I have a Type A personality. By nature, I’m just one of those annoyingly organized people who naturally multitasks at all times. Like most moms last week, I was faced with endless school supply lists, mandatory shoe shopping, and a general frenzy in trying to coordinate the logistics of after-school schedules for my daughters. I still managed to overbook our family for Labor Day weekend in an effort to squeeze in the last of our summer adventures. Oh, and a new part-time corporate job (after being home for three years) loomed ahead for me, which meant a shopping trip for clothes that were ‘business casual’, a term that has become completely foreign to me. My to-do list was long and it was essential that I used that last week in the most efficient way possible in order to get it all done before the first day of school. I had a full week – plenty of time.
Last Saturday, I took a Zumba class and while attempting to do the Salsa or Mambo,
I managed to pull something in my back. For the next SEVEN days, I was left
essentially immobile and in a great deal of pain. The timing couldn’t have been
worse. As I lay on my back and had my parents and in-laws care for me and my kids
while my husband worked, I felt totally helpless. I had to let a lot of things go and
just wait for my body to rest and heal.
With the help of amazing family and friends, and contacts in the world of physical
therapy and chiropractic treatment, I slowly started moving again. The pain was
relentless, and my stress level was high. I tried hard to grin and bear it for the
kids’ sake but even that was challenging. I was determined to somehow walk my
youngest to her Kindergarten classroom on the first day (on the third floor of an
elevator-free building). I managed to make it and despite the pain, it was worth it to
see her excited little face in her new surroundings.
Most of the time, I lay in bed and watched as my girls did their own thing while my husband cooked, cleaned, bathed, read to them, you name it. He somehow did it all with a positive and optimistic attitude. We both realized how seamlessly things typically run in our household and it felt completely bizarre to have me on the sidelines, unable to do much at all (except to direct, of course).
We tried to keep it together as best as we could. We drank wine and tried to see the
light at the end of the tunnel. We were thankful for little city conveniences: Fresh
Direct, a laundromat on every corner and the endless takeout options within a three-
block radius. My kids didn’t know what to make of the situation. They’re not used to
seeing me in bed most of the day and couldn’t really understand why they couldn’t
jump on me or have me get their bicycles out of the shed. All the while, my husband
kept the household running like a superhero.
Today is exactly one week since the pain started. It’s the first morning that I feel
somewhat human again. I have a million things to catch up on and I know I will
eventually cross off everything on my list. I’m struck by just how busy our lives are,
how much I take the ability to do every day things for granted, and how amazing it is
to have a support network that steps in immediately and wholeheartedly.
Most of all, I’m acutely aware of how every pain-free, healthy moment needs to
be fully appreciated. This week had quite an impact on my family. I was forced to
stop – something that I don’t do often (and I’m sure I’m not alone out there). I’m
thankful to be back doing what I normally do. All week I kept thinking of the million
scenarios that are 100 times worse than mine.
I believe that sometimes when we’re just too busy to stop and smell the roses,
something happens that forces us to. And it’s only then that you realize just how
lucky you are to have the luxury of being physically able to meet the demands of our
Prior to becoming a stay at home mom, Mina was an HR Recruiter for years. Now her time is spent happily juggling the demands of two young daughters while trying to expose them to the endless adventures the city has to offer.
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