A local community advocate that I know from running the non-profit circles suggested that I embellish my story a bit rather than my version – “I was wrestling around with Super Tall Guy trying a little stuffed-animal soccer when my foot hit the bed frame.” It seemed mild enough. In fact, I was shocked to find a little bruise in the morning and it took a minute to figure out why it was there. But when the foot was still hurting 2 weeks later, I visited a very friendly sports medicine doc (and might have talked her into becoming a foster parent! I mean, why not? I’m always encouraging!).
She looked at the x-ray. She looked at my foot. She pushed on the bones – “does this hurt?” – “well, yes!” She looked at me. “Uh, what were you planning to be doing for the next few weeks?” Well….I was planning to run the JP5K for the crisis nursery we just opened up (and I wrote a little piece for)! Ahhh!
Instead, I now hear:
“Mommy, you got a boot?”
“Mommy, why you got a boot?”
“Mommy, why you not carrying me down the steps?”
“Mommy, where’s my boot?”
“Mommy, you got a boot?”
“Mommy, CARRY ME DOWN THE STEPS!!!!”
Pain-free, functional use of both my feet is certainly something I’ve taken for granted for, well, my whole life. And the ability to run after my boys is something that I’ve just assumed for the past almost 8 years….which means I’ve had to learn a few lessons this week.
1. Slow down – actually, it’s okay to sit on the couch a moment longer and put your foot up.
2. Do not kick immobile large metal objects.
3. Be patient – and try to answer the 2-year-old’s same questions over and over.
4. Take care of yourself – such an age-old mothering challenge and a huge struggle for me, despite how often I’ve heard the advice given. By day 4 of the boot, I was ready to kick it off and move on. Then I reminded myself how important it is to make sure that I heal as much as possible so that I would be healthy again for my boys.
So, how to “Take care of yourself”….
1. Exercise – keep the body healthy and limber and strong and has excellent benefits for mental health as well (but running to the point of stress fracture is not necessary).
2. Eat a varied and balanced diet – food intake affects more than weight, it affects mood and health.
3. Sleep – it’s okay to nap and get to bed shortly after the kids do (rather than stay up into the wee hours blogging …).
4. Schedule and go to appointments for your own health – not just those of the kids.
5. Let people help you, especially if they offer….and use the kids if no one has (“hey, Mr. Ornery, can you please run upstairs and get…”).
6. Keep up with a hobby or something you enjoy.
7. Smile often, laugh more.
8. Be present in as many moments as you can and enjoy them.
9. Love matters – so don’t just give it, receive it as well.
10. And before you fall asleep each night, tell yourself “You did good!” (and if necessary, stop worrying….. for tomorrow is another day).