Friday, January 22, 2010

Postcard from the Petri Dish, and Guest Post at Baby on Bored!

Sometimes it is just hard, and this week is one of those times. For the past five days we have endured the stomach bug, strep throat, sleepless nights and a major case of cabin fever. I have left the house only twice since Monday - once to go to the doctor, and once to get medicine. I haven't been to a meeting in over eight days - that has to be a record for me. Steve was away on a business trip for most of the week, and we are all stretched to our limits. Today the kids are feeling better, but now the dog and I are sick.

I have a tendency to ignore when things are just not going well, to stuff my feelings of frustration, anger and irritability. So I'm venting a bit, airing it out, all while reminding myself that it could be so much worse, and that this, as all things do, shall pass. What is it about my brain that feels like every emotion I have is going to last forever? When I'm happy, I can't imagine how things were ever so hard, and when it's hard I can't imagine that I'll ever feel normal again. It is just the way I'm hardwired, I guess.

Sometimes thinking about things I'm grateful for helps. Even this week there were so many times I felt gratitude - fleeting, but it was there. On Tuesday I was holding Greta's hair as she was sick at 2am, and she choked out "Thanks, Mom. This is what Moms do, right? They hold their kids' hair when they are sick?" I smiled and said a silent prayer of thanks that I could be one of those Moms, that I wasn't passed out on the bed, or irritable from a hangover. On Wednesday night, Finn and I were taking turns being sick all through the night. We were lying awake at about 4am, feeling miserable, when he put his hand on my forehead and said "I sorry you're sick, Momma. Dat's just not fair."

And, of course, when Mom is sick she still has to rally. The resentments well up, and I think "When is it my turn? When do I get to fall apart?"

I know, now, that I can lose myself in feeling obligated to other people, that I can happily sacrifice of my own emotional and physical health. It feels good, somehow, to martyr myself for the cause of my family. I'll take the kids to the doctor, get them on medicine, and ignore my own symptoms. I'll allow myself to get run down, resentful, tired, and won't put my hand out to ask for help. It feels right, somehow, to put myself at the bottom of the list. I'm comfortable there.

So I tell on myself. I don't allow myself to shuffle me to the bottom of the deck. I talk to other people about how I'm feeling, and I allow myself to be comforted. Most of the time.

I'm off to take a nap, I hope. Before I go I wanted to let you know I'm guest posting today over at Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's fabulous blog, Baby on Bored, so head on over there, if you want, and check it out. Stefanie is one funny, kick-ass woman and a terrific writer. She also happens to be in recovery, and she has helped so many, many people by sharing her story and putting herself out there. Check her out - you won't be disappointed.


  1. Hang in there! The 'bug' is a nasty houseguest. And for the cabin fever ... we're 'virtually' here for you. And thanks for 'telling on yourself.' I relate so much. Whenever my daughter says thank you for anything, my first reaction is, who taught you that? Certainly not me! And my second reaction is, aaaawwwwwww. The loooooooove. Take care.

  2. Sorry you're all feeling bad! Our house has been sick as well. I know how you feel though. Sometimes when we're all sick together, I also find myself getting annoyed that I couldn't just be sick all by myself. It would just be nice to lay down and not worry about anyone else.

  3. I've been on that tour and bought the post card and it is no fun. Hang in there! Good for you to appreciate the good in it all. I usually feel sorry for myself.

  4. It's Sunday night now... sounds like you've had a really tough week so I'm just sending along wishes for a better one to come. As my mother says, you can't fall out of a well ... hope it's SOOOOOO much better!