In late November, my children came down with chicken pox. Now granted it was self inflicted. The UK doesn’t vaccinate against chicken pox unlike some other countries such as Japan, Australia and the US, and most of the children’s friends have had it, so when I heard that a family in school had it, it made sense that we pay them a visit.
Two weeks to the day, the girls came down with it, with J getting it two days later. The first 48 hours wasn’t pleasant as they spiked temperatures, the blisters were painful (J described it as ‘The chicken pox are biting me’) and they couldn’t sleep due to the discomfort, but after that they were ok, just a bit subdued. Of the 10 days that we were quarantined, ‘A’ was out of the country for 3 of them and averaged 13 hour working days that week. So adult company and getting out was very limited.
At first I thought that I would go stir crazy… I’m not very good about sitting around, doing nothing. My idea of relaxing is to do something (like potter in my garden), being out n about or such like. Now I couldn’t get out and I was having very little adult conversation. Twenty four hours in I decided that prison wouldn’t be good for me as the solitude would not be good for my mental state. (Strange how the mind works!). By the end of the quarantine period, however, I was thinking something different. I was saying thank you for the chicken pox. I was viewing it as a blessing.
I felt like I had been on holiday.
For a whole week I had had no time pressure. The children slept in in the mornings, we didn’t have to be anywhere by a particular time and the diary had been cleared. Everything that needed to be done was done in a relaxed fashion.
I was able to relax
Despite the disturbed nights and children not feeling too well at the beginning, I had the time and opportunity to sit down and read, play games with the children and watch movies with them. Things that I don’t always get to do when Life gets in the way.
I was able to get organised.
Since our stuff arrived, there have been certain areas that I haven’t had a chance to get organised properly. Now while I didn’t get to finish (and still haven’t ), I managed a lot of it- enough to take the stress off me.
I’m not so scared of down time.
Personal retreats, time of solitude and such things have never appealed to me as they are too quiet, too still. I like to be busy. Why? Because I’m scared of being alone with myself. I’m scared of my thoughts. But this time of CP has made me realise that my thoughts aren’t so scarey. Being alone isn’t so bad.
I am enjoying my children.
For the first time in a long, long time (dare I even say it- perhaps ever) I am enjoying being a mum. I think I was trying too hard over the years to be the perfect mum and actually I just needed to be a relaxed mum. It’s sad to think that it has taken me 12 years of motherhood to get there, but I have. Finally. CP has played a major role. The 4 reasons above have resulted in me being more relaxed, more at ease, more patient. So when I get asked to play a game or do a puzzle, I’m more likely to put the task at hand temporarily aside.
CP has changed my life. I would never have guessed, when we visited the family that Sunday afternoon, just how much the virus would affect me.
It has been a blessing.