I had so much more to say about this topic after I wrote When I Don’t Feel Well… (posted Nov 2, 2014), so here’s part two.
Let’s start with this quote: “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” --Robert Fulghum
We, as mothers, are always teaching our children how to behave by how we behave. Beyond that, we are always teaching other people how to treat us, an important lesson, obviously, for those who surround us all day (ie hubby, kids).
So, when we push ourselves when we are sick, we are not just mistreating ourselves, we are showing our kids to push themselves when they are not at their best. Do we want to be doing that? Teaching our kids to wear themselves down? And like we said above, we are always teaching the people around us how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. So if we keep doing things when we should really be in bed, we are teaching the people around us that we will keep going for their benefit, even at our own expense. Is that how we want our kids to treat us? Our colleagues?
How does this sound: you tell your kids, your employer, ”I am not feeling well. I am getting into bed so I can rest up and get my strength and health back as quickly as possible. I am here for urgent matters only; everything else can either wait or be done by someone else.”
Obviously this little speech will sound different if you are talking to your kids, your husband, or your employer/employees. The point is this: make it clear to yourself and others that you are treating your body well. You are respecting your need to rest and get better. When you set the boundary clearly on what you can and can not be responsible for at this time, others are much more likely to respect that boundary. Even more, when people see you respecting yourself and your body, they will respect you. They acquire the awareness, through your maturity, of taking care of oneself. They are more likely to take care of you and give you the peace and quiet you need. And when it is there turn, they will hopefully learn the lesson for themselves. When my kids are home sick and want to be on electronics all day J, I let them know they are home to get better. Mandatory rest/nap time for around 2 hours. Eating and drinking healthy, nutritious foods to boost their vitamins and give their body the proper tools to fight the bug.
Now, I anticipate various reactions here from you. There are some women reading this and saying, “Why does she even need to write this? It’s obvious!”. Well, not for everyone. There are some women who have a hard time stopping and giving their bodies what they need. Whether it’s guilt, SuperWoman Syndrome, or simply a need to be busy, some women have a hard time stopping and really listening to what their bodies need.
Another reaction that I am sure is out there: “I can’t just stop. I have a job, and kids. People are relying on me. It would be irresponsible for me to get into bed!”. Guess what? You are great at what you do. Your job needs you, and your kids need you. They need you to be healthy. They CAN survive without you running their lives for a few days. They will manage. Your company will not go under from you missing two days. Give yourself (and don’t take this harshly) and your ego a rest. You are irreplaceable. You are wonderful. But you are a human and rest is part of your human needs. Taking care of yourself is RESPONSIBLE.
So take a breath. Take a rest. And even try to ENJOY it. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell :)
Teach yourself a lesson. Teach your kids a lesson. Teach your employer/e a lesson. About you. And about health.
Take yourself and your state of health seriously. Invite others to do the same for you and for themselves. And have a healthy winter!!
With love, health, and serenity,