are you kidding me?? What the hell am I going to do yet ANOTHER day home alone with them. I have NO energy left! I’m still sick myself. Why is this happening?
I got really frustrated. A little bit angry. Not at my nanny of course but at the accumulation of circumstances that led to that moment. It didn’t help that the kids were wrestling like puppies every time I turned around.
And then I remembered. It was like the clouds parting. I had a choice here. I could either continue down the path of frustration, feeling badly for myself, focusing on how tough the past few weeks had been, and holding on to my anger.
Or I could SURRENDER.
I could make the choice to accept that this was simply the hand I was being dealt at the moment. To let go of my anger. To focus on how I could successfully get through another day alone with them. I surrendered and shifted my perspective to this:
(I literally wrote out the list below on my iPhone probably while changing a diaper, doing laundry, and making lunch)
1. Thank goodness the kids aren’t super sick and are still acting okay and playing (not at all like what we dealt with last March).
2. Thankfully I have the flexibility in my job to be home with them.
3. How lucky am I to get to spend all this time with my kids? I’m sure there are moms out there working all day long or otherwise busy who would much rather have this time with their kids.
4. How lucky are my kids to have their mom taking care of them when they need me most?
5. My worst week could be someone else’s best depending on what they are dealing with. It definitely could be worse. We are so lucky.
6. Even though I had to take him to the doctor, it was still nice to have some one-on-one time with just one of the boys.
7. Thank goodness our other babysitter was able to come even for a bit on Friday.
FEELING AND THEN RELEASING MY ANGER ALLOWED THESE MESSAGES TO COME THROUGH.
And taking just a few minutes to write these things down completely shifted my mood. I went from being pissed off to actually feeling happy and full of gratitude. This shift then transformed the way I moved through my day and how I interacted with the kids. It made room for me to actually have fun with them and to even laugh at all the craziness. We made brownies, we watercolored, built forts. Staying angry would have kept me stuck and would have created other problems and obstacles along the way.
What I came to realize even as I wrote this is that it’s all about keeping your mind on the bigger picture. As much as you can. And not judging yourself for losing your shit over the little things sometimes.
I hope this serves as a glimpse into the magic that can shift a shitty situation into an “eh we’ll figure it out” situation. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings, admit how hard it is, and then let it go through surrender. Hit pause and allow a new perspective to come through you.
This week was hard, yes. But it would have been that much harder if I hadn’t shifted my perspective and surrendered.