A stomach bug hit our household last week. Aaaand carried over into this week.
Stomach bugs suck.
I don’t know about you, but I hate vomit. It’s one of the Top 3 things I try to avoid.
But the COOLEST thing about a stomach bug is that it’s often coupled with diarrhea. BONUS.
It seemed that my other little kiddo had avoided it—until Tuesday night.
Out came the pasta and Kalamata olives from dinner, followed by a “faaahhhhhhk” from my husband and me.
Lucky for us, it was all over our bed (and me) because she snuck in some time before midnight.
After a half-awake cleanup attempt, my husband went to sleep in the kids’ room with patient #1, and I stayed with our other sicky in the vomity bed. (Don’t worry; we poured baking soda over the soiled spot and covered it with a towel and sheet before getting back in. We’re not savages.)
And like clockwork, every hour or two… vomit.
Needless to say, a good night’s sleep never made it into the cards. And this was truly disheartening because I got even less sleep the night before when our younger kid also threw up in our bed.
I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right—we need a new bed.
Anyway, I “woke up” feeling particularly low. I was exhausted. And I had to start work roughly 30 minutes from that moment.
The kids had already started crying and whining and arguing over something *really* important. 🙄 I could hear them carrying on from upstairs, but I forced myself downstairs for coffee anyway.
My husband had a shoot that I refused to let him cancel, so I knew that it was just going to be me to take on the needy whims of my kiddos while performing the duties of a fully functional business professional.
Being that I’m a pregnant empath, I was basically fighting off tears for the first hour of being by myself with the kids. Trying to focus on work while getting up every five seconds for this or that, while remaining patient, was… a lot.
And when you’re dealing with a stomach bug, you’re usually on your own. No one wants to come near you with how contagious it is, and you wouldn’t wish such grossness on anyone else (well, maybe your worst enemy).
With the kids being sick for the last week, and the general lack of uninterrupted nights of sleep, I noticed that I was feeling burnt out by 10:00 a.m. every morning. Which clearly made it difficult to function adequately the rest of the day.
I had texted my mom just to let her know what was going on, and miraculously she offered to come over for a couple hours. I was so surprised because she usually avoids these types of risky situations.
I almost said “no, that’s okay. you don’t need to come over. it’ll be fine.” almost as a reflex. Why? Ego.
But I pushed it aside to receive the help that I truly needed.
Accepting help, or asking for help, is incredibly difficult for many of us. It’s not only uncomfortable, but we have this silly pride about needing to take care of everyone and everything all by ourselves. This “I don’t need anyone” mentality.
And maybe on this particular day, I was finally done. Spirit took the wheel. I gave myself permission to allow help in and then it was presented to me.
My mom only came over for two-ish hours, but it was a GAME CHANGER.
Just having someone else there—someone just slightly outside of the kids’ daily orbit—created a much-need buffer between the kids and me.
I still made them lunch or got them snacks, but a large amount of pressure had been lifted. My focus no longer had to be diverted every five seconds. Someone else could field their questions or absorb their MASSIVE AMOUNTS of energy, which I just could not do anymore at the moment.
Even though I was still working and getting up now and then to grab snacks or make lunch, it was as if I was given a break. The thick energy in the air had been diluted. Then I was able to actually enjoy (and by enjoy, I mean watch part of a home improvement show and then FLOOR IS LAVA) my lunch hour on the couch with my kids.
That “break” was everything. It shifted my mood and ultimately allowed me to be a better mom.
Interestingly, about a week before this, I posted a message on a local moms Facebook group asking for a recommendation for someone who could help clean up our backyard. Although my husband had the best intentions of handling it himself, he realistically did not have the bandwidth.
It was time to delegate.
We hired someone to tackle the backyard. The work that would’ve taken my husband more than a day was handled in less than three hours. Even though it might not sound like that big of a deal, we were truly overflowing with gratitude.
Plus we were able to give work to a local man, and would gladly refer him to others with the same need.
These two separate and different, yet somewhat related experiences have been eye- (and heart-) opening for me. I now have a number of inquiries out to local businesses for assistance with projects that I would have otherwise felt the primal need to take on myself. (But, to be honest, would probably have been left incomplete, due to my physical condition and tendency toward procrastination.)
It’s another step toward letting go of the ego and releasing myself and my family from the hamster wheel of busy and eventually burnout.
There’s no glory in a full plate, overbooked schedule, or forced bedrest. There’s just not.