Accepting what is
About two hours after I completed my last blog on the power of play, a nasty virus began to take me down. 24 hours later, sister #1 and I were in misery together with a 102+ fever. Dad was out of town, so sister #2 had to literally get her own dinner – some have asked what she “made” and it was a relatively balanced meal of turkey lunchmeat, pseudo cheese and a lara bar. Not too bad and appropriate for our protein loving girl. She also had to play waitress and nurse as best as a just turned 10 year old can. She rose to the occasion and then let out all of her angst and stress on her travel weary dad the next day. Sister #2 got her turn with a lighter version of the same virus several days later. While my daughters bounced back fairly quickly, I was almost completely down for a week and still dragging a bit even now at 2 weeks out. I’ve been reminded of a few things during this time.
Having a sick parent can be stressful and fear inducing, especially for children who have already experienced loss in their young lives.
Both children and parents regress when sick. When we feel poorly, we just want someone we love to come and take care of us and make it all go away. It is a bigger challenge when both mom and child are sick at the same time. As a mom, my tool box was extremely limited when all I could think of was how to make it through the day, and there wasn’t much choice in the matter.
Today, I was reflecting on why some emotional and behavioral issues had gotten so hard and seemingly headed backwards and downhill these last weeks and months after a long season of hopeful progress. My mind drifted back to Becky Bailey’s Conscious Discipline model and the things I learned from her. My thoughts suddenly latched onto the power of acceptance principle, and I recalled Bailey’s phrase that means so much to me: “it is what it is”. No matter how hard I wish for the more peaceful and calm minutes, hours and days, we are where we are. Rather than acknowledge this and move forward, I have been spending too much energy internally and externally battling the household regression in myself and in my children. Fear of “going back” to more difficult days has interfered with responding to what is happening now.
I pulled out Bailey’s “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” and browsed through my underlines in the early pages of this book. These lines resonated – “Fear focuses on what you don’t want; love focuses on what you do want.” “Fear controls, love structures.” “Fear judges, and love notices.”
So with a good measure of grace for myself and each family member during more challenging days, I hope to accept where we are, do the best we can and with hope look forward to days full of more love and less fear. Accepting what is, in this moment, seems to be the first step.