a pain in the…

Shortly after waking up yesterday morning I was stretching in our bathroom while the little guy was snuggled up in our bed watching a show on TV.  All of the sudden I felt a shooting pain through my neck and back and could barely catch my breath. I also could not get out of the position I was in…standing, with one arm folded behind my head with the other pulling on the elbow…you know the stretch.  Once I caught my breath I felt nauseated, was in pretty bad pain, and went to lay down on my bed.

I called my husband, who is traveling for work, to tell him what had happened.  Really, I just wanted to vent, knowing there would be nothing he could do to help.  He offered to call our neighbor, but I said no.  We’ve lived in our house for almost 3 years and our neighbor watched the little guy when baby girl decided to come almost 3 weeks early, but I felt silly asking her to come over because I have a knot in my back!

All I really wanted to do was call my mom and have her come over to help out! The problem is, she lives in Colorado.  She did not move away, WE did…before we had kids.

I started to think about it this morning, though.  Would it really be any different if we lived in Colorado or New York?  My mom works 3 days a week.  And when she is not at her job she takes care of my sisters little girl, does her own errands and housework, and probably wants some time to herself.  So, yesterday was a Wednesday.  She was at work.  Just like my husband, she wouldn’t have been able to do anything to help.  Same goes for my mother-in-law in New York.  Although she is retired, it does not mean she has nothing to do!  She helps out with her daughters kids, takes weekly trips to Buffalo, and volunteers her time with other interests.

I’m not saying that either one of them wouldn’t be willing to help out if and when I needed them.  I’m just saying that life is busy for everybody and living near family does not guarantee that I would have help if I hurt my back. It really doesn’t matter where I live. As a stay at home mom my job has to get done. I can’t just call in a substitute, call in sick, or take a mental health day. I don’t get paid vacation…or even unpaid vacation.  Every day is a work day.  24/7.

Right about now, I would do anything for a day off…

6 thoughts on “a pain in the…

  1. Melissa says:

    You could have called me!! But more for moral support–i think us Mom’s who have hubby’s who travel a lot for work need to start a support group!! we aren’t Single moms–but during the week it seems we are!!–I had one of those days yesterday too–no pain in my neck–but just so much to do, and no one but me to do it! phew! you aren’t alone Steph!!

  2. Kam says:

    Steph –
    You could’ve called me!! In my currently unemployed state I have the time to help out!! And you can always lean on your friends!! xoxoxo

  3. Megan says:


    It sounds like you have some really great friends, and when family lives so far away, they ARE your family…. or at least the people who can step in when you need help. I think it’s hard for you to ask for help… goodness, even when you are immobile with 2 very active kiddos!! Maybe that is something you have to learn to get more comfortable with?

    I have to disagree with you about it not mattering where you live. There are certainly benefits to both living close and living farther away, but the fact is, when you have an immediate need and family near by, they’re going to step in. I would have LOVED to have taken the kids for the day while you rested your back. In fact, I would LOVE to be able to have them every week while you had some time “off”.

    That being said, I totally agree that it is a 24/7 job. Even when I do get a break from them, I never stop thinking about them… what to make them for dinner, who needs new shoes, where should I take them tomorrow, etc.


    • stephany says:

      I agree and disagree with you, Megan. Family will step in just as my friends would have…had I called them. So, yes, I need to learn to ask for help if I need it. However, I also knew I could get through the day without help…and that is empowering.
      I also know that living near family would make it easier for family to step in and help, but how realistic would it be for you to take care of two 3 year olds, a 15 month old and a 9 month old? You would need a “day off” the following day…and I’m telling you sister, I know I wouldn’t be up to the task of reciprocating…even on a good day! And, EVERY WEEK? Maybe I am selfish, but that’s just not something I could do. Kudos to you for being so generous and willing to help a sister out!!

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