I got home at 2am yesterday morning and I got home sick. I’d been coming down with it early in the week, but the funny thing about getting a cold on vacation is I get to rest. Yesterday, after a good sixish hours of rest, I woke feeling like I’d been run over. Debilitating headache plus a full-service cold meant we would definitely not be going to Classical Conversations. Jenna came home halfway through the day with a fever. This morning, Lilly woke up with one.

This sounds like the worst. Reentry plus sick kids plus sick mama? No thank you.

Bizarrely, this is the best reentry I’ve ever experienced.

I’m trying to dissect it because reentry is always really hard and if I can duplicate this, I’d sure like to.

My expectations are down.

For me, of course—I feel pretty bad, so I look at the laundry and the unpacking and the schoolwork and kind of shrug my shoulders. If I get to it, awesome. Today’s about keeping kids alive. The rest of it will still be there tomorrow.

Also, I’m asking less of my kids.

This isn’t a sustainable way to live all of life, but I’m being much more choosy about the battles I pick. Let’s not worry about plowing through history and science. Also, I’m going to cancel that appointment I made a few weeks ago. How about I just read you all picture books instead? As a bonus, we get some snuggle time we’ve all been missing this last week.

I’m more present.

I can’t be thinking about the next thing or noticing the chores I’m leaving undone. The ziploc full of travel liquids that are covered in goo from one exploded bottle? No. I don’t have the capacity to even consider any of it. I can handle exactly one thing at a time, and very slowly, and that thing is whatever is right in front of me.

Weirdly, I don’t think I’m getting any less done than usual.

I know, I know, all the productivity research says I accomplish more when I am not trying to do a bunch of things at once, and I think being sick is forcing me to prioritize differently than I ordinarily do. The laundry is getting done. The dishes are caught up (enough). The kids and I are fed. I’m writing a piece to publish in the morning, for crying out loud.

I don’t have any idea if I can repeat this next time I take a trip. I don’t even know if it makes any sense, to be honest—my brain is not at its best. (I just had to stop and think about whether that “its” needs an apostrophe or not in that last sentence, which is a flag for me—maybe I should not make big decisions today.) I do know I need to write it down or there’s no chance I’ll remember it tomorrow, let alone next time I return from a trip.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 31-days-of-speaking-the-truth-1-1.png

This post is part of my series, 31 days of speaking the truth. You can find the whole list of them here on the first post of the series.

Published by robininalaska

Robin Chapman is a part-time writer, editor, and birth photographer and a full-time imperfect mama, wife, Jesus follower, and normalizer of failure. She’s trying hard to learn how to do this motherhood thing in a way that doesn’t land the whole family in intensive therapy. She has a heart for helping other mamas buried in the little years with hope, humor, and solidarity. You can find her hiding out in the bathroom with an iced dirty chai, writing and editing and making spreadsheets for KindredMom.com where she is a cheerleader for mamas, or online looking for grace in her mundane and weird life. She lives in Fairbanks, Alaska with her four delightful (crazy) kids—some homeschooled, some public schooled, some too young for school at all—and her ridiculously good looking husband, Andrew.

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