I was home yesterday taking care of William, who stopped puking but ran a high fever all day. He mainly slept off his exhaustion from Monday on the couch, waking once in awhile for me to give him more medicine and water, since his chapped, dry lips were alarming to me. I was supposed to be at work, and planned to work from home, but my kind boss told me it was all taken care of, and I should be home with William. She said the same thing for today, and it feels like being given a gift, to look after my child without additional stress and responsibilities on top of it.
These days of puttering around the house when I wasn't supposed to be home, are like an unexpected mental and physical vacation (if you consider non-stop laundry and scrubbing vomit from couches a holiday). I feel rested and recharged, with all of my stress melting away. It's as though the cure has been discovered before the illness was diagnosed. I've found a new perspective in terms of busyness.
I cannot be too busy. I must manage my stress. My kids come first in life, as that is the commitment I made to be their mother. I want to make everyone happy all of the time, to do everything to the best of my ability, but often I pay a high price for that. I want balance and peace in my life, at all costs, and sometimes tough decisions have to be made in order to achieve that balance. Sacrifices have to be made, but life isn't all about money, because money doesn't satisfy when everything else is out of whack.
I have seen that I am too hard on Jason, who brings a single-minded devotion to his career and sometimes I am jealous of that focus, because I miss the days when I could follow my own ambition without thinking of my kids first. But I have chosen to be home with them for these early years; to sacrifice money and career for their greater good.
As a result, I have signed up for a divided focus, with my life broken into pie charts (mmm....pie) with Ava's needs, William's needs, Jason's needs and my needs all given their appropriate amounts. The amount each person receives changes based on the week and the time, but as a mom we must keep our section of the pie chart (mmm...pie) taking up some space so we don't disappear entirely. Our kids need us, as whole people, with all of our good qualities and weaknesses intact. They must see us evolving and changing so they have a model to follow into adulthood.
Today I am grateful that my boss knew I needed to focus on William instead of my work for these two days. She knew what was best for me even when I didn't. I worried about letting her down, about having a sick kid when I was supposed to be at work, and she extended grace and understanding to me. It means a lot to be saved from yourself, to be given a reprieve from your ridiculously high expectations, and to receive the chance to do what you need to do without guilt or fear.