Last week completely spiraled out of control. I can’t even believe that it was only a week; it felt more like a lifetime. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was crying out to God “I hurt.” Two simple words because I couldn’t make sense of everything else going on inside of my head.
It started when Nick’s younger brother asked if we could watch our 2-year-old nephew for a few days. They’re moving back to California and were having a hard time packing with a 2-year-old and newborn. Now let me just say, we gladly agreed to having our nephew over. First of all, it means a lot when someone trusts you with their child. Second of all, I wanted some quality time with my nephew before they moved. And lastly, I’m committed to our family and helping in time of need.
But a 1- and 2-year-old can be quite exhausting! Especially when one of them is in an unfamiliar place with somewhat unfamiliar people. It took a lot of energy to keep them both happy…and fed.
While our nephew was still with us, we got word that my mom had flown out to Maryland to be with her mom in what we thought might be her final days. Fortunately the doctors are a little more optimistic about her outcome, but it stirred up a lot of emotions for me. The last time someone in my family died, I was in the 4th grade. It’s been almost 20 years since I went through the grief of losing a relative. To be honest, I was terrified that I didn’t know how to grieve. That when my grandma died, I wouldn’t know how to process it. That’s a lot to handle when you’ve already got your hands full with 2 boys!
Our nephew went home, but the next day Milo was diagnosed with an ear infection. That night felt like the longest of my life. I’ve grown accustomed to Milo sleeping through the night; now there was nothing I could do to get him to sleep. At the same time, Nick came down with a cold. For the next few days, Nick and Milo got worse and my patience dwindled.
I ended up running only 3 times that week. No cross training, strength training, or making any attempts to get extra movement in my day. Everything inside me said to conserve my energy. I was running on empty and couldn’t afford to waste what little I had left.
By the time this week rolled around, not only was I tired, but I had done a really good job of beating myself up. In an attempt to comfort Milo, I had allowed him to start nursing during the day again. It felt like a slap in the face, a huge step back. My heart rate monitor reminded me everyday that I was not moving enough and I was afraid I was sabotaging my training. And my husband was sick, but I did nothing to help him. It felt like every man for himself, survival of the fittest. But if the tables had been turned and I was the one sick, I would have never let him neglect me.
Fortunately it’s a new week. Nick is on the mend. Milo is on new medicine and is sleeping regularly again. I’m 100% for my runs so far this week. My grandma is still alive and recovering. Having a couple of days to catch my breath, get some sleep, and feel a little more human, I’ve started to reflect on last week and my shortcomings.
If the worst thing I do for my son is breastfeed him, I’m ok with that.
I trust my husband that he wouldn’t let me neglect him in time of need. I also trust that I acted upon every request he did make, so I did my best in the circumstances.
I believe I am better off for having taking a couple of days off of running than if I had tried to push through. Training on empty leaves you at higher risk for injury as well as illness. I may have missed a run or two, but if I had gotten sick it would have been worse.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. When the time comes that I lose a family member, I will experience grief in my own ways. But I don’t need to worry over that right now. Lastly, I am only human and I’m doing the best that I can.
Thank God that week is over.