Over Spring Break last week, I got sick. Just a sinus thing, nothing major, but I felt miserable. Getting sick shouldn’t be that big a deal — obviously people get sick every day. But Matt had no time to take days off, and the kids were all home, and I had all this stuff I had planned to complete over break before spring sports really start with a vengeance, and so getting sick was REALLY inconvenient.
The first morning I woke up with the headache and sinus pressure, I wrote it off as allergies and forged through with my plans for the day — ripping out 8 bushes from the front yard that I’ve always hated and re-edging and mulching the gardens. The kids were a huge help and we got it all done, but I felt just awful all day and actually ended up going to bed — to sleep — at 7:30 that night. I can’t remember another time that’s happened since I’ve had kids.
The next morning I woke up after 11 hours of sleep still not feeling great. But I had stuff to do — grocery shop and get Easter supplies and bake — so I pushed it again. But I felt like crap and I was super short-tempered with the kids because everything hurt. It wasn’t their fault, but my patience was just non-existent.
By that night I was coughing, I had a headache, my throat hurt, my whole body ached, I was exhausted. I just felt like crap.
And finally I realized that pushing through and getting everything done wasn’t actually helping anyone. I was not letting my body rest and get better and even though I was checking items off the To Do List, I was making everyone miserable in the process.
So I lay down on the couch and watched a movie with the kids and Matt. And I took the next day as easy as possible. I rested, drank water and lots of tea, and let things go (like laundry, cleaning, and cooking). And thankfully it helped a bit. I definitely felt better.
If one of the kids had been sick or Matt had been sick, I would NEVER have let them do all the stuff I forced myself to do. I know better than to push a sick body. But sometimes I get the things I “have to do” so built up in my head that not doing them makes me feel like a complete failure. And I do not like to feel like a failure.
So I’m writing this down to remind my future self that getting everything done when you’re sick doesn’t make you a hero, it makes you more sick. Sit down, let yourself rest, have some tea, and heal.
God knows the laundry will still be there when you feel better.