I could feel it coming. It was that familiar feeling of dread that I had experienced during my husband’s last deployment. He was getting ready for another business trip and I was silently panicking. How could I take care of all four of our children while he’s gone? How can I run our house and keep up with my online work, too? There had been too much on my plate for a while and I knew with him being gone it would be way too much for me to physically do.
He left and I decided to take the kids to stay with my grandparents for a while. Baby Isaac is a bit colicky and his nightly crying spells are exhausting for this seasoned mother. I’ve handled a lack of sleep for years, but I could feel it all catching up to me. Even with help from my grandparents, it was too late.
It started with my two year old. A fever at bed time. It seemed to come from no where. I found myself at a gas station at 1 a.m. while my grandparents stayed with the kids. I got some Tylenol to try to break his fever so we could at least sleep a little. Then one by one, everyone went down. There were fevers, there was throwing up, there was coughing, there were runny noses. I prayed I wouldn’t get it, but I went down, too. And I went down hard.
Four babies in six years and a total neglect of care for myself has left my immune system in bad shape. I ran a fever for FIVE days. I have never been sick that long in my life. Whatever virus I had left me with the worst sinus infection of my life. I got on antibiotics and ended up with a rash. I switched antibiotics, but later learned the rash was likely from the virus. Even after I finally started getting better, my two year old got sick AGAIN and my newborn ended up with fever, which landed us in urgent care. I’ve spent the last two weeks of my life dealing with sickness and I’m tired of it.
Through all of this, I have learned that when you don’t care for yourself you will fall. This happened to me a lot after the birth of my third child and I fear it’s happening again. I know I’m supposed to “take care of myself,” but I haven’t figured out exactly how to do that. When you have four kids ages six and under there just isn’t a lot of room to care for yourself first. Someone has to take care of them!
So for now, I’m holding on. I’m praying. I’m letting things go that I normally have to do. Life isn’t going to run smoothly or be perfect right now, and I have to be okay with that. I need to rest so I can be a good, healthy mama for my kids.