Skip to main content

Mommies don't get sick days

[Warning: What follows is a whole lot of "poor me." I won't be hurt if you choose to just skip this and hop over to Perez Hilton or some site more interesting. Or, feel free to comment something along the lines of "Suck it up, you whiny brat, there are thousands of people dying in Haiti now. Your life is just fine."]

I am low on patience and compassion this morning, and though I feel a little bad about that, I need to vent a bit now. My husband, who is also my best friend and companion through good times and bad, has a nasty head cold. You know I adore him and I'm sorry that he feels awful, bt I'm also a bit jealous and grouchy that he can lie in bed moaning for two days because he has some congestion pain in his ear and head. I probably should be doting over him, making him homemade chicken soup and rubbing Vicks on his chest or something. But no. I'm griping.

You know why? Because not only do I have symptoms of this same head cold, including a searing pain in my left cheek, I also have a whole freaking person growing inside my body at the moment. Besides the aching head and stuffy nose, I am also dealing with stabbing pains between my legs, a constant muscle ache across my hips and back, and plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I have heartburn that simply laughs at any and all medication. My clothes don't fit right, my shoes are too tight, and my boobs really hurt. My stomach, lungs, and liver are battling it out for the same real estate, while my belly buddy pummels them all day long for fun. And I won't even discuss what the heck is going on with my bladder.

Do I get to lie in bed and moan? Come on, now. You know mommies don't get sick days! Nope, instead I grab a box of tissues, drink some lemon tea, eat an orange, and gulp down some Tylenol Sinus because I have to go to work, then come home to keep the energetic 4-year-old occupied enough that he doesn't bother his sick Daddy. I have to keep up with the cooking and the dishes and the laundry, pick up the cars and dinosaurs and super heroes that line the floors. Just getting the child and myself dressed and fed in the morning wears me out, but I've got to keep going because I have tight work deadlines, too. Meanwhile, the man with the head cold snores away in our cozy marshmallow bed.

I love you, babe, I really do. I'm not mad at you because I know it's not your fault that you're sick. And when you're well, you're a tremendous help with the kid-wrangling and the household stuff. But today I feel sick, too, and I'm grumpy and hormonal and sore and exhausted and I'm taking it out on you because you're here staring at me with that pitiful puss, looking at me as if I either gave you this cold or I have the power to take it away.

I'm also thinking, damn, if a head cold knocks you flat for two days, it's a good thing that women do the baby carrying and baby birthing and baby nursing because otherwise one of two things would happen: (1) Things would simply shut down for 9 months while the gestating daddies laid in bed, or (2) There would be way fewer humans on the planet.

And just think: In two months or so, this small person has to come out of my body (and we all know there's no good way for that too happen). I wonder how much time I'll get to just lie in bed and moan then? Hmph.


Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Math lessons

I was really great at school as a kid...but I'm really lousy at school as a parent. And I was reminded once again of this while sitting at my son's conference yesterday.

Seventh grade has been hard on all of us. Beyond the obvious physical changes -- Happy has grown at least 5" since this summer and now looks me in the eye (yeah, remember I'm super tall!), his voice is weird, he can't get out of his own way -- we're all trying to navigate his ever-changing need for independence. His teachers want him to take more responsibility for his learning, which in theory sounds like a great plan for all kids at this age; they have to not only learn how to learn but also learn how to advocate for their learning.

In reality, though, when you're the world's most laid-back 12-almost-13-year-old who really only wants to listen to music, play drums, video games, and action figures, taking responsibility and advocating for your learning is not highest priority. In fact…

Happy curls?

I dreaded the passing of the peace each Sunday when I was a little girl. Every week the old church ladies would comment about my hair...
    "Shirley Temple curls!" they cooed; I didn't know who Shirley Temple was.
    "So soft!" they petted; I didn't want their wrinkly, gnarled fingers on my head.
    "I pay a lot of money to have hair like yours!" they exclaimed; I couldn't figure out why anyone would pay money for frizzy, fluffy, brillo-pad hair.

I hated my curls. I felt embarrassed by my hair -- it was short, kinky, cut badly -- quite different from the long straight hair my friends all wore at the time in my life when I just wanted to fit in. Oh, how I wanted a ponytail! Or a braid my hair on a Sunday morning with ribbons hanging down, that was a dream.

Today during the passing of the peace, I found myself next to one of the older ladies in our church. Every week I marvel at her elegance, the way the dresses, the slow and grace…