Ah . . . I remember “sick days”. I remember waking up in the morning, trying to drag myself through my preparation for the day, telling myself to tough it out and finally giving in to the aches, or the fever, or whatever illness had me in its grip. I remember collapsing onto the couch, covering myself in a blanket, putting brain-numbing mid-day TV on and putting in a request for ginger ale or orange juice with Dan before he left for the day. I remember starting to feel better, getting up to accomplish something and quitting halfway through because I wasn’t as “better” as I thought. At the time, I never liked sick days. I was never one to revel in taking a break. I always felt guilty and unsure about whether I was “really sick enough” to be home (even in the face of overwhelming evidence). And I was always worried about what kind of work would be piled up for me when I got back. I never really enjoyed it.
And I never thought I’d think back fondly on those (to my mind) wasted days spent doing nothing and waiting to feel better.
Having a “sick day” as a mom is totally different. You have your own morning routine to drag yourself through, plus (in my case) at least two others’. It doesn’t matter how miserable I feel, diapers have to be changed, meals have to be made, boo-boos need to be tended to. Last week, B got sick with a bad cold, and yesterday Liam & I woke up sick, too. For me, it didn’t start off too badly, but after a night of almost no sleep on Friday (because Liam was up) and less last night (because I couldn’t breathe or get comfortable) I woke up sick, shivery, feverish and miserable this morning.
I’m lucky, because it’s Sunday. No one had to go to school or work, Dan was home all day. I didn’t have any chores to do or errands to run, no tasks to accomplish. But still, life goes on. Dan made our meals, but I watched the kids while he did. (And “watching the kids” doesn’t mean laying on the couch and staring into space — it means racing cars, reading stories, finding lost Legos, dragging stuff out from under the couch and overseeing endless negotiations about who has how much time left with which toy.) I did manage to lay down for half an hour this morning (in my own room!) but I had to come back out when Liam pinched his finger and couldn’t be consoled by anyone else. I got to lay down for an hour while the kids napped (which was AWESOME) and Dan took the boys out to pick up dinner without me (although I was afraid to lay down because I figured I’d be out for the night if I did).
Yes, I’m being whiny and complaining. It’s been a long day. Fingers crossed that I wake up tomorrow feeling chipper and energetic, because tomorrow is back to the work week and life as usual.