Last week I sprained my ankle. It hurt; a lot.
That was the first day in eighteen days that I hadn’t done any ‘real’ exercise. I’m currently doing two hours of exercise a day and have cut out all sweets, cake, crisps, ice cream, chocolate, bread (though for health reasons more than anything else as it makes me poorly) and sugary drinks. So pretty much all sugar. I’m now on day twenty-five. You may wonder what this has to do with a sprained ankle. Well, let me tell you, when you’re in pain and there’s no chocolate on offer, it’s a hard slog.
I spent all week trying to hobble around my home, vacuuming and tidying, almost crying with pain. Why, you ask? Why when you were in so much pain, didn’t you just leave all the house work and take a break? The answer? I have no clue.
Initially I’d say it”s an instinct to fight back; if my body says it can’t do something , I’ll test those limits.
But overall, I’d say it’s something about being a woman – a mother – I think. The inordinate desire to get things done even when we know we should be sat down with our feet up, resting. The problem is, if I stop, the rest of the world doesn’t. Or rather, my boys don’t.
Babu will still throw his blueberry porridge across the living room; Noah will still open every toy box and tip them out and Babu will push said emptied toys under the sofas; Babu will still pour juice on himself and pretend he’s a waterfall. They will still produce mounds of washing up, dirty clothes and pooey nappies. They will still want throwing in the air, they will still want chasing, they will still want to go to the park. They don’t stop just because I need to every once and a while. Parenthood doesn’t work that way.
There’s something about not being well – maybe the requirement of sitting still for a few moments a day – that makes you take notice of the things around you; all the dust and crumbs and areas you haven’t been able to reach with the vacuum cleaner. When was the last time I dusted? you ask yourself. I wonder if we’ve got any window cleaner solution? The T.V. set has sticky hand prints all over it – it won’t hurt to give it a wipe. And before you know it, you’ve scrubbed your toilet and have the rug hung up on the washing line out back whilst you beat it clean with a broom. And the ankle’s worse than ever.
When will we learn, parents, that rest is a good thing? Maybe when our children are grown up and have their own families. But then there’s the grandchildren. And the great grandchildren. I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
(On a (pretty awesome) side note, my ankle got prayed for at a church meeting and was completely healed; so much so that I even did Zumba the day after! Yey!)