when sickness hits the family.

We have been human this last week. I wanted to stay this off as something like, “We have been our best and worst selves” but we don’t do good/bad dichotomy with our kids so why do it with ourselves? Especially when it’s human. It’s human to have tough days with irritability and it’s human to have no tough days with irritability and it’s just human to have reactions. 

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We have all been the sickest we have been since their time in the NICU. It amazes me how much a simple cold can take out the entire family. It amazes me more how we just have to wait it out. Except when waiting it out doesn’t work. Moya baby got their first ear infection – well double and severe – we didn’t understand why they would throw their head back all the time. There was no crying or tugging, just full on head throwing back. We also didn’t realize how off our first thermometer was! By two degrees! My heart still breaks that they had such a high tempature for so, so long and we didn’t take them to the doctor sooner. For most instances, we try to be laid back and not interfere with things that we have learned will solve itself. We try to use more homeopathic remedies before finding the fever and pain reliever. But now, after this experience, I’m grateful for Western medicine when it’s necessary.

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We as parents are exhausted. We have been incredibly triggered by this entire event and have been trying so hard to avoid hospitals. We spent 8 weeks total in the NICU and I spent a month and a half in the hospital during my pregnancy. We had feelings of helplessness and fear and pure exhaustion. All of it came back after a few days of them both being sick. We felt scared and upset and as if we didn’t protect them well enough. We have been so lucky up to this point. As the nights went on and we became sick ourselves, so did the irritability and the quick to temper and our own meltdowns. At time we felt like failures while other times – mostly at the end of the night while they slept – we tried to recognize all that we did that day. That we felt like absolute shit and still thrived. That our children, although lethargic and sick, felt safe and loved. 

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Parenting is a shit storm. Parenting is humbling. Parenting is the happiest moments we have every felt and parenting is joy. And as parents, we are humans. We have a range of emotions that we experience. And we made the choice to always show them to our children. And to apologize. Apologize to each other for being snappy. Apologize to them for being short tempered. And apologize to ourselves for being to hard. Grace for one self is important. Grace for each other is too. It’s been a hard week. But we survived and we learned. 

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Also, take help. It’s okay to say “I don’t know what to ask for but I’ll take it” when someone offers it. It’s okay to say yes to soups and care. We made a really thoughtful family this past month who have reminded us that we can build community here, in SoCal, like we did in Kentucky. We haven’t had it in so long but we are excited about the seeds being. 

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