Anna was awake throughout the night again on Friday, and she has yet another fever that has been hanging around all weekend long. While she is cutting a very angry looking molar, it appears that she may also have an ear infection. I'm hoping, desperately, that she avoids the latest vomiting illness that seems to be going around as well. For two weeks now she's been feeling crumby and tired. I've caught a version of the bug, too.
I feel like less than half of the picture of a great mom during this time. With the first round almost two weeks ago, Anna welcomed the couch time in front of the TV, and it seems to be all that she asks for right now, whether she's having sick moments or well moments. I'm not exactly up for the fight when I feel like doing the same, so we've watched more TV than I care to admit. I'm sure there must be a plethora of fun sick-day indoor activities that I could pull out of a hat, but I'm not a fountain of creative play or art ideas right now. The to do list, both the have to's and want to's have been left unattended for far too long, and while I'm relatively OK with that, because my priority is getting us all healthy again and comforting a sick kid, I'm sure the doctor's offices would like their payment soon, and the stacks of fabric sitting on my dining table aren't going to sew themselves. And, that little gremlin in my head speaks up too frequently, telling me I'm not patient or kind enough with a kid who is sick and in pain and won't or can't sleep at all hours of the night for the second week in a row and demands, and whines, and needs more and more and more.
I've been thinking a lot about that second child, and I wonder...how do people survive when they have three, four, or five sick kids? Presumably one gets over it and the next one gets it, so who ever gets a day or night of rest? While I recognize I'm my own worst critic, I sometimes wonder if I don't have some kind of "super mom" gene, the one that I imagine other moms having who can live cheerfully without sleep, whose feathers aren't ruffled by puke or high fevers, who don't lose their patience with a sick kid, and if they do, they walk away before saying anything they might find appalling later. How on earth would this work if I also had a newborn to nurse every two hours?
I pulled a book off of my night stand today, one that I've only read bits and pieces of. It's called Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children: Becoming a Mindful Parent. I opened to a section of the book today that talks specifically about patience and invites asking the question "What does this moment require of me?" It reminded me that I do get stuck seeing the "little picture" sometimes, that I'm often so exhausted by all of this because I'm wishing these moments were different. Rather than just accepting that it sucks right now and that it will pass, I fight it, which is the source of more suffering. It feels like a good time to read this book from front to back.
So, while I'm trying to accept the moment, I am also picturing a white sandy beach, blue skies, and naps that are luxurious rather than required. In two weeks, these moments will (hopefully) have passed, and we'll be healthily, happily enjoying our family vacation.