Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Musings of a Sick Mommy

My children and husband are mostly well again, with increasing energy, vitality, and a definite spark in their spring steps. The tulips shoots are about four inches up at this point, and other bulbs are coming along nicely as well. There is mulch to get down, the last of the old leaves to rake, and I have 50 tiny peat pots that still need soil and perennial seeds.

And yet here I am, with a throat still so sore I'm reduced to taking spoonfuls of ice cream to chase the pain away. My cough has kept me awake for two nights, and I'm desperate for sleep. One would think I could get a little sympathy, but, alas, the family has spring fever so badly, they dismiss me and are annoyed by me, notwithstanding the extra cuddles from Timothy and Emily.

My husband worked half day on Sunday, which is normal. I had, while feeling sick, taken care of the house cleaning and children up until 2pm, at which time he arrived home. I planned on handing him the reigns and falling into bed, but he had either forgotten my illness, or dismissed it. He wanted to be outside in the full sunshine, puttering around in the garden. I had Emily out for about half an hour, and since the yard is still a muddy mess, she managed to destroy her clothes, getting so muddy I hardly wanted to pick her up, plus she wouldn't keep her bonnet on. I went back inside with her, and waited for Don to come in and relieve me. Never happened, and I begin to stew with anger.

Finally, I did call him over to say I badly needed a rest, and could he take over with Emily (boys were outside). He is a sun lover and was annoyed. I was annoyed as well, reminding him that he brought the virus home in the first place (childish, I know) and that I didn't choose to get sick just as the weather warmed up.

This whole illness thing has brought a few issues to the forefront. In life, there are takers and givers. One is not necessarily better than the other, and a person might be a taker in one way, and a giver in another. Generally speaking though, my husband and Daniel are takers, and Timothy, Emily and myself are givers. I'm so glad we have a balance in our family, since givers tend to give too much, and takers usually need reminding not to take so much.

My husband is a lot of wonderful things, and is definitely an awesome giver of his time with our children. I tend to let them amuse themselves more, attempting to foster independence, while I steal some much-needed alone minutes when I can, usually without apology.

Neither of us is without fault, and together we do bring a balance. I'll just have to accept that in times of illness, the differences between us will clash mightily and we'll annoy one another.

After I rested for half a hour, which is all I could do due to the cough, I had to apologize to the kids for having angry words with Daddy. They don't usually get earfuls, and I'm sure they were confused by our sarcasm.

Later that night, during prayer, I confessed my sin to God, and Timothy said,

"My teacher said that everybody does bad things." (From AWANA class, Easter lesson)

I was SO blessed that he had remembered such an important part of the Gospel. A couple of weeks ago, after a Bible reading my husband did, Timmy asked Jesus into his heart and life. At age four, one never knows what they really comprehend, though. We aren't ready to run out and have him baptized yet, as that requires a full understanding of the Gospel message. His words on Sunday definitely helped me understand more of where he's at spiritually. If he can understand that even his Mommy is a sinner, then he's well on his way to comprehending his need for Christ.

6 comments:

Mom Unplugged said...

Oh I do hope you are feeling better soon! We have a nasty stomach bug that is making its way through the family at the moment, so I can sympathize. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope you'll show us your bookmarks if you get to them (when you are felling better). Get well soon!

Evenspor said...

What a blessing to have such a sweet little spirit to remind you of these things.

Once again your post hit one thing on my mind today. The other night my husband and I had "sharp words." This is difficult for me, because when something like this happens, instead of saying he is angry or sorry, he just goes cold for a couple of days, then goes back to normal as if nothing ever happened. I need words for resolution, but he refuses. I also have trouble finding where the line is between giving him gentle reminders and when to back off. (Sorry to use your blog for this - I can't very well post it on my own, since he is my number one reader)

momma's heart said...

Arwen,

My husband never reads my blog, or anything else on the computer for that matter. He hates computers. I think that is good, as it means I can vent when I need to. Even in the best of marriages, there are issues that need revisiting. I am the one with the quicker temper, so I'm always the one who feels convicted first. Don did apologize for getting irritated about my needing help, though.

I wonder if your husband is dealing with conflict the same way he saw it dealt with as a child/young adult? How is it dealt with in his family? Perhaps, when this spat is completely over, you can ask questions about how his family dealt with conflict, and share how your family dealt. Then, maybe he can better understand why you want and need resolution. Beeper will need it from Daddy as well, so you can mention that as well. Hard discussion, to be sure, but worth it. You don't want deep resentments to build.

I will pray for you, Sister.

Evenspor said...

Thanks for those thoughts and your prayers. That means a lot to me. My husband actually called today shortly after I wrote this to see how my day was going, and that alone cheered me up a lot. It doesn't solve the problem, though.

I am sure it is how he saw his dad handle conflict growing up, because I have spent a lot of time around his parents and have seen the same thing there. My parents did no better in the conflict resolution department, which could be why they are no longer together. I have been trying to learn through reading about how to deal with my husband and son better, and I have tried to get my husband to read some of the same things I have, but he flat-out refuses. He used to say, "Oh yeah, I'll read it. I'll read it," but I finally figured out he had no intention of doing so. He considers it all "pop psychology" and thinks the way he handles things are fine.

Your support has given me motivation to search for a new way to work this out with him, though. Thanks.

momma's heart said...

Arwen,

I wonder if he would write out his thoughts after a disagreement, and you could write out yours? It would get things started maybe.

I will pray specifically that the Holy Spirit will speak to his heart about honoring/validating your feelings. He has to face the fact that, while his way of handling conflict works for him, it doesn't work for you.

I'm sure your husband's a wonderful man, and knows what a treasure he has in you, and that God will work this out.

I remember the pre-marital counseling we went to through our church really emphasized that you have to pray much and rely on God to facilitate any necessary changes in your spouse. We also learned that the first thing we must pray is, "God, change me." Just being willing to say that means our own heart is in the right place.

Your biggest challenge might be making sure your heart remains completely open to your husband, and stays free of bitterness, regardless of how he handles conflict.

Bless You! I know this will get better!

Evenspor said...

Thanks, Pam. :) All true, and comforting to be reminded of.