It had been a LONG week. Both kids, sick..I mean S I C K . Vomiting, coughing spasms, no sleep, strep, respiratory infection, breathing treatments…and yes we must have picked those germs up from a shopping cart. My husband and I just wanted the kids to feel (and look) better but we were also wearing down, ourselves. We hit the “anything goes” mode… a trail of blankies picking up dust bunnies all day, our toddler reverting back to thumb sucking, gobs of maple syrup on pancakes, wearing PJ’s all day, and movie marathons (3 movies before noon? No problem!) are now all A–OK to me.
The kids pretty much got whatever they wanted -which is not a common occurrence in this house! Due to their lack of appetite while in the throws of sickness, once in recovery, I decided whatever they wanted to eat, whenever, was okay. It was amazing! I never thought I could turn into “that kind of mom” who lets her kids eat whatever they want, whenever they want it, walk around the house for the entire day with their nap time cuddlies, watch whatever TV they wanted, whenever they wanted it. And if you know me, you know that this is not how we run our household. We are not the world’s strictest parents however; we enjoy our simple boundaries.
That week I felt that I was on pseudo stay-cation. We were operating in a very different mode. And quite honestly it was LIBERATING! I felt more relaxed and less stressed…even with sick kids (once I knew they were going to be okay!) I felt fewer expectations, less pressure. I was focused ONLY on getting my kids better. Not work. Not hobbies. Not to do lists. Not returning calls. Not laundry. Just needed to get my kids better…whatever it took! I was so focused that I relaxed about everything else that used to cause so much stress. I actually sat down and watched Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse and enjoyed a 4- hour movie with my daughter.
I was forced into giving up my list of to do’s…my list of “should do’s, ought to’s and don’t forget to’s”. I surprised myself. I felt freer and lighter when I gave myself a pass, so I could concentrate on nothing but getting my kids well.
Which made me question…..Why wait until all hell breaks loose to give yourself a pass? What could daily life be like if I chose one thing a day to focus on? I don’t mean only do one thing a day that is nearly impossible from a Mom’s perspective. However, when my ONLY goal was comfort my kids, everything else was at the bottom of my list. It took the pressure off to be so productive. Why does our underlying goal ALWAYS seem to be “get as much crap done as humanly possible” every day?
What is the one (or even two) thing/s tomorrow that you can focus on, and give yourself a pass for anything that falls outside of those boundaries? Try it for one day and see if you feel any less pressure, as I did during my household’s sick days.