I know that for many parents, one of the hardest things to adjust to once starting a family is no longer being able to put your owns needs first when you feel unwell. You still have housework to do, kids to feed and look after, washing that needs doing, the list goes on. When you get sick, most times you can no longer crawl into bed and take care of yourself. You don't get sick days.
Now in my situation the same thing is true. It just occurs much more often then we ever imagined when we were planning for our family. My husband can't take every day off during the week that I feel unwell, otherwise he would hardly ever be at work. We can not afford full time care for our twins. There are some days it is just unavoidable. I feel terrible, but there is much to be done. The fact is, on these kinds of days It is hard to think of anything good about having a chronic illness. I struggle to remain positive while feeling short tempered and exhausted. I can't find the energy to dress myself, let alone my twins. I have realised though, that learning to live with a chronic illness is a process. Through it I am learning to be kinder to myself and less hung up about being the *perfect* Mum.
I am very lucky in all this to have a very supportive husband whom allows me to rest up all weekend. All Weekend. For example, it's Sunday evening and I've had a grand total of about three hours out of bed all weekend. I am exhausted and my heart is racing. The boys have been coming in for cuddles and stories, but on the whole have had a fun weekend with Daddy. I am not ashamed to say that this is not an uncommon occurrence. I have learnt to put myself first, to give myself the best possible chance of getting through a week with as little stress and fatigue as possible.
The boys are preschoolers. They are so active and yet only attend kindergarten three afternoons a week. I am happy to share that three mornings a week they go to before kindy care. That's right. I'm a stay at home Mum with a Nanny. This has been the best possible move for us all.
Those days that I have two little boys at home all day and I feel as though I've been hit by a truck? Well, cereal isn't going to hurt them. Even if they get it for breakfast and lunch. They love yoghurt's and fruit(Yay for Claire, who has recently gave us with even more of the boys favourite things! We love you!), two things I have to do very little with in order for them to be served. They get dressed if Craig has managed to do it, otherwise a PJ day is declared. We have an easy dinner, and we do try to get out of the house (Dressed, don't worry!) for a short walk to get Daddy from the bus. It's my daily walk and for them some time out of the house. A ten minute walk has been managed to be stretched out to about half an hour ;)
All in all, I just let it go. The housework isn't going anywhere. The room I began de-cluttering a week ago will get done on a better day. I lower my expectations and I take care of myself and those boys and that's it. Those are my sick days. It's been a journey to this point for all of us, especially my husband and I. A lot of guilt and expectations about roles in the home has gone, leaving a peace and gratefulness to each other for all that we do. And even though this sounds incredibly strange, I congratulate myself for putting my health first so that I am here with my boys. In every sense of the word.