All of these can send a bit of panic into the heart of a mom. When we get sick, it can feel like a 911 emergency.
I have learned a (not so surprising) secret about being a mom: no one is going to give you sick days off from work.
You will have to give yourself the grace of having sick days.
Mommy Sick Days fall under the following categories:
1. Under the Weather Days: These are the Mommy-Has-A-Headache, Mommy-Is-Throwing Up (either from pregnancy or bad sushi, it doesn’t matter), or Mommy’s-Got-A-Fever Days.
2. Mental Health Days: I prefer to think of these as the Mommy-Needs-A-Break-Days. I find they just sort of creep up out of nowhere and say, “Take a break! Before you explode!” No cooking, cleaning or anything responsible for 24 hours usually cures the symptoms of this little bug. One of my friends and I declared on a random day in the middle of the year that it was officially Forget The Laundry Day. We had to give each other solidarity in order to have permission to take a break.
3. Completely Out Of Commission Days: These are medical emergencies and similar disasters. Personally, I have had everything from major surgery to a seriously burned hand from trying to sear a pot roast while trying to unload groceries. Motherhood can be a hazardous occupation you know! C-Sections are right up there with one of the most difficult things we go through, and yet so common.
My philosophy regarding how to handle all of the above “emergencies” involve what is referred to as Extreme Self-Care: the kind of care that involves relinquishing your responsibilities to others, so you may somehow give yourself compassion.
Prepare For It: Go through one of the scenarios above in your mind, while you are well, and brainstorm solutions for each of the inevitable problems that could occur. Who is going to cook? Who is going to clean? Who is going to take care of the kids?
This is where cross training comes to the rescue. Yes, the same cross training we are familiar with in the business world works very well in these situations. As mothers, we sometimes feel we are the only person who can possibly do our job. I challenge you to put your imagined indispensability aside and realize that their are many people who can do what you do. At least temporarily.
When It Happens: Give the same grace you would bestow upon someone else that can’t quite do everything they usually do. Look forward to the end of the episode (what ever kind it may be), for it will eventually pass. To “push through the burn” — as if it were like childbirth — is not only harmful, it’s unnecessary. There is an old saying–“Get off the cross, we need the wood.” Martyring yourself only makes yourself and others around you miserable. Trust me.
We are told over and over in the Bible to have compassion. That includes giving some toward ourselves.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart ofcompassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience Colossians 3:11-13
Why do we have a hard time giving the same compassion to ourselves as we do for others?
How can we prepare for Extreme Self-Care emergencies in order to take care of ourselves?
What does Extreme Self-Care mean for you?