Friday, May 31, 2013

How I Spent the Weekend on the Couch Watching TV


When you're a mother, or a person living with chronic illness or pain, or anyone seeking a bit of rest whilst taking care of a horde of children, the perceptions of those around you sometimes greatly differ with your reality. The following is a real life example of the vast difference there can be between perception and reality...

What they see:
Mama sitting on the couch watching tv all weekend.

What actually happened:
Saturday, Mama:
- Went to a memorial service and the luncheon following, helping out as needed
- Drove to parents' house, heretofore called "home",  where family was staying for long weekend, picked up coupons, drove to the store, did grocery shopping for the weekend.
- Lugged groceries into the house. Put away groceries. Prepped for dinner.
- Sat down for an hour and a half, watched a movie with daughter, while researching a possible new autoimmune arthritis treatment, health tracking sites, and reading a book about Aspergers/Autism recommended by the doctor.
- Made dinner for entire family.
- Collapsed onto couch and watched tv for a couple hours while praying pain meds would kick in at some point.

Sunday, Mama:
- Woke up at 5am. Cleaned up bathrooms and living room. Wrangled children.
- Retreated to couch with migraine in hopes of letting medication take effect and not exacerbating it any further.
- Took eldest and youngest children to church, where youngest joined Mama for most of Coffee and Conversation, and was on Mama for most of worship.
- Arrived back home, supervised lunch, took more medication for migraine, forced self to eat, sat and watched tv for a half hour.
- Went outside and helped with landscaping project: raked clippings out of backyard section of landscaping, mulched that section, raked clippings into a pile, raked clippings out of small section of front landscaping, spread mulch there, picked a zillion baby trees out of front landscaping, raked clippings into piles, retreated into house with severe migraine and hurting hands.
- Collapsed in front of tv, drank lots of water, took pain meds, got out computer and worked on family finances, homeschool assignments, etc.
- Cooked corn-on-the-cob, got out chips, plates, etc. for dinner. Wrangled children while husband grilled burgers.
- Ate dinner.
- Sat down to watch tv while kids played before bed.
- Husband drove home to sleep at our house and shorten his early morning commute.
- Mama sat on couch and tried to watch tv, while answering several hundred questions on who gets to play on what when and can we get this game it's free and can I sleep where this person slept last night and how much are we getting paid for helping and can we go to Target and can we get ice cream at the parade tomorrow and and and ....
- Sent kids to bed.
- Sent kids back to bed.
- Told kids to stop arguing about beds, get into the beds they were in last time, and sleep.
- Confirmed that she really meant what she said.
- Confirmed her confirmation of meaning what she said.
- Informed children that if they didn't go to sleep, Mama couldn't sleep, and if Mama didn't sleep, Maa wouldn't be in good enough shape to go to the parade in the morning.
- Yes, really.
- Finally got to watch tv - got 20 minutes into movie before passing out.

Monday:
- Mama got up, did load of laundry, sorted kids' clothes that were strewn all over living room into their own bags, cleaned up around house. Put first load into dryer, second load of the day into washer.
- Made breakfast for six people, cleaned up, packed water bottles, snacks, blankets, etc. for parade. Drove halfway down hill, parked, walked with kids rest of the way to parade. Spread out blankets to save our spot, walked around. Sat. Had coffee. Walked around more. Sat. Had snack. Walked around more. Watched parade. Walked back up to van. Drove back to parents' house.
- Made lunch for kids and self.
- Did more laundry and more cleaning up.
- Sat down for 20 minutes, cleaned for 10. Lather, rinse, repeat.
- Gave up at 3pm. Husband arrived home at 3:05 to find Mama sitting on the couch watching* tv.
- Mama passed out for an hour and a half due to sheer exhaustion.
- Mama woken up at 4:30 to go home, having "spent the weekend sitting on the couch watching tv."




Perception: Mama spends weekend on couch watching TV.
Reality: Something completely different.

Next time I will sit on the couch and watch tv all weekend. Everyone else can fend for themselves. 

*watching = desperately trying to stay conscious while awaiting husband's arrival home from work



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