Several years ago, I was so tired that I actually longed for something to take me down. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I were to get a non-life threatening illness or injury that would land me in the hospital for a few days so I could get some rest?”
Then it happened.
In October 2017, I was so worried about my sick kids that I didn’t realize I was getting pretty sick myself. I visited the urgent care with one child and the doctor there told me that I was actually sicker than the child I had brought in. But, I figured I’d be fine. How bad could it get? I was sure it was peaking and I’d be over the hump soon.
Within 24 hours, I was in the ER being poked and prodded, x-rayed and swabbed. Community acquired multi-focal pneumonia with sepsis.
I’ll never forget when the doctor came in and said, “Well, your heart rate is still pretty high and I’d like to keep you overnight.” My heart sank. It wasn’t the “YAY REST!” thought that I assumed I’d have. Suddenly, I was…disrupted. I couldn’t take the kids to school or run morning announcements. Soccer snack needed to be purchased, who would do that? I left my phone charger at home, how would I know what was going on at work?
It wasn’t just that I wasn’t prepared to spend three days in the hospital, it also was not the relaxing break I had assumed it would be.
Then there was the shot in the stomach. I kid you not. In. The. Stomach. Every time my fever spiked, the nurses brought in ice packs and stuffed them along the side of my burning body, while inside I felt like I might freeze to death. I was isolated. I had to eat chicken broth. My IV was uncomfortable.
After that experience, I was certain that there was nothing moms could do to get a solid break. A mental recharge. A tiny respite from the mental and physical demands of work and motherhood.
A virus—and not one that I have acquired.
It’s shut down our state. Schools are closed. My husband is home. We are working remotely a majority of the time.
It’s a break. It’s not the complete break I hoped for. I did just spend four solid days writing communication pieces that bordered on crisis communication–which I generally try to avoid. There are stacks of books and papers in our office where the kids will still have schoolwork. Meals will need to be made. But the world has sort of stopped for us.
My husband is taking the idea of quarantine very seriously. He wants to do his part to stop the spread. So, we aren’t making any trips out that aren’t required (work, etc.).
I’m planning to use my time to write, read and generally relax. I plan to help my kids craft and write, bake and make, explore and learn even though they aren’t in the classroom.
And sure, there is work. My two jobs are quite impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and they need my assistance.
I sort of hope this changes people. I hope we realize how busy we are, how over-scheduled our lives can be, how little time we spend just enjoying what we have and what’s around us.