Stepping Up When Mom’s Down

640 427 Jenni

A nasty virus has been going around our community and made it into our home. It passed from child to child, starting with a fever and fatigue, and ending with a pale face and cough. I got a sore throat, but no fever, so I thought I was doing fairly well.

Then a few days later, I experienced severe muscle pain in legs and hips, and a splitting headache. For a few days my emotions and energy levels were up and down. One minute I was feeling good and doing things, the next, I was crying or crashing in bed. It didn’t help that Mike was working a long string of nights.

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There were many times I had to rely on my kids to get some things done that I couldn’t do. They changed more diapers, put siblings to bed, helped prepare and serve food, cleaned up. These are things I like to have them help with anyway, but I’ve been asking them to do double duty.Screen shot 2016-06-20 at 12.19.36 PM

 Sometimes it was stressful, getting them to do things they weren’t used to doing. But they knew I was under the weather, and most the time they were willing. For instance, I asked Nathan to make soup one night. He didn’t want to because he hadn’t made much soup before. So I held the recipe while I fed Ian, and talked Nathan through it, step by step.

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The soup was a success, and I realized that teaching Nathan to make soups is an important skill that we should work on more often.

It’s good to have challenges from time to time, that force us to do things a little differently. It’s healthy for our children to move out of their comfort zones and work harder for the good of the family. And if we as parents make our requests to them kindly and patiently, they can feel good and proud of their contributions, especially when they are desperately needed.

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 Moms tend to feel that they can do a great amount of things themselves, and feel guilty when they can’t. When we’re sick or struggling for other reasons, there are many tasks we just need to let go. What’s more important is the tone in which we talk to our children, giving them encouragement and appreciation for their help, and apologizing when things go wrong.

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 When we create a loving environment, our children will learn lasting lessons that will be more valuable to them down the line, than much of the academics they’ve learned.

So next time mom’s feeling under the weather, let the kids step up a bit.

If we stay positive, it will all work out eventually.

What do you do to cope when you’re down?

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