Moms don’t get sick days

I’m sick, my energy level is zero, and I have no idea how I’m going to do today. I’ve been run down and symptoms peaked yesterday—sore throat, coughing, sneezing, fever—and I spent literally an hour soaking in the tub with my baby, and afterward he threw me a bone and allowed lying on the bed in my arms be enough entertainment…after I held the nightstand lamp and let him turn it on and off via its metal chain. On, off, on, off, for a long long time,  Fatal attraction style. Sweet boy. 

What can you do…improvise…suddenly I am taking all safe kitchen implements down off the shelves and spreading them around the floor for him, so many that you can’t cross the floor to the sink. He is amazed. Anything to keep him fascinated while I cough uncontrollably into the sleeve of my robe.

I fantasize about a 90 minute massage. A steam room. Someone magically appearing at my door with fresh fruit and veg, of which we have none because I haven’t made it to the grocery store. I feel malnourished. I look gray.

And yet when he laughs, I laugh. His new dance move is the twist and you have never seen anything so cute as this short, round toddler twisting back and forth fast, with an open-mouthed grin. How did I get so lucky? Playing the adult harmonica and bopping his head. Singing our “La” song while looking into my eyes. Screaming with laughter many times a day. Hugging us and kissing us without prompting. Doing his “starman handshake” that my dad taught him a few months ago, touching the tip of his index finger to mine and going “nnnn”, doing it with both DH and me, forming a circle, a kind of starman prayer before dinner. 

So I’ll be okay. Nothing has to be perfect. All he needs is to be near us. I can try not to try too hard today. Small goals—trader joes and that’s it. Maybe go out to eat tonight and forego all the dishes-washing. 

Such a big part of being a mom is figuring out how to do self-care and childcare at the same time. I’m not great at that. I don’t feel so good often. I neglect myself.

Another thing is understanding that not every day has to be fabulous; being together is enough.

I want rest and restoration but he can be part of that. Yes, I want to go to an island by myself for a week. But yes I know that it wouldn’t take long to start missing my family sorely if I really did that. 

People keep saying, with a kind of ferocity: enjoy every nanosecond! It goes so fast! It’s somewhat irritating. But I also think it is good advice to try to follow, allowing for moments, days, when you’d really rather be in steam room. 

Tips for parenting while sick? Anyone?

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. So sorry! Nothing quite so difficult as patenting a toddler while sick. I usually resort to TV, which isn’t great but gets us through. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. So irritating. As if you don’t already adore every second with your kid, even when it’s hard!
    And I soooooo feel you on being sick as a momma. It’s hard, but I love your improvisation strategies. Good job!

  3. I feel like one great reason to limit tv is so that when you are desperate it really intrigues them. Baby Einstein and Elmo are your sick day friends! Also a box of tissues. Just let him pull one out at a time and rip them up. Clean it later. My mom likes to say it’s great fine motor skills. So sorry you’re sick!

  4. Paula

     /  November 20, 2015

    Enjoy the enjoyable parts. Survive the others. :)

  5. Nano seconds… So true and hard to enjoy when you are under the weather. Two words – grocery delivery or soup delivery. Life saver when the huzz was sick sick sick. Hope you feel better very soon! And if you were closer I’d drop off soup!

  6. Ugh no tips but I can commiserate. As I type this I’ve full on lost my voice from laryngitis and have been dealing with a cold longer than I should because I still don’t get more than 5 or 6 hours sleep per night. I struggled for a few days but today I finally threw in the towel and asked M to stay home from work with Q while I slept. And daddy got baby down for a 1.5 hour nap (a unicorn in our house). What the hell?? Hope you’re feeling better soon.


Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: