So, our nice little routine hit a big hurdle this weekend: I got really sick. Some kind of weird, short-lived, severe stomach bug, but suffice it to say, I wasn’t getting anything done at all. I ventured out of bed just once to try to make myself a cup of tea and promptly threw up before I made it back upstairs. I started feeling somewhat ill on Saturday afternoon–enough so that I actually didn’t clean up from dinner, for once (at that point I thought “oh, I’ll get it tomorrow when I feel better”) and then I stayed really sick all the way through until after I went to sleep on Sunday night. This morning I woke up and quickly discovered that I wasn’t quite better still, and called my mom in somewhat of a panic because I was definitely headed toward another day of throwing up and/or passing out.
She came, of course, and I very quickly went back to bed, and after that, I did wake up somewhat recovered. I can tell my body is still much the worse for the wear, especially my stomach muscles, but I can at least take care of myself and the girls. Still didn’t feel up to cooking (or eating) dinner tonight, but that’s not terribly unusual just from being pregnant!
Anyway, though, the thing that was really bothersome was that my nice little housekeeping routine DIED. I can’t emphasize enough how much it died. It started its demise on Saturday with the aforementioned dinner mess going uncleaned, but then yesterday while I was ensconced in my room, it fell all to pieces. I woke up this morning to disaster, without having remotely the energy or wellness to fix it.
So, of course, the question is–how on earth does one plan for sickness? I was very thankful that things were organized enough that I could direct Seth where to find their clothes without getting out of bed myself, and that things were neat enough to begin with that the mess wasn’t truly insurmountable this morning (if I had felt like my normal self, it would have just been a more-difficult-than-usual day, but nothing untamable). But still, I didn’t feel well enough to even load the dishwasher (and I made myself sick trying to load the washer), and looking around the house was soooo discouraging and made me wonder what we could have done to prevent it. It wasn’t Seth’s fault–he’d been up all night with me needing help, then up with the girls from 5:30 onward, up through their nap (which I usually sleep though), and then not home until late (they all went to my parents’ so I could rest). And when he was home, he spent a lot of time playing fetch for me!
Very thankfully, my mom could come over and she actually pretty much cleaned everything back up this morning! While watching the girls, to boot. It was a definite “fix” to my problem! Probably the most logical fix–if she couldn’t have come, and if I’d been well enough to be on my own (I really wasn’t; I think I would have had to call Seth back home or something), then I think what we could perhaps have done is make a concerted effort after Seth did get home where one of us watched the kids and the other one tried to straighten the house back up. the important part being creating a purposeful, highly-focused, highly-energized time to try to whip things back in line.
But looking back, I think it would have been better if we could have had a plan for the house to get less messed up to begin with. For one, although I had no idea how sick I was going to be on Sunday, if I hadn’t put off cleaning up the dinner dishes on Saturday, we would have been in much better shape, because dishes and pots and pans snowball. (Clutter begets clutter.) So onward, if I’m well enough to possibly complete a task, I hope I learned my lesson and will actually do it. You never know when the next day is going to be ten times worse! I legitimately didn’t feel like it, but afterwards I really regretted leaving it undone. If I felt that crappy, I could have asked Seth to do it then, before it got all piled up. Secondly, I could have given Seth lots of suggestions for how to prevent clutter in the first place. I really didn’t care, on Sunday; I was too sick to care! But there are so many ways that I know, because I’m here and deal with the two munchkins all day, to keep the clutter down. There are rooms that they can play in for a really long time without ever making an unmanageable mess, even if totally unsupervised, and then there are toys that turn any room into a disaster area within moments of being gotten out. I could have said a really simple sentence, like “to try and not have a big mess for us to clean up when we actually feel capable of cleaning, why don’t you keep them in the nursery all morning and play with the Fisher-Price toys?” That’s like five or six sets of toys that they could get out all at once and still be able to clean up in less than ten minutes. Our biggest problem might simply have been that I wasn’t thinking about the mess that was happening, or the difficulty I’d have in reining it all back in. And there were some points even on Sunday when I could have handled the kids for the five minutes or so it would have taken Seth to keep the kitchen manageable. It’s all about small chunks, especially when you’re sick.
All-in-all, it has been an interesting and insightful experience. It was definitely less disastrous than it could have been, because the house wasn’t particularly out of order before the weekend happened. I did need to do laundry, especially diaper laundry, today, but there wasn’t much and it definitely wasn’t a build-up. If I’d been sick another day or even two, it still would have been okay. So, in short, it was nice to see some of the real effects of the routine-keeping. On the other hand, it also really pointed out a need for focus, even in sickness, because I hate that things still got so disorderly after only two days, especially since our weekends had been going “cleaner” in general.
Live and learn! 🙂