I’m back, after over a week of lying pathetically in bed (when possible) and joining my 16 month old in whining and crying with the worst virus I’ve ever known. And technically, seeing as this is by double the longest I havent blogged in, I should have plenty to say. I should be bombarding you with witty anecdotes about my family and relationships, choosing only the best and funniest bits of the past 10 days, making you leap to press that alluring follow button. But truthfully, I have been feeling better since Friday, but have been suffering from a bit of writers block.
What being ill for a whole week has shown me, is that it is so easy to start doing nothing. It is highly addictive to just stop. When we are healthy, we never stop. As mums, we are always busy, always tired, always doing something. Stopping is a luxury we simply can rarely afford. Not that we dont get the odd cup of tea, or hour in front of the TV, or even afternoon off once or twice a decade, but even during the rare body breaks, our minds are still working overtime.
What’s for dinner? Is the washing dry? Was that the baby? Did x bill get paid? Even when we arent physically doing the chores themselves, they murmur incessantly in our heads until we give up on any notion of ‘Me-time’, and settle for a mere shadow of the ideal.
But then we get ill. And suddenly the only space in our heads is “Pass the Nurofen..Plus.” And someone else will have to pick up the baby, because we cant. And supper will have to get sorted, because the idea of food is making my stomach hurt even more. And washing? Cleaning? Bills? The office? They will have to wait, or disappear, or something, I dont really care.
How enlightening. The idea that if we dont do everything, things will still get done. Yes, one week later and I have a laundry pile which resembles a ski slope, and the carpet has disappeared under a sheet of cheerios, but look- we are all still here, fed, clothed, thank God, healthy, and starting a new week. The world didnt end because I disappeared for 6 days.
So why does it take being deathly ill for me to take some ‘me-time’? And now that I’ve discovered it, why is it so hard to start again? Jobs which would have disappeared without a touch of complaint now seem like huge tasks, and just browsing my work emails is tiring me out. I feel like I’m 15 again, struggling to get out of bed for school after a summer of 11am lie-ins.
I know the ideal. To be able to take some of this newfound freedom, and the knowledge that the world doesnt fall apart if I give myself a break, and put it into my busy hectic life. To work hard professionally and as a wife/mother, and also give myself some time for me, and not just when I have a 103 degree fever. But it’s definitely easier said than done.
Maybe thats why we all work so hard. Because the shiny prospect of not doing anything is too tempting to even entertain for a half hour of alone time. Perhaps the world is full of women, who if given half a chance, would jump back into pyjamas, turn on Desperate Housewives, say screw it to the housework and office jobs alike, and let the men, business and babies fend for themselves.