The move has been harder than I anticipated; particularly for Caroline. Our first morning waking up at the new house she asked, “When are we going home?” When we leave the house to run an errand she asks, “Are we going home now?” Her emotions have been a roller coaster and the tantrums have increased. Our typically great sleeper has been awake until 10:30 every night this week. She’s overwhelmed and exhausted.
What I did realize until today on the way home from Church, was how much of a toll it was taking on me. If you know me well, you know I need sleep. Eight hours a night doesn’t cut it. I need nine if I’m expected to be pleasant. Ben can function cheerfully on very little rest and his stamina has often made me wonder if I’m being overly sensitive and dramatic about my need for shut eye. Earlier in the week I even thought to myself, “Hey! I’m doing pretty well with only 6 hours of sleep. And look at how productive I’m being unpacking the house!”
I got the real answer about my need today. As we were driving away from church I noticed that I wasn’t seeing all of my visual field. My eyes started feeling raw and I thought there might be a bit of extra flashing light in my right eye. I told Ben what was happening and he stopped to get me some Benadryl. Then my right thumb went numb. Then the right side of my tongue went numb. Then came the word finding difficulties (I kept saying “microwave” instead of “migraine”). By the time we pulled into the driveway, the pain of my full blown hemiplegic migraine had descended. I crawled into bed and slept the rest of the afternoon away.
Sounds like a stroke, right? That’s what I thought was happening the first time I had one when Caroline was 8 weeks old. We went to the ER and I got the full CT scan, MRI workup. Thank the Lord it wasn’t a brain tumor!
All that to say, I got my answer. I need rest. This is a particularly hard fact for me considering I have so little time alone as a mom with young children. I’ve often wished I could stay up late being productive, accomplishing all of the things I can’t get to while the girls are awake. But the Lord made us with a need for rest. He made me with an extra dose of that need. As I see it, my need is a good opportunity to recognize my human limits and check myself from placing my value and hope in all of the things I can accomplish in a day. It’s probably also good for me to spend some time in a house of boxes, disarray, and unfinished trim in order to remember that my identity is not in the state of my home either.