I had an epiphany this morning.
Lying in bed completely flat and in that semi-awake state where you’re awake but clinging to that last bit of sleep I realised that I was resting all wrong.
I know it sounds ridiculous but for those of us with fatigue issues rest becomes a science. For example, lying on the sofa watching television might be relaxing for most of you but for someone like me that is not at all restful and will not provide the recharge my body needs.
In recent months I have been doing my resting sitting up in bed and working- and then wondering why I am not recharged. I didn’t recharge because I was not RESTING.
Today I resolved to stay flat and actually rest; I logged into the Happily Family Conference and started listening to today’s interviews. Yesterday while I was resting I listened to Day 1’s interviews and found them interesting and informative but I was acutely aware that disabled parents face different challenges.
Disabled parents can’t simply ‘get between the fighting kids’ because we don’t always have the physical capability or capacity. Holding a strong 8 or 10 year old from attacking the other can take all the spoons we have – then what do we do? Dig deeper?
We are fully aware that when we scrape the bottom of the barrel to gather up the remnants of whatever spoons we have it means we could be stuck in bed for weeks rebuilding our reserves.
What happens to The Kids then?
Just as an example, today there were fisticuffs between The Kids. I held one back from attacking the other and tried to find out what had caused such a reaction. The physical activity of holding someone back sapped my very limited strength but the situation does not resolve itself just because I am running on empty.
Getting The Kids to calm down and explain what happened and to understand each other’s perspective takes a lot of talking- which actually requires physical exertion.
At this stage the energy reserves built up from yesterday’s rest have been used up but The Kids still have needs and I need to help them recognise and meet those needs.
After all the talking and hugging and reassuring things settled down- until we found out that the plans for the afternoon had been changed. Then all hell broke loose again.
I’m still reeling from the earlier incident and trying to gather myself and now this has happened I have a distraught child who thinks she isn’t important enough and another child who is trying to contain his disappointment and frustration and is also deeply affected by how upset his sister is feeling.
To say ‘cuddling and comforting a child is exhausting‘ sounds silly, let alone trying to comfort two children, and I know it seems over-dramatic but it is my reality.
I literally have to count my energy usage the way Weight Watchers counts food points.
After all that I find myself in a café by the beach with two kids trying to chill out and knowing that today’s activities will leave me completely depleted for the coming days.
So I am back to my lightbulb moment- resting the right way. Who knew there was a wrong way?