Yesterday was a scary day. One of the scariest days I have experienced with our four kids. One of our twins, Mia, who has had a fever that began on Sunday morning, suddenly spiked a fever so high, it was terrifying.
She had been to the doctor a few hours earlier, because despite our optimistic morning, I had been observing her fever climb, even with medication in her. She was immediately diagnosed with very obvious and visible strep throat and sent home with antibiotics.
After sleeping for an hour, she woke up screaming, and as my husband, Mike and I peered at the alarmingly high number on the thermometer, we knew some decisions had to be made.
We began bickering as we both were trying to do what was best, until I said, “stop!” I handed Mike our 22-month-old sweltering daughter and ripped off my clothes, grabbed her and jumped into a lukewarm bath. I then instructed Mike to get on the phone with a nurse to find out what we should do.
I have been on my motherhood journey for seven years now, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. I have become more decisive, we have become more resilient to the inevitable fight inducing stress that comes when kids get sick and situations become chaotic, but it has never become any easier.
Truthfully, there are days that I think to myself, “if I have to prepare one more snack, or break up one more fight I am going to just scream and lock myself in the bathroom.” But there is something inside of me that keeps me going. Okay, there are definitely days that I have to walk away and hide from my kids for a few minutes, just to compose myself.
All of us mothers are presented with 100 problems to solve each day. Each time we have to make a decision based on what little information we have, and maybe a sprinkling of following your gut. Then you have to get on with your day, until the next choice presents itself.
It didn’t take me too long after becoming a mother to realize that motherhood is mostly problem solving. We are all trying to do our best. We all break sometimes, under the pressure. So what’s the point?
You know that moment when your alarm goes off and it’s time to get out of bed, and you realize that despite being up half the night with a sick kid, you made it to the morning? Those few precious days following illness, when everyone in your house sleeps better than ever, because you are all catching up on sleep lost? That’s the point.
It’s the challenge. It’s caring for another human being, who is completely dependent on you. It’s those little moments in between, of joy, of happiness, love and laughter. It’s seeing the positive outcome of those difficult choices you had to make. It’s living with your mistakes, growing from them and knowing that next time you will do better.
After spending an hour in the bath with Mia, as she fell in and out of sleep, cradled in my arms, her fever receded to a less scary number. She was happy to go to bed afterwards, and has slowly improved since.
This morning, as all of our kids slowly came down the stairs as I made breakfast, having no idea of what had transpired the night before, I had this feeling of quiet accomplishment. I had solved another problem.