Friday, 26 September 2014

They would trade places with you

Coming to the end of Week 4 of being more mindful, and we've had a crisis of sorts in our house this week.

My Mr Almost-3 came down with his first ever tummy bug after crèche on Monday, and has been unwell ever since. It is now Friday and I am hoping with every fibre of my being that he is well enough to travel to Fiji on Sunday for our week-long family holiday. Furthermore, I'm hoping my hospital-grade, won't-stop-cleaning level of hygiene will keep the rest of us healthy. We have been looking forward to this trip for over a year, and now I can feel the tropical bliss I imagined slipping through my fingers as I nurse my sick little boy and wonder which one of us might be next.

This week is the perfect week to exercise some perspective, to be as mindful as possible and to stay positive.

I've been playing a little game with myself to try and minimise the complaining (mine) and cursing (definitely mine), and to stay positive. It's called 'They would trade places with you', and it goes like this...

When I'm cursing the fact we're on day 5 of what should have been a mild tummy bug over in 24hrs (according to me), I think:
They would trade places with you. Those parents in the oncology wards, praying for a miracle but unsure when their child's hardship will be over and they'll be out the other side; those parents would have no trouble nursing a child whose sickness will be over in a matter of days. They would trade places with you. Those brand new parents in the ICU watching their helpless baby struggle for life; those parents would love to be cleaning up after a thriving toddler that's only come down with a stock-standard tummy bug. They would trade places with you.

When I'm begrudgingly bundling my tenth load of washing for the day into the machine, I think:
They would trade places with you. All those people without homes, who are living in clothes that don't know when they'll next be washed; they would love to have a hot shower and a washing machine to clean away their day. They would trade places with you. Those mums that can barely afford to feed their children let alone run a washing machine 24/7 to keep their child's clothes clean. They would trade places with you.

When I'm worrying about what might happen if one or all of us aren't feeling 100% on the flight to Fiji, I think: Yes, poor you. Worrying about your flight to Fiji. Millions would happily trade places with you and go on that flight to paradise. There are FAR worse things to be worried about.

Thank you brain. Very true.

Like everything in life, there are always lessons to be learnt and silver linings to be seen. I've learnt that I'm not as squeamish as I thought, and seeing my little one so unwell is far harder to deal with than the clean-up. I've learnt that my two babies are far more resilient than I thought - my littlest one has been so good keeping herself entertained while I've been looking after her big brother, and my wee man has been a real trooper and still managing to smile when I know he's feeling crappy.

And so, mums out there... if you find yourself complaining or cursing this week about your toddler who is running around and just isn't doing what they're told, or is asking for another bowl of cereal, or is animatedly pestering you for a game of hide and seek... play my game, because right now, I would trade places with you.

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