Thursday, February 25, 2016

calling in sick

once upon a time, i had a job that actually paid me a salary. i left my house every morning, ate lunch with people over the age of five, and come home each evening. when there were holidays, i spent the day lounging around my house. when i was sick, there were magical days called, "sick days" and i simply didn't go into work and slept. all. day. long. 

then i had kids and like mothers and fathers everywhere, sick days became a thing of the past. i would simultaneously vomit in the bathroom while sanitizing it with clorox to keep everyone else from getting sick. i would be coughing up a lung but would still manage to make carpool. it's just the way it worked. parenting stops for nothing. absolutely nothing.

and then this last monday happened. monday night after being up until 12:30 with my youngest not feeling well, i started to feel bad as well. by 3:30 am i had not only thrown up for three hours straight but i'd also managed to pull out my back in the process. at this point i woke up my husband, told him what was going on and said simply, "i can't do tomorrow." 

because i know my husband and know the kind of man that he is, i wasn't surprised when he simply said, "i'll stay home tomorrow." if i had known how easy it was to make this happen i might have been bowing out of "tomorrows" much sooner. that was it? the sky wasn't going to fall? the earth wasn't going to stop spinning? just, "i'll stay home."? 

i've known all along that the hang up with 'calling in sick' was all my own. while my husband can't take days off all the time, when things are particularly rough for me, he is happy to take a sick day to care for his wife and family. for some reason, i have just hated to ask. 

why do we do that as wives and mothers? why do we feel that it is okay for our spouses to take sick days when they are sick but when we are on death's door, we still feel the need to power through? when are kids are sick, we will keep them home and nurse them. when my husband does take a sick day, he is up in bed the entire day, resting and getting better. why don't we allow ourselves the same courtesy? 

somewhere along the line i decided that i could manage without a sick day. i decided that, because i was no longer at a paying gig each day, my ability to call in sick had ended. well, no more. it's time for moms everywhere to call in sick. imagine how we would feel if we actually spent a day and rested and got well instead of powering through miserably for weeks of a prolonged sickness. wouldn't we be better wives and mothers in the long run if we just stopped and took care of ourselves once in a while? 

i know i am better off for having a couple of days of help and rest. honestly, i couldn't have pulled myself off the bed this week if i had tried. still, i am grateful to be recuperating and well rested. i couldn't have done that without my husband taking one for the team...and i know i'd be nowhere near as well as i am now without having called in sick from the job of motherhood. i may just make a habit of it. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

color your stress away

i have been under an exorbitant amount of stress the past few years due to all sorts of unexpected curve balls and sucker punches. 

despite the blows, i have been able to keep a positive outlook on life by utilizing mantras like "just keep swimming", focusing on the positive as much as humanly possible, leaning on fantastic friends and family for emotional support.......and unexpectedly, i have found a recent love for adult coloring books. yep. it sounds a little weird, right? i am myself guilty for judging the recent craze before even giving it a try....and i can now say that i totally get it. i have been drinking the coloring kool-aid and it's deliciously calming and wonderful. added bonus? i have beautiful artwork to write notes on for school lunchbox surprises for my littles. (who doesn't need a little rockstar mom moment?!) what are you waiting for? try'll like it. 

stress relieving animal designs

stress relief coloring book: garden designs, mandalas, animals, and paisley patterns

secret garden: an inky treasure hunt and coloring book

swear word coloring book 

okay...not going to work for lunchbox notes.....but it's fun and would make a perfect gift for the stressed out mama in your life

color me fearless: nearly 100 coloring templates to boost strength and courage

Monday, February 15, 2016

i can't catch my breath

today my youngest turns four. with that one sentence my heart skips a beat and i can't catch my breath. 

when did my baby stop being a baby? when did he become an independent, strong-willed preschooler? i feel like i closed my eyes for one second and he grew up. somehow time passes without my consent.

it all seems ridiculous. i've reached this milestone before. i have walked through four other four year old birthdays...but they were all different somehow. there was always a younger sibling stealing the show, a younger child who needed attention, who was toddling about, who was so small in comparison to my four year olds that the four year old birthday didn't seem so significant. i once felt grateful that my other kids were getting a little older, a little easier, a little less dependent because all of my energy was being poured into their younger brother or sister. when my oldest turned four, i had a 19 month old and a four month old and i was drowning. his birthday felt like a blessing.

now i'm in uncharted waters. i am walking down a road i've never walked with eyes fully wide open and i'm seeing today for what it is...the end of an era. 

as my youngest came up to me and said, "look, mommy. i'm so big," i outwardly cheered and inwardly wept. while i am so excited for the adventure that lies ahead for my sweet boy, i am mourning the loss of all things baby. there are no more bottles, pacifiers, diapers, carriers...those things are long gone. now, though, i have to prepare for the loss of chubby little hand holding, cuddling up on the same chair, taking naps together, carrying him on my hip, carting him off to preschool. i'm well aware that these days are moving much too quickly and for the first time in my life as a parent, there isn't another baby coming along to ease the pain. 

so today i spent hours holding the birthday boy on my lap while he still fits. tonight he got to go to sleep next to me in my bed because he still wants to cuddle just a little bit longer. as i said goodnight prayers with him, he echoed back prayers for me. 

"thank you, god for my sweet asher." 

"and mommy." 

"thank you that he is so special and precious to me." 

"and mommy." 

"thank you that you love him so, so much." 

"and mommy."

and just like that the pieces of my heart started to come back together again. i am raising one precious little boy. i'm blessed to be his mommy...and for the first time ever, i'm truly understanding how fast time is moving and the importance of not taking a moment of it for granted. so here is to chubby hand holding, comfy chair sharing, bedtime snuggles, slobbery kisses, spontaneous "i love you"'s, preschool snacks and bath-time giggles for as long as they last...and to cherishing each and every one of them.