October 20, 2011

This too shall pass...

I've been repeating that for almost a week.  A week of illness in the house.  I'm not going to write at length about how hard it is to care for young children while being a feverish, achy and exhausted single mom.  Other SMC blogs have well-written posts about that.  And every word is true.  When you can barely walk to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, the very act of filling sippy cups and making macaroni and cheese feels as insurmountable as hiking to the summit of Mt. Everest.  But, like those other moms, I continue doing what I need to do, especially after Henry also became ill with strep bacteria.

After days on the couch, a house that looks the "before" on a reality show and several doses of antibiotics that may or may not be working, it's time to send everyone back to school.  I think the boys are okay.  They both complain of feeling warm and being achy when they first wake up (including naps) but after an hour they are back to their normal level of activity.  Wish I could say the same for myself.  Stating that I'm operating at 50% would be generous but I'll say it anyway just so I can get through the day.  This too shall pass.

I'm reminded of all the self-talk I did when I had pneumonia during my second pregnancy.  Somehow I got through that.  Coming down with the illness at 18 weeks meant I was physically miserable and had zero energy until I delivered Liam at 38 weeks.  I don't talk about it much because I am so very grateful that he arrived healthy and whole.  Whatever I endured that winter was worth the toll because in the end, my baby was well.

This has been the worst and longest illness I've had since then.  Not only have I been carrying the physical aches and pains of being sick but I'm also carrying a lot of resentment and worry.  It's clear that I need to make some major changes at work.  I will have to put away my ambition and pride as I turn down a big professional opportunity  As much as I crave the stimulation and new experience, I simply cannot grow and nurture my career while trying to nurture my growing children.  In spite of knowing that truth, I'm having a hard time letting go--and being sick has just made everything seem worse. 

For now I'll make our lunches, pack our bags and set out tomorrow's clothes.   Little things because everything else is just too big right now. 


  1. UGH! I hope you feel better soon! When we are sick, that is by far the hardest part about being a single mom! There is no rest for the weary and no matter how bad we feel and how messy the house is, we still have to get up and do stuff. Anyone else would be able to nurture their illness and relax to get better faster. I know you don't feel like superwoman right now, but when you're feeling better, you will know that you are! I wish I lived closer to make you some chicken soup! Feel better soon!

    Oh, and I didn't know that about the pneumonia during pregnancy! WOW! That must have been awful! Nice to know it's a memory now...this will be, too, soon!

  2. Hey you - that sounds awful! You need to reach out and get some help when you're this sick. If you don't have family or friends that can take the boys for a few hours, reach out to the SMC community to drop off dinner or help clean the house or something so you can focus on recovering. Seriously. Perhaps this is a wake up call that even if you CAN do it all, there is no reason you need to. It's okay to occasionally ask for help. We all do. Married or single. People like to help others, so don't be afraid to ask. Wish I lived closer. I'd take your boys out for runs on the playground and I'd deliver hot homemade chicken soup for you. I know how hard it is to be a sick single mommy. Hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. Hey Lara!!

    Oh my friend I'm so sorry you've been so under the weather. There are no words for how difficult that can be especially with two children underfoot. I so wish I lived closer and could have taken the boys off your hands or even just sat there in the house with you and entertained them while taking care of you even just for a moment.

    I'm with Barb :) While hoping this doesn't happen again, is there someone, anyone who could help out? A babysitter? The kids' daycare teacher? I have no qualms asking for help :) I learned the hard way.

    I so hope you can get some rest this weekend. Maybe hire a teenager who can be a mother's helper and just come over for a couple of hours. Any friends' with kids in the 11-14 age range?

    EEK I just realized I'm trying to 'solve' your 'problem' instead of just hearing you and sending many hugs your way. You only have 8 more hours of work to get through and then it's the weekend!! You CAN do this. Keep your chin up!! This will pass and there are many hugs and prayers coming your way!!!

  4. Yuck...I hope this passes quickly & you all feel 100% soon

  5. I've SO been there. And I feel for you. Hang in there. Like you said, it too will pass...

  6. That sounds just horrible! (and to be honest, one of the things I worry about the most - being sick when my daughter is sick too) But you are a strong, strong woman whose family comes first. And I have no doubt your boys see this and love you even more for it.

    I hope you and the boys are feeling better this weekend!

  7. I can't say it any better than your other friends. Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery. Glad your boys are feeling better.

  8. Oh, hope by now it is just a faint memory :-(.