I am a creature of habit. I like to know what comes next, what is expected of me. The kids and I have a pretty regular routine now; Cam goes to school during the week and Emma has preschool classes or we run our errands, sometimes we have a play date thrown in the mix.
Every day is dishes. Take out the trash. Vacuum. On the weekends when Jason is home we are usually at Disneyland or finding something fun to do in LA. I look forward to these weekend excursions all week.
There is always one thing that throws a wrench in my carefully laid routine: when the kids are sick. And when it is flu season and you have three kids you are in for a beat down. It is a constant of fevers, laying on the couch all day, ibuprofen, urgent care visits, ER visits, and always needing water, cuddles, blankets, all the things that provide comfort, but can be draining to a mama.
In the midst of needy children, the house falls apart. It is hard to keep up on the daily tasks, the extra tasks (laundry I’m looking at you). Your child is probably missing school, you are stuck in the house all day, your weekend plans are probably shot. Your nerves are frayed and you feel like you are not measuring up.
The past two weeks have been a reminder for me: when my kids are sick, they need ME. Only me. My comfort, love, and care of them is all that matters when they are hurt and unwell.
We may spend all day at home watching tv and cuddling on the couch. In our case, you might spend three days of the week at urgent care and the ER. The dishes may build up in the sink. The laundry is still NOT done. We may end up eating pizza or Taco Bell AGAIN for dinner.
Who cares? My kids certainly don’t. In these moment I am forced to put aside my anxiety and need for routine and control to fulfill my job as a mother: to put my kid’s needs first and worry about the rest later.
The daily tasks will ALWAYS be there waiting. My kids will not be sick every day. The routine will return. So in this moment I will sit, still in my pajamas, cuddling my sick daughter in my arms, focused solely on her.