I went to my niece's first birthday party on Saturday. I was looking so forward to it. I can't believe it's already been a year for them. I remember getting the call that my sister-in-law was in labor, driving up to the hospital, and being in the waiting room... EAGER. Eager to make sure they were okay. Eager to know if it was a boy or a girl. And definitely EAGER to find out the baby's name... Elise.

My brother and sister-in-law (probably more her than him) really outdid themselves for the party. The decorations are FAB. Things hanging from the ceiling. Several clothes lines of pictures, which are super cute. And one of my favorite parts is the time capsule. We write something on small decorative pieces of paper so Elise can read them when she is 20 years old. What a great idea!

Then another one of my favorite parts... food. I just love food, especially sweets... but that's another blog post. They have a hot dog bar, great idea. My sister-in-law laid out different ingredients and then put a framed sign of what each type of dog entailed. For example there is a traditional dog (mustard, relish, ketchup, and onions), chili cheese dog, and a few others ones. My favorite is a combo I made up on the spot... BBQ sauce, stringy fried onions, cheese, and just a little chili.

I'm not a big hot dog person (I can't tell you the last time I had one--oh wait I just had 1 1/2 yesterday when my mom grilled them--but before that it's been years), but let me say, I DOWN two quite quickly. I'm at the party another 1 1/2 hours, and I need a snack. So what do I do?

I go BACK to the hot dog bar. Yep, I had another one. I can't believe I ate three hot dogs. But, boy, was I hungry.

Later that night, my stomach doesn't feel so hot, and I'm going to the bathroom a lot. I don't think much of it until I'm going to the bathroom A WHOLE LOT (if you know what I mean?!) Needless to say, I'm up every hour or so, with hot dogs coming out both ends and feeling like H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICK! And that's not the worst of it...

The worst part is B isn't sleeping through the night. So not only am I getting up every hour or so, I'm getting up more often, because he keeps waking up. Granted, he only woke up about four times. But when you DON'T feel well, that FOUR times, seems like a hundred. Each time he wakes up and I'm half asleep myself, I have to muster up the energy to go into his room. I pick him up and rock him back asleep. Every time wishing it only takes a few minutes.

I hear my stomach making noises and I feel it turning... hoping it holds out long enough for me to put him down in his crib. If it doesn't, he will wake up, and I'll have to start the whole process over again which is the LAST thing I want to do. My sweet boy works with me and falls asleep each time very easily. LUCKY for me! I continue to wake up throughout the night either for me or for B.

Finally it's about 8 am, and I wake once more to the sound of B crying. I pick him up and attempt to rock him to sleep. He is ALMOST there. Just as I'm about to put him back down in his crib, I feel it. You know... that feeling you have when you just HAVE to go to the bathroom. There is NO time to wait. You have to RUN?! I've been feeling this all night, so I know it quite well at this point. So, with B in my arms, I dash to the bathroom. Sit down, and barely make it. The noise wakes B, and with that, I'm up for the day.

Wishful thinking that I could have another hour or so of sleep. But B was so good all night, falling quickly back to sleep, thankfully.

I still feel horrible as the day begins. I know I won't be productive today, except getting some sleep in my day. When B takes his first nap, I sleep too. I awake to him making noises and feel a little better. He naps again, and I relax. But when he goes down in late afternoon, I do too. I am just drained. This time when I wake up, I feel much better.

What do you do when you are a single mom and you don't feel well? You don't have a spouse or partner to watch your kiddo. You just have to do your BEST for that day and think this too shall pass. When your whole body hurts, and it's just you... it's just YOU! You still have to get up, feed your babies, watch them, play with them, etc. You don't get time off. When they sleep, you sleep. You rest and relax as much as you can until your body recovers, because you do what you have to do. Pat yourself on the back and say, "You did the best you could," reiterating how important your health is.

As a single mom, your health is vital. When you are sick, you don't feel like doing anything but you still have to do it. This just prolongs you getting better. So it's a double whammy. Your first priority is self-care and taking care of you, because when you're sick everyone and everything else suffers. You are the glue that holds it all together. You are the single most important thing to ensure success. You can't afford to not take care of yourself... that means, body, mind, spirit, and emotions.

Thankfully my boy was so cooperative and good! I'm blessed! Oh and my self care is no more hot dogs for me!

Author's Bio: 

As a single mom and founder of The Single Mom Movement, Jessica Rector knows how you are stressed but know there is more for you. With targeted private coaching, programs, and a school, single moms use her proven strategies to discover their empowered self. Do you feel like no one really understands how you feel? You're not alone. Join the club at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com/community Get FREE videos to Breathe Happiness. Be Fulfilled. Live Empowered! Sign up at http://TheSingleMomMovement.com