I’ve got this/I don’t got this

I’ve got this/I don’t got this

Last week I managed to come down with a nasty bug. I am not sure what it was. It was nasty. After a few miserable days I was beginning to feel only slightly better-just enough that if any of my kids got sick I would be well enough to take care of them.

It was good timing. Early Saturday morning my four year old became very ill, several times over. After I realized this was not a one time deal I set up a soft bed for her outside the bathroom and cuddled with her a bit before heading back to bed. That morning she lay on my lap along side her sister.  I thought to myself, “I’ve got this.” My confidence was high. I knew I could do that day, even though I didn’t turn out to have as much energy as I had hoped.

To get through the day I went to the store in my miserable state and purchased medicine, popsicles, ice, a little thing of soda, a Pedialite alternative and anything else I could think of that would help upset stomachs and fevers. Afterward I picked up three movies from Redbox and I was set. Set for a day on the couch with sick kids.

By the end of the day I was exhausted. I had already had several days without sleep and my sickness was seeming to get the better of me. But I had two kids well, one better and one on the mend. That night, however….

Let me tell you, if you ever tell yourself that you have got it just take a step back and remember that you may not always have it. That night my special needs son got a fever.  Great! But before I knew how bad I had to first change his diaper because he had leaked. That meant another sheet and two blankets to wash on top of the blankets from the night before. I figured at that rate I will never have an end to laundry. Oh wait, it never needs already.

Before I changed him though I had to get some bedding from the back laundry room. I did not want to wake anyone so I put the light on my phone and managed my way through the dark. Before I made it back my glasses fell off. No biggie, they had been doing that for weeks because they were broken and I was waiting for my new pair to come in. Two days prior a second screw had come out. When I picked these up off the floor the lens was out and another screw missing. Great!

It wasn’t that the screw meant much to me but that screw falling out was the end. I burst into tears. Literally. And really?! No shame though. I was sick, tired and worried about my kids. And I could not see very well.

In my blinded state, and still in the dark, I located the fever reducing medicine, the syringe to administer it, the diaper and wipes along with the thermometer. Oh yeah, I had my son’s dry clothes too.  So, I managed to make the bed and change my son’s diaper. But I couldn’t find his clothes. I knew I had just had them. Whatever! I went to grab new ones, when I returned I promptly found the other clothes. Of course! So I grabbed those, the medicine and the thermometer. I wanted to have them nearby. I got him dressed. I gave him the medicine. But where was he thermometer? Really?! Really?! By that point I was feeling quite incompetent. I figured if there was an audience they would probably be laughing because I couldn’t keep track of anything. After a quick search I found it and took his temperature. Way too high for comfort. So, I sat with my phone questioning if I should call the doctor and doing research online to see if I was crazy or not.

It turns out I am not crazy. My son’s fever was down by morning and he is fine. My new glasses came in a day later and my children are all on the mend if not well.

But I think about that night, not so long ago. I didn’t feel like I had it. I did. Somehow that one little screw was the last little thing to make the big things seem like too much. We all get those. We all have those little things that seem to break us and bring us to tears or to our knees. We survive though, even if we think we will not. We hang in there and keep going even when we do not see an end. I keep going. I do not give myself another option. Anyone can do the same. Is it hard? Sure. Will you cry? Probably and possibly-that is okay. You’ve got this.  I’ve got this. We’ve got this.

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Seriously?!

Really? Why? Whatever! Exactly! That is how my days go. Any time I sit the children climb on top of me. Any time I walk away they come running and screaming behind me. My sons bus driver and bus aide laugh every day at how my children run after me as if I am going to abandon them. Where do they think I am going? Do they not recognize they were doing just fine before they realized I was gone?

I could help myself feel better by saying that it is wonderful to be loved.  Of course it is. I love that they love me, but I am also trying to teach them independence.  I don’t seek to be away from them or whatnot. I take my job as a parent seriously. Part of wanting children was to teach them and help them become decent human beings–and have lots of fun doing so.

Speaking of fun–that is the “exactly” part–but being a parent can be fun. It is great to play hide and seek even if I have to work up the energy to do so. I absolutely love seeing how long it takes for them to find me. Talk about some alone time. It usually does not work though as I believe they can sense where I am. I think as they get older that sense leaves because my oldest takes the longest time finding me.

There are also the “whatever” moments.  The moments where I just get tired of telling them to stop whatever they are doing. How many times do I have to tell them to stop slashing or drinking the bath water? It doesn’t work-ever. I have to eventually tell myself to give up and just get them out. Getting them out creates screaming so then I argue with myself on getting them out and dealing with screaming or letting them splash and continue having fun. Yeah, whatever.

My absolute all time phrase that helps any time of day, even the bad ones is: “oh well.”  Oh well. It is very powerful. Powerful enough to bring me back to reality and figure out what is really important. It provides a way for me to recognize what really matters and what does not. It also provides a way for me to  back off from beating myself up and give myself some credit for what I hope I am doing right as a parent. An “oh well” is what we all need, or maybe a “so what.”  If you are trying then I think that is good. Give yourself a break for your mistakes and try to do better next time.