So our house is not really a fun place to be tonight. Earlier, I went to teach my HypnoBirthing class, and came home to find hubby in bed, Moo building a puzzle, and Bear asleep on the bedroom floor. I should have known something was wrong. Garden Variety Daddy had said he wasn't feeling well this morning, but told me to go ahead and go teach my class and he would have a low-key few hours with the kids. I guess things got worse while I was gone. So I left hubby and Moo, since they seemed okay, and tried to wake up Bear. He told me his stomach wasn't feeling very good, so I carried him downstairs with me to think about what I would fix for dinner. I didn't think it was a big deal, because the boys often mimic us, and I thought he was probably just doing what Daddy was doing. But just in case, I said, "Do you think you might have to throw up?" And he said, "No. I definitely don't."
And then, immediately, he opened his mouth and threw up all over me.
I'll admit that I yelled, because I was just so shocked to be suddenly covered in puke, and then he was crying and puking, and.... well, it was not a pretty scene. Shortly thereafter, I went upstairs with no shirt on myself, a naked toddler, and a freshly-disinfected kitchen floor. And everything was pretty okay after that; no more throwing up, just lots of snuggles and stories and me asking if a bucket was needed.
I should share something with you: I hate puke. I hate it so much that when I'm sick, I will do pretty much whatever I possibly can to avoid throwing up. When other people throw up, it makes me throw up. Instantly. Normally if the boys are having a problem that causes them to puke, I make hubby clean it up if at all possible.
So today, my act of kindness was twofold: part one was cleaning up that nasty mess while forcing myself to not throw up, while simultaneously trying to comfort a puke-covered toddler. Poor kid. I hope he doesn't remember this when he's older.
And part two? Not complaining about it. I admit that sometimes I complain too much. I tell myself that I'm venting, and I do believe that a certain amount of venting is necessary, but sometimes I catch myself being just plain negative. And at that point, complaining about whatever is bothering me doesn't make me feel any better, and it certainly doesn't change the situation. So tonight, I decided that I was going to be a good Mama and be patient with everyone, no matter how much they screamed or puked or needed to be put back in bed 50,000 times.
And you know what? It actually felt good. I felt like a good mommy, comforting my little guys, cleaning up the mess and telling myself not to worry about the laundry; it will get done tomorrow. It felt like taking care of my family. It felt like returning a favor, since hubby did exactly this (okay, minus the puke) for me several weeks ago, when I was so sick that I had to stay in bed for three whole days. It felt really, really good to say to him, "It's okay. You can stay in bed as long as you need to. Let me know if I can get you anything. Yes, the kids are taken care of."
I think that I have spent the last three years and change so stressed out about taking care of the kids that I forgot, a little bit, how good it feels to take care of my hubby. Sometimes, as new parents, you get so busy trying to get your own needs met (and let's face it: it's just not possible) that you don't go too far out of your way for your partner. Or maybe that's just been me.
And that's not to say you shouldn't try to get your own needs met; before The Sickness hit us today, hubby let me sleep in AND go for a run while he fed the kids breakfast and played with them. And I'm not gonna lie: that made it a lot easier to dig in and do everything by myself tonight with a smile on my face. It feels good to take care of each other.
So while it feels kind of self-congratulatory to blog about my acts of kindness this month, it's also nice to reflect on them. And it helps to remember why this is such a cool project: it reminds me that by giving more, I feel like I have more to give.
Also, please can I not get this stomach bug?