In my last article I was posting about my very long and problematic time spent with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. (Catch it here if you missed it: HFAM Article) During the most awful parts of the virus I was very much unable to care for my family the way I typically do. That left me feeling very out of place and defeated by illness. While I was only truly out of commission for a few weeks, it really took its toll on my emotionally. Not being able to care for my son properly or be able to do one thing that I really enjoy doing for my family, making them meals, was something that made me feel helpless as a stay at home Mom.
This is my first child, and my first go at staying home. My son only turned 15 months last week, so this is all still uncharted territory when something major occurs and throws a wrench in things. I pride myself on being able to spend lots of one on one time with my son by doing various activities inside and outside of the home, and I really find making dinner for my family a good way to foster life long good habits for our son as well as bringing us to a higher level of togetherness. So when this virus swept though the house I was silently losing my mind having to put our everyday routine on pause!
Thank goodness for other Moms, family and friends nearby that heard my silent screams for help, because I would never ask unless it was a BIG emergency. And although this did not seem justified as an emergency situation in my mind, it certainly was an unfortunate situation to be in. I am a very transparent person and was posting about our battle with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease on my Facebook page with the purpose of giving fair warning about the nature of the beast and to share a difficult time in hopes that someone else catching a glimpse might not feel so bad about their (bad) day! In the midst of this I received many messages in all forms wishing us well and even asking questions about symptoms because right when we got it, it was just starting to make its rounds in our small towns. We were in the thick of it… or I was! We had a hard couple of days. Although we always get through, it can be tricky dealing with something so unexpected. It was during the hardest days that some of the people reaching out started to offer us assistance as best they could without infecting themselves in the process. We were offered anything from picking up groceries, to offering to drop over the counter remedies at the door, or having food delivered for us so we didn’t have to think about making a meal. At first, I was very sure that we would be alright and I turned some people away thanking them sincerely for their kindness, but then I realized when I took a turn for the worse that I was not sure when the end would be in sight. I started to say YES to the people who so graciously offered to help us make life a little easier. There were even some people who did not even wait to see what my answer was, they would just say “I am dropping off (fill in the blank) and I will text you after I drop it and leave.” Can you believe it??!! I was so overly thankful for these people during this time. I realized in that moment that there is a community of good doers out there just making peoples lives better one gesture at a time. And they are neighbors, friends, and acquaintances, relatives, old high school friends, former co-workers, other Moms, and people who fell out of touch because of life and time getting in the way. But because of them my son and husband were fed on days that I was too far gone to be able to make them a meal, we had the healing power of oatmeal bath for the moments the blisters were too itchy, we had hot meals on days that we all had enough of an appetite to enjoy food, we were given the luxury of time which gave us a chance to recoup and not have to worry about one more thing. I thought this was just a lovely thing and I am so thankful to the persons who went out of their way for us and interrupted their busy lives to make us feel normal in the moment.
And it got me thinking about how I can pay this forward. I found a wonderful site that many of you may already know of. It is called Meal Train.
This site allows you to organize meal schedules for people to bring food to new parents/ mothers, people who have had illness, surgeries, injuries, Military deployment, or who have suffered a loss. It is a great way to show someone who needs a helping hand that you, and their community, value them and that they are cared for. If you are looking for something special to do for someone, try this! Everyone deserves a break now and then. And I plan to use this in the future to pay forward the same type of kindness doled out to me and my family.