The Prompt: Slumber

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The Prompt 85: Slumber

I have slept a lot this week, a virus sapping all my energy and will. No restful slumber for me, instead hours of restless tossing.

Fever soaked dreams left me listless and without focus.

An impromptu and unexpected blog break resulted, leaving me unsettled. (One day I will have scheduled posts in my back pocket for just this eventuality).

My wonderful husband rallied round; worked from home, did school runs in the rain, kept things going as I stumbled around the house, needing a seat every few minutes, before finding myself in bed, again.

Tossing restlessly.

Having begun to plan a piece of fiction for this post, I found myself the unhappy recipient of more sleep than I wanted, not something I expect to say often, and all my ideas went the way of the best dreams.

Disappearing at the border of slumber and wakefulness.

I am acutely aware of distance at times like this; of the miles between us and any immediate family. Of the burden of any illness on my husband or I, or both of us.

We live our life here carefully balanced, just managing to keep all plates spinning. With school and activities and teams. Work commitments, play dates and parent meetings.

It takes very little for plates to start falling, not much more for them to smash.

It is not a problem unique to expats, I realise that, but it underlines to me the importance of developing a strong support network.

It also relies on the ability to ask for help.

Not one of my strong points.

I don’t like to be a bother.

We made it through this week; a particularly busy and complicated one, even by our standards. Doctor and dentist appointments were kept. First Cub Scout Den Meeting was a success. First Swim Meet of the season went well. First school project of the year completed.

All on top of the usual chaos.

But it was hard. For me, watching it all happening and having little energy to help. On my husband, who had to fit so many extras around an already busy work day.

Several wonderful friends have said what can I do to help? I’ve said thank you, we’re fine.

And we were. But, it was a close thing.

As I head towards the weekend, feeling better (which is of course, a relative term), I hope for an end to the restlessness and fever inspired worry dreams.

I also know I need to work on my support network. I know it’s there, I just need to learn to use it. Without feeling like I’m being a bother.

But most of all, right now, I look forward to a restful slumber with sweet dreams.


You can find this weeks #ThePrompt linky here. I do hope this week’s prompt inspired you; I look forward to reading your posts.

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46 thoughts on “The Prompt: Slumber”

  1. Sorry to hear you’ve been poorly, Sara. Hope you’re better soon. I’m rubbish at asking for help, too. Silly pride! And I also don’t have scheduled posts – too much of an emotional writer, I write whatever is in my head and heart and publish it xxx #ThePrompt

  2. Hope you’re feeling better. It’s always difficult to stand on the sidelines when you’re used to being ‘in control’, so to speak. Glad you managed to pull through a difficult week.

  3. Potty Mouthed Mummy

    Sorry you’ve been poorly lovely. I think knowing you need to be able to rest and not really being able to rest as much as you need are huge factors in that constant mummy guilt.

    I rarely have more than 1 post pre scheduled ha ha, you rest up and worry not about all things blog related xx

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather Sara and I hope you feel better soon. Though you have described wonderfully how it feels to be ‘offside’ as a mother. I love the plate spinning analogy. Very true. Xx

  5. Sorry to hear you’ve been so ill – it sounds like you and your husband managed to cope with a crazy-busy week even so – wow! I can imagine it’s difficult to be so far away from family when illness strikes – I feel that way sometimes and I’m only two hours from family. Luckily I’m not ill much but I’ve learned to rely on my friends in emergencies – they were out-of-the-ballpark-amazing when I was giving birth to my youngest (it took 9 days on and off so my older two had endless playdates and overnight stays because we hadn’t a clue when no. 3 was finally going to emerge!)

    What I learned by allowing myself to ‘be a bother’ though (and I totally understand that feeling!) was how truly wonderful my friends are and also how much they care for me. They also seemed to like helping out and it made them more willing to ask me for help in the future when needed – I think I feel closer to all of them because of it. Friends are awesome. Bet all yours would be there for you in a flash and wouldn’t consider you bothersome at all. Yes, you were ‘fine’ without their help but I think real treasures can be revealed when we let ourselves be vulnerable and lean on those who care. Here endeth the epic comment (and sorry if it’s a bit preachy – didn’t mean to be!) xxx

    1. Wonderful epic comment, thank you Maddy. It is something I need to learn to do, I know, I’ll get there. And, I think you’re absolutely right that by asking for help others feel more able to ask you for help too x

  6. It’s awful to be struck down like this isn’t it, but you do realise that you have to ask for help sometimes and people will be there for you. Don’t feel guilty because there will be other times when you can repay those favours. It’s what friends are for. Great post.

    1. Thank you Nicola, and I know I would be more than happy to help my friends, so I really should be more willing to accept help x

  7. I am the same way Sara. I might get a mummy friend to pick up my daughter from school if I’m poorly, but I normally take care of everything else on my own and suffer quietly while desperately wanting the weekend to come around so that I can properly rest. The life of an expat, eh? x

  8. Sorry you’ve not been well. I know how hard it is to ask for help when you need it, I’m more than guilty of trying to do it alone, I really hope it gets easier for you x

  9. Oh bless you. I hope you are feeling closer to normal again now.
    Please don’t feel like a bother, it is NEVER a bother when a friend asks for help. It’s important to use the support you have when you need it.

  10. It’s funny, you think you couldn’t possibly fit anything else in, and then something like this happens and you do somehow. It’s great that your husband stepped up, and you all support each other as a family. Generally though, if friends offer to help, it’s because they want to so don’t be afraid to take them up on it :)
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes

    1. I know, because I make that offer too and I know I mean it. It’s funny how we can be so stubborn about doing it all ourselves!

  11. Sorry you’ve been unwell. It’s a nightmare isn’t it, we do have some support network, but mostly it’s friends, as my family is hundreds of miles away. We do have a few sets of friends we would call on at a moments notice, they’re brilliant, and luckily we haven’t needed to. But I’ve been very aware of this since having my little girl, we need to have back up plans. If friends can help, take them up on it, if they’re like ours, they are genuine and really will ease your load #anythinggoes

    1. I know that they mean it, just as I do when I offer help, but somehow it is so much harder to accept than it is to offer x

  12. Get well soon Sara. Sounds like you need some slumber. I know what you mean, it’s horrible to have to sit back and watch everything being taken care of for you.

    Really must get back into writing for #ThePrompt regularly again. Just so busy these days! Feel bad for not joining in.

    1. Thank you John. It’s been a tough week or so. Would be wonderful to have you join in, but please don’t feel bad, never any obligation/expectation x

  13. Megan - Truly Madly Kids

    Get well soon, Sara. And you know you’d help a friend in your situation so Im sure they’d help you too xxx

  14. Being that ill is not good. I can’t imagine writing a post in which I talk about being in bed and asleep a lot even when ill though because I seem to have *touch wood* avoided any serious illness since having the kids (uh oh – jinxed it!) but I guess we are lucky that my parents and in laws are all in reaching distance. It must be really hard not to have that – I know Jenny from Lets Talk Mommy has been suffering too lately as her husband is in the States for 9 days and she is ex pat solo parenting in the meantime which must be so draining! I hope you all feel a bit better soon (and accept some help! I think people who offer help probably see it as a reciprocal thing – one in the bank as it were – so don’t feel bad about it!). Xx #thetruthabout

    1. I’m rarely ill, but when I am it seems to knock me for six! It’s like my body stores it all up and hits me with it all at once :( And, I think you’re right about the reciprocal thing x

  15. I know very well the constant tension that comes with having kids and no family members nearby. It’s really a precarious position having no substitutes on call. I admit I’ve become jealous of my brother and sister-in-law who decided to stay in Atlanta (as opposed to moving to another continent) and have all of their extended family around. They’ve got a childcare bench three strings deep. My husband and I are a team of two. So I can totally empathize. I’m glad you were able to pull it off. And I wish you luck on building that network and a speedy recovery. #myexpatfamily

    1. Yes, I often sigh in a slightly envious way of friends here when I see the ease with which they can call on family to help out. Not having family around makes everything just a little more difficult x

  16. Oh Sara :( I hope you’re now well on the mend you poor thing.
    I loved the spinning plates analogy here, it massively hit home to me. When everything is all going smoothly being an expat can seem like the most wonderful thing ever but when things aren’t so rosey you really start to feel those miles don’t you!
    I’m also SO bad at calling on my support network, we really must get better at accepting help!!!
    Thanks for sharing this with #myexpatfamily x

  17. Beautifully written even from your sick bed. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been unwell, it’s tough coping with illness and busy family life, but you really must lose that bothersome feeling of asking for help! Your friends are sure to WANT to help just like you’d like to help them. Oh and btw I’m just like you with unexpected blogging breaks and not having anything in the wings waiting, and always thinking I must get that sorted! I’ve written nothing all week due to unexpected circumstances…one day I’ll get organised! #myexpatfamily

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