By: Jessica Aldred
Every parent giggles when they see that commercial with the parent popping their head into their child’s room aiming to call in sick for the day. The irony of that situation is not lost on me. I recently found myself defeated by the infamous stomach flu and praying to the depths of the porcelain God. As if the whole scenario isn’t bad enough, my scene gets worse.
Imagine you’re there, doing your thing, and the world continues to rotate. The screaming baby pushes that bathroom door open and proceeds to tug and your shirt for attention as you swat him away from the ever-spreading virus. Just then, the puppy comes bounding in to see what’s up. Who knew vomit was such an enticing aroma?! As I rotate pushing the two of them away, I hear the constant bickering between my older sons and the ever so present “Mooooooommmmmm!”
Despite my begging for a few minutes of quiet to gather myself, the circus continues on. The screaming, fighting and constant needs of my brood don’t pause for me to be ill. They don’t simply grow up and learn to function like grown adults the second I get sick. They motor on, as do I. I splash some water on my face, re-tie my hair back, remove the toilet brush from the baby’s clutches, throw him on my hip and toss the dog a more appropriate snack. We’ll leave the bathroom clean-up for later. Thank goodness we have extra bathrooms these days.
You see moms don’t get sick days. While my husband is pretty helpful, the unfortunate truth is that the more sick days you use, the less dedicated to your job you appear. Don’t get me wrong, he’s taken a few sick days on my behalf over the last decade or so, but for the most part I’m left to suffer through it. One time (before #3), I tried to flip the scenario when I wasn’t feeling well. As I lay on the couch with my bucket, ginger ale and a warm fluffy blanket, I beckoned for someone, anyone, to get me some crackers or to bring me the remote… but alas, they shrugged and moved on with their lives. You see, Mom’s don’t get sick days, and even when you think you’ve got a sick day, someone else gets sick too and you inevitably fall to the lesser patient on the totem pole.
Sick or not sick, I’m a Mom first. They’re the reason I persevere through the tough times and toss my cookies while I clean up theirs. I’d love to hear how your family has made it through this winter and the nasty bugs it brought. How do you cope with maintaining your daily Mom duties while taking care of yourself as well?