As I write this, I have mononucleosis. Yes, laugh if you must, I have the “kissing disease.”
It’s hard having mono. This is my fourth time. But it’s the first time I’ve had mono as a mom. WAY harder than having mono when living with your mom.
Mono is a virus and there is no treatment other than rest. If you don’t rest properly, mono can relapse over and over and become a chronic problem. All parents can now fully see my dilemma with a toddler. We are fortunate that my husband often works from home and has the flexibility to help when needed. But, I want to do all I can to prevent him from being in demand!
The reality is that many moms have chronic pain and illness that keep them in a cycle of needing rest. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, I understand. So, if you’re a mom who has to be extra creative to take care of your kid/kids with less energy exerted, what ideas can you share?
Some things we’ve been doing:
Every day this week, Lucy and I have played this game: We lie down together and pretend to sleep. Then I lift my head and we laugh at each other. Sometimes, I’m the only one lying down and she’s running around, then comes over to touch me so I’ll look up and laugh. We both think this game is hilarious and it allows me to lie down and even close my eyes a lot!
I try to think of things that keep Lucy in one place a while, then do that while I rest. For her, stickers do that. She’ll sit with one sheet of stickers for 20 minutes, sticking and re-sticking them. Or, she loves to play in the rocking chair. She’ll play a good 20-25 minutes straight if she hasn’t seen it in a while, so I select the times I really need it to push it out.
Tonight, Lucy desperately wanted to go outside. (She’s 15 months old and often goes to the door, points outside and says “this!” Sometimes she brings me her shoes or the baby bjorn if she thinks I’m not getting the picture.) I didn’t have the energy to go downstairs and let her play (we’re on the third floor) so, instead, we went on the porch and talked about everything we could see. We do this a lot. And there’s still a lot to discover: Leaves, chipmunks, cars, electricity wires, ants, people, birds, and at our house, an occasional owl or monkey.
Then, when all other activities fail, I just let Lucy clean up after herself with this traditional Indian broom. 🙂
If God has entrusted you with children, remember He doesn’t make mistakes! He will give you everything you need to care for them. For me during this season of extra exhaustion from mono, God has been so great to provide everything I need and everything Lucy needs, too. He’s reminded me to not beat myself up when I can’t do more, but to rest in Him and trust his sovereignty in our lives.