How Getting Sick Turned Me Into Less of a Control Freak

This summer did not go at all as I expected. I had high hopes for creative playdates, park trips, and weekly pool visits.

But my body had other plans.

I spent the majority of our summer curled up in bed. Sick and tired. Unable to motivate myself to venture out for days at a time.

At the time I didn’t know my gallbladder was giving up on me- until an unexpected 6AM trip to the ER. I found out I would need major surgery. Several days of rest. And I would be unable to lift anything over 10lbs for 6 weeks.

Talk about a change of plans.

Abdominal surgery, as a mother, is always a challenge. Not being able to lift my son, being bedridden for days, and bending and cleaning was a challenge in itself. Long days spent at home with a very active 4 year old was no picnic.

There were days I just had to LET IT ALL GO- because I physically just COULD NOT keep up. It was impossible.

My son spent a little extra time on his tablet. And a lot more time watching television. We spent quite a bit of time playing on the porch in our pajamas.

But- guess what? He loved it!

He loved the extra snuggles with Mommy watching our favorite movies. He didn’t mind the time he got to spend playing on his tablet. He loved the mornings spent crafting Play-Doh creations. And who doesn’t love playing outside in their PJ’s?

Our house got a little messier. Dinner was more often frozen than not. There were a few less baths, and maybe a skipped teeth-brushing or two. But, there was more cuddle time. More time spent reading together. Puzzles and board games. And even though it was summer- a lot of time spent indoors.

But we survived anyway.

My little boy became more independent. Understanding that Mommy couldn’t do as much for him, helped him blossom into a much more helpful little man. He started getting his own snacks. Getting himself dressed. Brushing his own teeth, and so much more. Especially with Daddy having a mandatory work trip and being gone for a week only 2 weeks into my recovery- where we were just in survival mode. He learned a LOT about entertaining himself and being Mommy’s big helper.

This summer was a huge shock to my control freak heart. Letting go and not being able to do-it-all had me flustered. But, we’re all better for it!

I’m more relaxed, less stressed, and able to let the less important things fall by the wayside. Letting go of the little things that don’t matter. The things that used to make my anxiety go through the roof.

My not-so-baby boy helps around the house, cleans up after himself, and on more than one occasion, climbed up beside me, held my hand, kissed my forehead, and said, “It’s okay you’re sick Mommy. Go rest.”

Getting sick taught me a valuable parenting lesson:

We don’t have to do it all. It’s okay to give yourself a break. You don’t have to be in control of everything. Some things can wait- take care of yourself.

I also learned a little about letting my Husband do things his way- but that could fill a whole other post entirely.


What are some valuable parenting lessons you’ve learned the hard way?

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