Chasing Contentment

Wednesday, May 4

I read a comic strip this morning in which a mother sat in an armchair and told her son, "I'm sick and tired." He asked, "Of what?" She replied, "Of being sick and tired." That's me today. I'm still sick, still tired. With one round of antibiotics and steroids completed and another round of steroids begun, I think I should feel better than this.

I have a friend who periodically teases me about being 'sickly,' which grates on my nerves. I don't like to think of myself in that way. But she doesn't have any children herself, and she didn't know me before I had children. I don't remember Mike or me being sick before we had Griff. I also don't know very many people without children who get sick very often. By contrast, I don't know very many people with children who don't periodically catch something.

Children present us with all of these new germs that we wouldn't come in contact with if it weren't for our little bundles of joy. A doctor once told me that illnesses are worse when they go from a child to an adult than when they pass from a peer to a peer. There's just something about it that's different.

I think the greatest difference, though, is that with kids, the option to stop and rest and heal isn't as legitimate. I feel lousy, sure. But there's still laundry to be done and homework to oversee and meals to prepare and all of the other things that go with having a family. there are ballgames to attend and church commitments to keep. Those things don't go away simply because I feel bad.

Parenthood taxes us physically as well as mentally, and at times like this, it is the physical drain that is the hardest to deal with day in and day out. While I want things to keep going as usual around our house, I also think it's good for my children to see that mamas and daddies get sick and tired, too. It's important for Griff, especially at this age, to realize that we can all work together to make things happen at home. If one person is having a hard time, the rest of us can step up and make a difference. I think it's important that he and Eliza see Mike and me as individuals who are trying our best but who don't always feel good or have all of the right answers.

[  posted by Chel on Wednesday, May 04, 2005  ]


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