A few weeks ago, I could feel something coming on despite trying to put on my running clothes and ignore it: a stomach bug was knocking at my intestines, and it was knocking hard. My youngest son took one look at me and said he didn’t think I should go for a run because I “had to hang onto the counter in order to stand up.” Also, he mentioned I was “a bit green.” He was right I had to give in and head for the sofa and it killed me. My dread wasn’t only coming from the fact I knew I’d be nauseated, sweaty, and God knows what else for the next few days. It was also steaming from the fact we’d just come off a busy weekend and I hadn’t done a lick of house work. Not to mention I had kids to drive to school and work to do.
Mums don’t get sick days.
If you are parent and sick, your sick days don’t exist. It’s not just about work but managing a household while everyone forgets you are sick even though you are barely conscious. My older son offered to vacuum which was wonderful. My youngest kept the dishes clean and my kids made me soup. I don’t have a partner and they stepped up and it was the sweetest thing ever but…
Sometimes helping doesn’t help
When our family tries to help out, we all know it leaves quite mess behind. The soup cans were piled on the sink with chunks if meat and noodles on them for two days. My son kind of vacuumed but not really. I actually looked like the vacuum was pushing dirt out instead of sucking it up. How does this happen? My daughter did laundry but forgot to put it in the dryer so when I was feeling better three days later and could actually walk again without the help of a counter, I opened the washing machine to do another load, and almost got sick again from the smell.
I know instilling compassion and kindness in our kids is more important than a clean house. I’d like to sit here and say it doesn’t matter the place got dirtier with their “help.” But I’d be lying. Was it the sweetest thing ever? Yes. But I was stressed out once I was better and took a look around my house.
It’s like you feel the dread creeping in your bones because you know you are going to have to play triple duty as soon as you get better to catch up with it all, which will probably leave you feeling run down all over again.
I know I’m complaining. I also know I’m not alone in feeling the angst of getting sick because we all know if mum misses even 24 hours of the usual day to day stuff, it is going to come with a huge side of overwhelm.
But I can honestly say the next time this happens, (which I hope is in the very far future) I am going to remember my kids aren’t going to be here forever and I will probably get to take actual sick days.
And I have a feeling I am going to be a bit sad the day I come to again and don’t see the evidence of all they tried to do and keep up with while I was out of commission.
I mean, it might be really hard while I am scrubbing gummy ice cream and jelly that’s been smeared on the counter for a few days and covered in flies, but I will try my hardest.