Oh folks… It’s been a grueling week.
The whole fam, excluding my heroic husband (praise God) came down with something icky. We’re talking fever, headaches, snot, chesty coughs, gagging, sore throats, all of it. Just….bad.
And it’s still lingering. Fortunately I was feeling more myself yesterday, but our youngest got hit hard last night. She coughed over every bite of dinner and didn’t manage to keep any of it down. And it took 3 baths to finally get her clean enough for sleep.
Having sick kids is not fun. Or desirable. Or easy. I know a lot of moms who wear the “Mama Nurse” badge with pride as they tend to each babe with nurturing care… That’s not me. I don’t like puke. I don’t like bodily fluids, I don’t like scrubbing out the whatsit from the tub after each icky clean up. (Who does?) And it requires intentionally preparing my mind to be gracious and compassionate rather than annoyed. Maternal instinct was not something I was gifted, it’s something I’m choosing to learn and attempt to practice. Mostly, I hate seeing my babies suffer. I’d gladly take on their sickness if I could. And that’s my heart in the situation; I don’t want my children to suffer.
So I make them as comfortable as possible with lots of herbal tea, homemade cough syrup, bone broth, “pink juice” (I’ll share our experience with that at some point), and wholesome foods that will lend aid to their quick recovery. And this week began with me having the best of intentions to push through with homeschooling lessons, and to get done as much as we could in spite of feeling icky. But it ended with me letting go of this week’s school schedule, and my plans in order to just be present for my family.
With my husband working something like 60-70 hour weeks, I’ve been keenly aware of how much he does around the house. Things like mowing the grass, (sorry neighbors, I know it’s ugly, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry) taking out the garbage, doing all the laundry, unloading the dishwasher (which will be a child’s chore once we get it secured so that it doesn’t fall forward when the door opens), changing light bulbs, building projects, co-op runs for animal feed– all those things have fallen slack. Especially with my attention on sick kiddos.
Today, I caught up the laundry. I put on The Green Ember by S.D. Smith, narrated by Joel Clarkson, and I set to work with my oldest and a cup of tea. I’ve been super blessed by more natural alternatives to laundry soap and stain remover. A few years ago, I had been grating a laundry bar for homemade soap, and my oldest, then 3yo decided to take a bite out of a chunk of FelsNaptha. It was so caustic on his lip, his mouth swelled like a balloon and I thought he was going to need a trip to the emergency room. Praise God he did not, but I had been “burned” by having such harsh chemicals in my home. But with our laundry system now, there are no harsh chemicals, no caustic agents, and no threat to my children as curious tasters, or to their skin via eczema. And my laundry for the first time in 6 years actually SMELLS GOOD again. So I was actually able to enjoy the process of washing soiled bedsheets, clothes, and every bath towel in the house.
My goal of course is not to end the futility of dirty laundry. I know it’s a never-ending cycle. But my goal is to lighten the load for my husband, to manage my home and family well, and to serve my family and enable them to recuperate after this illness and know that they’ve got clean clothes, sheets, and undies.
My next project is vacuuming and shampooing the three rooms which still have carpet. There’s a sickly stank in the house. You know how that goes; when you just have to open up all the windows and air everything out.
I have fall crops set to plant this weekend.
But for now, I’m resting in God’s grace and rejoicing in the freedom to just take time to rest and recover.