I was just jumping on to my last meeting of the day when I got the call on a Monday around 2pm from daycare, “Hey, Nellie has a 103 fever, we need you to come pick her up.” If you have kiddos in daycare, you probably know the call. My heart always sinks when I see daycare calling until I know why. Fever? Manageable. Sad, but manageable. So I threw on my Air Pods to take my last meeting from the road. When the call was done I checked in with our pediatrician and then I scooped up a very hot, confused little Nellie.
The rest of the week went nothing like planned. Nothing ever really does when you have a sick child, but I guess I kind of thought since the world shutdown in 2020, I proved (like many of us) that I can stay on top of it — work 8 hours in a 24 hour period, at home, with kids. So I thought, this isn’t going to be great, but we can handle it!
But when your child is sick — and all they are doing is sleeping on you or crying — it’s harder. We later found out that Nellie had Roseola, but we didn’t know it at the time. She had a high fever, there was lots (re: LOTS) of poop, and she barely ate or drank anything. It wasn’t until a week later that she finally acted more like herself. And me? During that week I shuffled between working and snuggling Nellie and when she went to sleep for the night (way later than she normally did), I went right back to work.
I was very direct with Jeff about needing help so we teamed up to tackle the week. But because I have a really flexible work schedule, I did most of the sick baby stuff. And by Wednesday night I started to feel overwhelmed. I was behind on work, I felt like I was letting my coworkers down, the house was a mess, I was a mess. At least that’s the soundtrack I was playing in my head — “everything is a mess. I’m failing.”
Man, sometimes I’m so incredibly hard on myself without even realizing it.
Soon after that moment on Wednesday night, when the overwhelm was sinking in, I surprised myself (in a good way) and pulled myself out of the negativity. I realized that I was choosing to see all of the hard, challenging, negative things and ignoring all the good! So I asked myself — what have I done right this week? And there was a lot. I worked in the rocker typing with one hand while Nellie slept on me. I gave a dozen baths to fight a big fever in a little body. I hugged. I snuggled. I kissed. I comforted our sad little 10 month old. The house? It could have been worse. Me? I could have been worse. Sure, we hit some turbulence, but when I really thought about it, the wheels were still on the bus!
Sometimes we give so much attention to the bad stuff that we totally ignore the good stuff.
It’s a simple switch. But it can be hard to choose the good it in the moment because most of the time I’m not even aware I’m doing it. You? We have to start reminding ourselves, training ourselves, to see the good and give the good our attention.
So consider this your reminder, mama. You are doing SO MUCH, even when there are things you didn’t get to — heck, there always will be you didn’t get to. You are doing SO MUCH. You rock. Keep going.