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What do you do when it seems like you never feel well?
I get a little tired of hearing the mantra myself. Like a broken record-player. Playing the same old song over and over again. Those sad, disappointed little voices.
“Mommy doesn’t feel good… Mommy’s tired… Mommy needs to lay down… Mommy doesn’t feel good…”
If you have a hard time staring at piled up laundry that needs to be folded, dishes that need to be put away, kids’ homework that needs help, bills to be paid, grocery lists, and objects piled up around the house that seem homeless, a blog post that needs to be written?, and there’s nothing you can do about it, I understand you.
How do we deal when we are physically unable to tackle all of these giants on a consistent basis?
We’ll get back to that pile of laundry in a bit. (I promise.) But first, some background.
Over the summer, I caught the cold that had been going around my family. The upper respiratory symptoms went away after a week.
The feeling of being run-down did not.
For the next three weeks I fell into the worst kind of fatigue I have ever experienced.
I went to several doctors who ran a myriad of tests.
Three months and countless vials of blood later, I finally had a diagnosis.
An old virus that I had dealt with as a teenager had come back to rear its ugly head.
I found a “new normal.” I would sometimes wake up in the morning feeling like I had run a marathon in my sleep.
Any kind of exertion left me feeling completely depleted.
But the hardest part of all was my reduced capacity to be there for my family.
On a Saturday, my daughter had a soccer game in the morning, plus team pictures, a birthday party for a school friend in the afternoon, followed by church that night. I was praying all week to have the grace to deal with Saturday.
I took the “cup” of energy I had been dealt that morning and carefully divided it up over the day. I made sure to come home and rest in between outings.
I was fortunate to meet another mom at the birthday party who deals with some similar physical struggles that I face. She knows what it’s like to look at that mountain of laundry.
She also knows what it’s like to come to terms with not being able to move that mountain when she wants to.
If you are a mom who struggles with chronic health issues, here are some win-wins for you and your family:
You have permission to…
- Leave that pile of laundry for later
When your body is telling you to rest, rest. ‘Pushing through’ is something that healthy people can do. Maybe you can’t do that right now. It’s okay. No, really, it’s okay.
- Ask for help
This is a hard one for many people. I called a family meeting to ask for help because I felt incapable of managing all the responsibilities in my life.
- Lower your standards
I allowed my four year-old to pick out his own clothes today.
He was mismatched to say the least.
I decided to let it go.
He’s healthy. He’s happy. (And cute! ~Jenn)
- Delegate responsibility
Maybe it’s not easy for you to give chores to your kids. Maybe you’re used to doing everything for your family. However, maybe it’s time to reevaluate what some age-appropriate chores might be. I still fold my six year-old daughter’s clothes, however she puts them away now.
- Have a messy house
It’s really not important in the grand scheme of things. Making sure our kids have their basic physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met, is.
- Say “no” to those things you can’t handle right now
You may find yourself saying “no” to things that you could do before. It’s okay.
- Not do everything you ever dreamed about with your kids
We haven’t been apple-picking or to a corn maze this year with the kids. It’s okay, though. My kids basic needs are being met. So they didn’t get a Disney vacation this year. So what?!
- Spend time focusing on improving your health
My kids sometimes get tired of going with me to another doctor appointment. However, this is important. If I don’t take care of my own health, I can’t be there for them. This includes taking time to de-stress.
We have been charged by God to teach our children about Him, to discipline them properly, and impart wisdom to them.
That’s all! Anything else is not essential.
- Last but not least, don’t forget to pray for grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God’s grace is sufficient. No matter what.
I love Matthew 19:14 because it reminds us that we are not God and our job is to point them to Him:
Matthew 19:14 ESV But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
For more scriptures on raising children, click here.
About the author: Julie Vasconcelos blogs at www.momonthefly.com She is a wife and mom to a blended, multi-cultural family raising kids from toddlers to teenagers. She is also a former missionary to Brazil. She is currently working on her 2nd fiction book. You can check out her Facebook page as well.