5 Reasons Why Mom Can’t Get Sick

I always say that I never get sick.  And then this winter I got sick, and stayed sick, for about 2 months.  Nothing relieved the coughing, dripping, hacking and sore throat.  The doctors were stumped.  And then, it went away.

So I learned not to take for granted any “well period” I may have, especially because children have zero tolerance for a dip in their parents’ fortitude.  I also learned what kind of chaos ensues if my senses are compromised when I’m down for the count.
1. Nose stuffed: Can’t smell that stinkbomb that the baby dropped in his diaper just before he went to bed.  The odor permeates the house throughout the night and the deposit chafes the little guy’s rump.  Diaper cream and fumigation techniques are tested to their limits.

2. Eyes watery.  It’s all a blur.  Trying to order more diaper cream online.  But may have selected Ben-Gay instead.  A 3-pack.  That COULD be an amazing chocolate cake the kids just baked in the middle of the living room.  If only I could smell it to be sure…

3. Ears clogged.  The tea kettle boils over and the water evaporates.  The crash of the precariously designed Lego tower goes unnoticed, as do the wails of its architect (and the cackles of its demolition expert).  The diapers delivery is missed because the doorbell wasn’t heard.  Household now at dangerously low diaper cream levels.

4. Throat sore.  Can’t call for more tissues.  Can’t ask for a cough drop.  Can’t yell at anyone to stop drawing on the walls.  Popcorn for dinner?  I  literally have no say.

5. Body achy.  Hugs hurt.  Lap’s off limits.  A nursing child suddenly weighs a ton.  Can’t hold a toothbrush.  Kids’ hygiene habits are suspended until I bounce back.  I teach the kids to air kiss goodnight.

Another lesson learned – ask for help.  If you pretend you can still do it all, people won’t ask if you need them to pitch in.  You do.  Because you’re probably terrible at microwaving popcorn.

How do YOU deal as a parent when you’re sick?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “5 Reasons Why Mom Can’t Get Sick

  1. tartetitou

    The truth is not pretty. I’ve learned that just because you’re vomitting or have GI distress, you don’t stop being a Mom. The worst is when whatever contagion it is hits your partner and then you both compete about who is sicker. And then the worst possible scenario–your backup unit, e.g. grandparents, are out of town.

  2. So right! It’s the worst.

  3. Mary-Sara

    Hunker down. We revert to the basics: are you nourished–not even well nourished–hello Pizza delivery guy (again) and are you safe? Everything else drops off. If it doesn’t contribute to basic life sustaining needs-it’s not happening.

  4. Allison

    The struggle for me is missing work. I had to take so many days off when Wesley was sick that I then had to go to work with all of the following: pharyngoconjunctival fever-this involves double pink eye- stomach virus, sinus infection, stomach virus again, sinus infection again. And my school only has one UNISEX bathroom. But what I realized is things you think you couldn’t possibly do when you aren’t experiencing them (like going to work after vomiting all night) are actually very doable if there’s just no other choice. You just feel like sh*t when doing them and beg your partner to get up with the baby on weekends.

    • Ugh, Allison, what a winter you’ve had! And with ONE bathroom? I can’t imagine. It’s so true that you sacrifice your time for the kid and then you brush you don’t end up taking as good as care of yourself. But look, you got to master the spelling of “pharyngoconjunctival” so I guess we have to see this as a triumph of some sort.

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