Independent could be my middle name. I was a very compliant, obedient child but also very strong-willed. Thankfully for my parents, I had a very sensitive conscious, so I used my will for good.
In my teen and college years my independence really solidified. If I wanted something, I figured it out for myself. From junior high on I usually supported myself with babysitting money and then working at a restaurant when I turned 16. I managed to apply to college, get accepted and get the financial aid I needed with little assistance from my parents. My parents would have loved to help support me in college, but it wasn't financially possible. I had various jobs through college, paid for my own clothes, bought my own gas and even a car when mine died (financial aid helped with that one). Some summers I stayed at school and paid rent.
I pride myself on being independent, but sometimes it's to my own demise. Because we aren't meant to life this life alone. It's one thing to be able to manage life on your own, but it's another thing to enjoy it and do it well. I am so blessed that God gave me an incredible husband like Bean to be my rock. I know I can depend on him and I don't need to feel like I have to do it all on my own.
But even 10 years into marriage, it's still a struggle for me sometimes. Because I want to be independent. Yet I don't. I know I don't have to always be strong. I fight with myself. I usually never win.
Today was rough. Lily was in bed with us by 2am I think last night, burning up. Of course she wants to sleep as close to me as possible, which means sharing a pillow with her while she almost crowds me off the bed. At 2:45am she puked the water she had been drinking because she was thirsty from being so hot. So it was changing the sheets, wardrobe changes for her and I. Bean is always amazing and gets it all done while I care for the sick child.
After all that, I was wide awake. I don't think I fell back to sleep until after 4am when Lily had finally cooled off some and asked to go back to her own bed. Which was after she was asking me about the bunny and a few other random things in her half-sleep, feverish delirium.
I could barely open my eyes, by which I mean I could hardly wake up and focus, when Bean was talking to me before he left for work. The amazing man had Miss Rose up and dressed and her lunch ready too. Thankfully I was dragged myself out of bed 15 minutes later and got going.
Thanks to pillow-sharing and sleeping on the edge of the bed, I had an excruciating headache and neckache all day. That's my weak area, my achilles heel and it was flaring today. Motrin didn't touch it. Lily's fever raged most of the day. Gracie was bouncing off the walls, being in the house for the 2nd day straight with a sick sister.
I went back and forth all day between comforting Lily and attempting tasks around the house. All in a fog of pain. Bean was off work early and picked up Miss Rose and immediately jumped into getting the house more in order. I wandered around in a daze, trying to help but not really being able to focus. He was quite irritated. (I don't really blame him)
A dear friend gave birth last night and I wanted to visit her and hold the baby. I almost couldn't leave the house for the guilt of leaving Bean with the kids, with a messy house and half-done tasks and the pain in my head.
As I drove to the hospital I forced myself to figure out what the problem was.
I am the problem. I am too stubborn and too independent. I couldn't admit that I was a wreck today. I was exhausted and in major pain. Pain that should have sent me to bed for the day, or at least to lay on the couch with my sick girl. Instead, I puttered and tried to do things, which probably only made my head worse.
Why couldn't I admit how bad I felt? Why couldn't I give myself a sick day? I felt guilty because Bean's sleep was poor last night too. I felt like I should be able to snap out of it. I didn't want to be the weak, sick mom. I didn't want to give in to the pain I felt.
It's all in my head. The pain of course, but the hang-ups too. I am not invincible and I need to stop trying to be. Who cares if Bean has a motor that never stops running. Who cares if he isn't as affected by lack of sleep as I am. He would have been much happier today if I had told him early on how bad I was feeling and if I had given in to him taking care of me, the house and everything else.
As it was he cleaned up, made dinner, and ran a few errands. With me fighting it most of the way.
I need to accept me. Even when I don't like me. I need to accept my limitations, even when I wish they weren't there.
Working and managing three young kids is hard enough. Add in Gracie's eye issues and Lily's monthly fevers and it has to be enough to do anyone in. I need to allow that for myself. Even just typing that is hard. I don't know how to allow myself to be weak.
34 years old, 10 years of marriage and 3 children and I still have so much to learn about myself, about life and God.
The good news of today is that Lily should be getting a referral to ENT for a tonsillectomy, which I am hopeful may solve our problems (more on that later). I hear it's standard to have to wait until 3 years old for the procedure, but that means just 4 more fevers and maybe surgery in February. There are still hoops to jump through but I feel like God gave me favor when I called the pediatrician's office today and I trust his favor will be on upon us the rest of the way.
No child should have to endure fevers of 103 to 104 all day and even up to 104.6 tonight. If a tonsillectomy is a possible solution, then it needs to happen.
And I'll work on not being invincible, on accepting my limitations and not comparing myself to others and to quit fighting myself.
I might need some accountability though. I'm not sure how to do this. At least admitting it is a start.