When you’re sick with any ailment, a headache, the common cold, the flu – etc… all you want to do is to curl up in your bed and rest – uninterrupted for an undisclosed amount of time up until you are feeling human again. When you’re a mom and you’re sick, taking the time to take care of yourself is near to impossible. It’s not as if you can, with young children – one of which is a toddler – take a sick day. You can’t just not get up and let them fend for themselves – no matter how tempting it is. You can’t just suddenly go lay down and take a nap and hope that the house remains intact and everyone is still alive and breathing when you return. Nope you must don your warrior outfit (a.k.a your robe and fuzzy slippers), take whatever OTC medications you can find in your medicine chest, and trudge on through the head congestion, the unrelenting coughing fits, sinus pain, and whatever other ailments you are currently experiencing because, motherhood rests for no one – and I mean NO ONE. And while you probably should make a doctor’s appointment, who wants to drag a rambunctious toddler with you when you can barely keep your head in the upright position. Poor excuse for not putting yourself first, I know, but when you feel crappy, you don’t have the energy for that kind of motherhood-surveillance.
When you’re sick as a mom you’re hoping that somebody in your family (other than your children) – eh hem your husband or someone in your extended family might take pity on you and come to your rescue. Not always the case. Hubby has to work so he’s not home. Of course, when he is home, he does not want to be within 5 feet of you for fear of getting what it is you have. And God forbid he gets sick – for as any woman knows – man sick is a whole other realm of torture. You’re own mom is getting up there in age and while she and others do generously grab the kids from time to time, what you really want is a week of solitary recuperation time and let’s face it, that is neither a remote possibility nor reality. You’d have a better chance of winning the lottery. So you are grateful for the few hours reprieve that do come, though you secretly and selfishly want more.
When you’re sick as a mom you’re fashion sense – as if it were there to begin with – takes a nosedive. Your robe is your security blanket, covering up those yoga pants and that oversized sweatshirt. Going out in public only requires a slight wardrobe adjustment – a jacket in place of your robe. Your hair is either thrown up in a pony-tail or tucked under a hat. Make-up – ha. It’s not like when you are feeling great that you even apply some so why start now. You’re sick for God’s sake – you might as well look the part and garner some pity points.
When you’re sick as a mom you just want to feel justified and validated for the continued efforts you put in while your ill. That is, you would like a little acknowledgement that even when you’re under-the-weather your efforts are appreciated (maybe even more so since you’re doing it with a slight handicap). There are no time outs, no breaks, no leave of absences when you’re sick. And, your kids don’t fully understand that you really don’t feel physically capable of being there every waking second – even though you will be because you are a mom and that’s what you do. You are the glue that keeps it all together and you are the oil that keeps your family machine running. You are the mom who just wants and needs a little extra TLC.