A few weeks ago I was utterly exhausted after having already spent weeks reeling from the cold and flu season that had taken up refuge in our home. The two year old and I were secluded in the house during the days in fear of contaminating the general public with our icky germs. To say I had cabin fever would be an understatement. Cabin fever had become our new home address.
It was during a two-day span of no fevers and no symptoms that I received a call that answered my silent cry for help.
My mom needed to make a run to the mattress store to pick up a new waterbed mattress. Yep. I said waterbed. But that’s not the point here. She had called to see if I’d like to go along. Never mind the fact that my house is out of the way and in the opposite direction of the store. Never mind that I had my ornery two year old in tow that would more than likely make the experience inside the quiet store a very loud and lively one. Never mind that it meant having to move his car seat and the pain in the butt process that it can be with those front-facing harness seats.
All those things aside, she still asked. And I said yes.
I’ll admit, I was debating whether I’d made the right decision while I waited for her to arrive. After all, I’d spent weeks cooped up in my house, I hadn’t showered that day, I looked like a train wreck, I’m fairly certain I may have smelled, and it was going to be a hassle just getting the two year old ready to go with shoes and a jacket – not to mention moving that blasted seat that I loathe doing.
When she arrived, she pulled his car seat out of my car and moved it without me saying a word. When we came outside, she took Benjamin and loaded him in the car. Do you know how amazing it is as a mom with non-self bucklers to just get in a car without having to strap anybody else in first? It’s huge!
As we headed off to the mattress store, I was soaking in all of the happy feels. I didn’t have to drive. I didn’t have to deal with traffic, crazy drivers, frustrations, commands and questions from the back seat while I’m trying to concentrate on that driver that keeps switching lanes in front of me without using their blinkers (Seriously, people. They’re on our cars for a reason. Just use them.), and I was able to have an adult conversation. In person. Oh. my. gosh. Talk about total mom-euphoria!
The mattress store is located in Furniture Row – where all the stores are connected together like a strip mall, but you can walk from one to the next without having to go outside. They have stores for mattresses, home decor, living and dining room furniture, and bedroom sets. When we went into the store, Mom did her thing and waited on the associate to get her mattress, ring her up, and all that jazz. Myself? I wandered happily around the store, still caught in this fuzzy feel-good state where I floated around on the cloud of no responsibilities and escape from total cabin fever hell. And you know what? That ornery two year old of mine nicely and quietly held my hand and walked around with me gazing at all of the lovely furniture pieces. It was like he knew that mommy needed him to be so perfect in that moment so that I could fully relax.
After we left the store, Mom treated us to milkshakes – something I haven’t had in so long I can’t remember – and we headed back to my house. Again, she transferred the car seat back to my car and kept me from having to deal with it.
I suddenly felt ten years younger and about twenty pounds lighter (in spite of the shake). It felt like someone had breathed fresh air into my lungs and woken me up from a depressive slumber of weeks filled with medicine and late nights and tired eyes and desperation to just get out of the house. It may have only been a short time away – less than two hours – but it was so needed! And it made dealing with the next few weeks of round after round of sickness and cabin fever that much easier to take.
So the next time you have a friend that’s been overwhelmed or exhausted or just unable to get away for a few minutes, call them up and take them to the mattress store. Just being in a different place that doesn’t scream PARENT RESPONSIBILITIES (like the grocery store) can make all the difference. If they have littles, move the car seats for them. That act alone is friend-of-the-year worthy!
It may not be an hour massage from some swanky spa, but the relaxation from just not having to do for even a short period of time is so relaxing!
What do you do to help pull your friends out of a funk? How do you battle the cabin fever?