Momming Alone: Belgium Trip – Fevers and RMH Days
The end of our fiscal year was around the corner at our company and I had ten glorious days to take off within the following month and a half. I was thrilled when I realized I had so much time to take, so I carefully planned each day wisely. Every week from here until the end of our year I was to have three or four day weekends. There would be lazy days, productive days, girly days, and some much needed date days with my honey. After careful consideration of my time, my level of motivation, and need to be able to drink cocktails before noon, I penciled in each and every day off. One day was set aside to drink brunch and go shopping with a friend. Another day, was set aside for pampering and relaxation with a spa day with another friend. Two days set aside to make a four day weekend, to celebrate our two year wedding anniversary. Two days set aside to have hubby date days while our spawn was at school, and four glorious days set aside for some much needed Me, Myself, and I time. I could go shopping, read a book, nap, binge watch some of my stories, write or sit in my pajamas all day without a single soul needing anything from me. The next month and a half was going to be filled with healthy servings of family, a pinch of laziness, and girly shenanigans, with a little bit of work peppered in here and there. The perfect combination for what I like to call a Rejuvenating Mental Health day salad, and I couldn’t be more excited.
“How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!”
Jane Austen, Emma
It was a Monday and the 20th day of February in the year of our Lord, 2017 when my first, perfectly planned RMH day was inconveniently interrupted by a chubby little human. It was absolutely gorgeous out for a winter day in Pennsylvania. The sun was beaming, the birds were chirping, and the farmers had done me a solid, the scent of manure was nowhere to be found. It would’ve been a perfect day to do nothing and everything I wanted to do. I always seem to forget that God likes to laugh at our plans…It all started with a cough. It was actually more like a coughing fit on Saturday while we were entertaining one of my husbands besties for the weekend. Both my husband and Uncle Ry-Ry were flying out Monday morning, so my plan was to take my little chunker to daycare and I was going to enjoy a much needed day to myself before momming alone for six days while my husband was in Belgium. It was going to be a day where I could recharge my batteries, so that I could head into the week calm and refreshed. I didn’t have anything spectacular planned, but that was just it. I wanted a day so that I could do whatever I wanted without having to talk to anyone, clean anything or even think too much. It was going to be my RMH day.
On Sunday night before it was even ten o’clock my little girl had woken up four times due to a coughing fit. The poor thing would cry and wince from the pain of her sore throat, it was pitiful. It is the worst feeling ever when your little human isn’t feeling well and all you can do is hold them and try to make them comfortable. I just tried to soothe her back to sleep and every twenty or thirty minutes she would wake back up. After the fourth trip to her room I just brought her into our bed and buckled down for a rough night. My husband and I barely slept but somehow in all the restlessness of a cough, snores and tangled limbs she managed to get a decent nights rest. She was feeling much better in the morning, but I took her to the doctor first thing, just to be sure. Her cough seemed better, and the doctor gave her some antibiotics for a slight ear infection and said it was okay to take her to daycare. Since she was in a decent mood I figured I could salvage a few hours of my RMH day while she got to play with her friends, it was a win-win. So I thought. It seemed like my butt hadn’t even touched the couch before I was getting a call from her teacher. She needed to be picked up right away, she had a 102 fever. I got to her as quickly as I could, scooped her up and brought her home where she spent the afternoon sitting on Mommy and pointing to our dog. She would lift her head from my chest and say, “Puh-Puh,” which means puppy and point and smile at him, then rest her head back down. After a while of cuddling with Mommy she wanted her puppy. So, I put her down on the rug he was laying on, and she laid right beside him and they just watched each other. She would reach over and pet him every few minutes and he would just stare at her, sniff her, and doze off again. We three, sat in her room for what seemed like hours. Cuddling, babbling, slobbering, and loving on each other until it was time to attempt dinner. With the meds kicking in, the humidifier running, and extra cuddles from Mommy before bedtime, she ended up sleeping through the night.
The next morning she woke up refreshed and smiling, and so did I. I had to keep her home from school that Tuesday, schools orders. She needed to be fever free for 24 hours, and I guess I can definitely stand by that rule. I had to use up another one of my RMH days to stay home with her, but that just comes with the Momming alone territory. I wish I could say that those two days with my baby girl was all that I needed to feel rejuvenated and whole again, but I’m not going to lie. By the time my husband got home on Saturday night I was hanging by a thread. I was irritable, exhausted, and in need of a cocktail. I thought I had done pretty well throughout the week, dealing with a sick kid, working, and trying to keep up with the house and the dog. However, Saturday morning hit and everyone was in rare form. The baby was on fire, the dog was being a turd and I was ready for a break. In between chasing my kid around the house, picking up her sippy cup for the millionth time, and cleaning up after her and the dog round the clock I was starting to come undone. I was reaching the, “I’m the worst Mom on the planet,” phase of my momming alone period, because I just wasn’t very smiley and jolly. All the warm and fuzzies had wore off, and I couldn’t wait for my husband to walk through the door just so that I could use the bathroom alone.
He was gone for six days… in six days I dealt with a sick toddler, a stubborn bulldog, running out of baby wipes unexpectedly while changing a diaper (talk about improvising on the fly!), and driving through a freak hail storm in my brand new vehicle! All I can say is, Oy! And thank God we made it through; through another fever, through another business trip, and through another momming alone storm. I don’t like being without my husband, but I guess I can look forward to little adventures and memories with my daughter that only her and I will share. Whether it’s getting through fevers, cuddling up on the floor of her room or driving through a ridiculous storm, this is just the beginning of our story together. I need to take advantage of this time whether I’m exhausted or irritable, because I’ve got plenty of RMH days ahead of me, but she won’t always need me to hold her, so that she could fall asleep. Those precious, cuddly moments are what I live for, knowing that at that moment she still loves and needs me. We’ll see how I feel when she’s a teenager, knows everything, and doesn’t need me anymore.