Mar 29, 2011

Visit the Shut-ins

If you are Christian you may have read some or all of the bible. Or maybe you have just heard of a few things  Jesus said.

One thing he said in Mt 25:34 was to visit the sick or the shut-ins.

I always thought of shut-ins as people in nursing homes or people with limited mobility who could not leave their homes for whatever reason.  When I was little my mom regularly took my sisters and I to visit this sweet elderly couple that never left their home. They would give us candy and we'd play lots of mind bending games made out of wood and metal. That has been my definition of a shut-in my whole life. If you don't have candy and mind bending games and are confined to a bed or chair you are not legit. I would have never thought of a healthy 20-40 something year old woman as a shut-in. Enter motherhood.

When I first had my darling Davy, I remember staying inside for days at a time. Even in the heart of San Francisco, where everyday is pretty glorious. I was just doing what I had to do to keep this baby happy and alive. I wanted to go outside, sure, but the reality of it proved to be impossible on some days. Especially when she was a projectile vomiting screaming mess. Thankfully I knew nothing different and only in hindsight realized how crazy it all was.

the happy side of a shut in

I've only experienced the shut-in feelings when I've first had a new baby or when my children are tragically ill. And if you're like me, when your kids get sick, you get sick too. I usually forget about their sickness temporarily and end up kissing their snotty cheeks. It's my own fault.

But anyway, when you/kiddos are sick, it. is. the. worst.

You are stuck home. No one can or should visit because your house is an infested germ sanctuary. And you don't want anyone over, because how are you supposed to keep everyone alive, babes and yourself, and do housework? How people? Your house probably will end up looking like an bomb was set off near laundry and or the kitchen. Don't even get me started on if hubby gets sick too. That's a whole new can of horribleness.

When we are all sick over here or when I've had a difficult babe I've felt so lonely and sorry for myself.

Not all moms are created equal though. At one point or another, most moms will feel like a shut-in.  I have known so many mothers who have gone through more than sickness and colicky new baby craziness.

Moms who moved to a new city with little kids and don't know anyone.
Moms who live in frigid places and are forced into hibernation in the winter.
Moms who have husband's deployed and hardly or never get a break.
Moms who stay at home with kids and no car.
Moms with crazy children that put themselves and those around them at risk in public.;)
Moms put on bedrest during a pregnancy.
Moms with terminally ill children.
Moms who are terminally ill.
Moms of multiple babies.
Moms who are potty training toddlers.
Moms whose husbands are traveling.
Single Moms.

And even though I just relayed that info in the most sad and depressing way possible, it's really all not the biggest deal, when you consider that having children is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened the world and myself.

One second you are stuck in self loathing, the next second you think your heart might explode from too much love after seeing your adorable children sleeping or playing or giving you a hug. And in case you live close to me and/or are related to me and think this is a cry for help. It's not. You guys are all doing a pretty fantabulous job visiting this shut in.

PS. If you know one of these moms stuck inside or someone else who really could use the help, this is an awesome website for organizing it.

Remember the mamas when you make your list of shut-ins to visit this Lent... :)


  1. I loved this and can totally relate. I got knocked off my horse sick on Friday and that is really rare for me, which of course, spread to Katherine. I'm praying it doesn't get BRett because as you mentioned or eluded to, sick husbands are basically like dead people. And, I fell into several categories of your mom shut.ins. It can be a depressing time when you can't breath and are coughing and have a sick baby and a household. Whew. Thank goodness this doesn't happen too regularly! :)

  2. This just made me cry :)

  3. Such a great post, Maureen! Being a mom at home with a baby and no car... I deeeefinitely get the shut-in feeling from time to time. Good to know I'm not alone! Just waiting for the weather to get nicer so I can start going on more walks! :)

  4. diana andersonMarch 30, 2011

    Well put! so true. good to know we are not alone.

  5. It's true. Though sometimes...I feel when my crew and I go a-visitin'...the effect we have is opposite of what we intended. For example. My sister has a new baby. Her first baby. So we go visit her. Dominic works on 2 teeth and won't sleep until I use some Jack Daniels on his gums. And even's not great. He's still trolling around wrecking stuff and trying to jump down the basement stairs headfirst. Meanwhile, big sister Gianna is hogging Grandma the whole time, and insisting everyone color pages from her coloring books. When my sister, who was snuggled on the couch with her sweet, quiet, sleeping, newborn, laughed at me for being a little...uhh..stressed and over-tired...I may or may not have said, "Your day of reckoning will come!"

    Like a plague of locusts, we swept in, drained her home dry of all resources (including the Jack Daniels), and then we left a day early. I intended for our visit to bring light into her darkness, entertainment to her boredom, and reassurance to her new-motherhoodness. Instead I think we made her thankful to be a shut in. eh. Works either way right??? :)

  6. @natasha I hope you are better now. And I reallllly hope Brett didn't get sick, because sick husbands may be the worst evil of all.
    @diana I feel like it's something moms don't talk about so much. There is def. a lot of alone time. sort of.
    @CA Rhoades I know waiting and waiting for this gross weather to switch to glorious.
    @mama bell I hope you are well! and I hope they were happyish tears. or tears of solidarity. :)
    @Anne I think you are definitely right. I'm sure your sister was happy to see how blessed she is with her sweet little newborn and her new found shut-in-ness Maybe now she'll appreciate this time eeeeeven more. And wayyyy to be resourceful with the jack daniels.

  7. I've been wondering what can we do for shut-ins that will matter most.
    ANNE - I like what you say, I intended for our visit to bring light into her darkness, entertainment to her boredom, and reassurance to her new-motherhoodness. ....
    But I am thinking, after my experiences - being sure to ask the person what it is that would make that difference for them. The hard part is, can we really make that difference? Sheri

  8. I shed a tear over this. Although I am not a mother physically, I have spiritual songs and daughters some of which have children. It really blesses me that i'm not the only one who sees it as an opportunity for ministry in doing The Father's work. Blessings.


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