What I think might the biggest injustice of parenting is that moms (and dads) can get sick when their kids are sick. There should be some law about this-like maybe only one person per household is allowed to be under the weather at a time. Alas, it is a cruel, cruel world we live in, and I have been fighting this ridiculous virus on steroids (I’m not on steroids, the virus must be, because, you know, it’s really strong…anyway, moving on…) for nine days. Everyone in my household has been sick alongside me.
There is a special Murphy’s Law to this whole parenting thing and there’s a chapter just for times like this. I think it’s called “Mom Can Never Be Sick Alone”.
Rule #1: If you are sick, someone is sicker.
No matter what, your issues are not nearly as serious as those of your family. For example, I have had this bronchitis-like cough going, and my nose is running like a faucet. The sinus pain is unbearable. But for some reason I don’t get fevers. Harrison, on the other hand, has spiked a 101.4 temp twice during this illness. Justin has a ruptured ear drum. And I’m just a whiny baby with a runny nose. This means that no one can take care of you and you just have to muster up the strength to bring everyone else soup and gingerale.
Rule #2: You cannot sleep.
Pre-child, I could take a sick day and sleep off my illness. This almost always worked and I would be back to normal a day or so later. As a matter of fact, I am a professional sleeper. But now, when I need it the most is when I get the least amount of sleep. Someone else is awake, or coughing, or needing fresh sheets, or a glass of water. Mommy is not sleeping.
Rule #3: Everyone else who gets sick will lose weight and you will not.
Loss of appetite? Sure. For the kids and the husband. Everyone is losing weight like it’s runway week and I’m over here mowing down like it’s my last meal. Why can I not have one tiny benefit of being sick and drop a few pounds in the process?
Rule #4: You’re going to be sick during something important.
I wouldn’t mind getting sick if it happened to be a week when nothing was going on. That way, I could at least recover without stressing about missing something. Last year’s major illness occurred two days before Christmas. It was Ella’s first Christmas and I wanted it to be spectacular. Never mind the fact that we had company coming! When I went to Urgent Care, the doctor said I hadn’t been sick long enough to worry about anything. I asked him how on earth I was supposed to function on the biggest day of the year in this state. He gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. I am pretty sure he’s a father. Either that or he took me seriously when I threatened to hit him over the head with a roll of wrapping paper. This year, it was our Mexico trip. I fell ill RIGHT before we were supposed to leave. NBD though, getting your kids to a different country is easy-peasy especially when you’re a sniveling mess.
Rule #5: Something’s gonna break.
Dishwasher? Dryer? Car? Something you need will break and you will be too sick to deal with it, thus leaving you further incapacitated. The good news? You won’t take that little luxury for granted once you get better!
During this cold and flu season, I wish you moms the best. We’ll all recover, eventually, and so will our families. You’re doing the best you can, I assure you, although you might feel like the sludge on the bottom of that coffee cup you left sitting on your desk for two weeks. This, too, shall pass.