One of THE worst parts of being a parent is having a sick child.
Oh, except having a sick child while you are also sick; that’s probably the worst.
I’d rather endure physical fitness torture, like 20 minutes of burpees or 300 thrusters; or something else crazy like giving every person in my neighborhood and the surrounding neighborhoods a pedicure…almost anything instead of having a sick kiddo (who in turn gets me sick).
I have been asked more than once, mainly by people without kids, how I am able to take care of a sick child while I am also ill myself.
My response is always the same: I’m a mom; I just do it.
We have to take good care of our little ones, regardless of how we may be feeling physically or emotionally. Undeniably, we love them, adore them and would do anything for them.
I not-so-fondly remember how that nasty little stomach bug going around this winter got a hold of my 4-year-old son a couple of weeks ago; it came out of nowhere late one night and immediately plagued our house with no sleep and constant trips to the restroom for him to pay homage to the porcelain gods.
Then there was also the “just in case” bucket we scrambled to get as soon as the vomiting started…ewwww. I think most parents would agree that it’s necessary to keep such a thing handy, but yeah, so gross.
I felt so bad for my little guy because he literally could not stop getting sick; he was incredibly tired, but sleep was not a possibility because this stomach bug had completely taken over. It was laughing at us and mocking how we were even entertaining the idea of getting rest.
I also felt bad for my husband because he had to work the next morning; this toddler tummy chaos was an absolute nightmare.
And, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I felt sorry for myself.
I wasn’t sure that moms were allowed to feel sorry for themselves; there is always a job to do! I was just really worried about my boy, but I was also soooooo tired and desperately craving some sleep and sanity.
Amidst taking care of my toddler, it was never on my radar that I would catch what he had caught (probably at preschool…I know they clean that place, but it’s inevitable that it is such a germ factory), but yep…the stomach bug totally got me. Bad.
I remember laying there in bed, totally incapacitated, pondering life. I felt like I was laying in the depths of dry heave hell, with no end to the misery in sight.
It is truly awful to see your baby sick and miserable; it magnifies to at least one hundred times worse when you feel like you’ve been drained of all energy and left for dead.
Every mom out there would know that this sickness was bad, based on the fact I had to cancel a birthday party (the cake, the venue, all of it), a well-child appointment, an oil change and a dog grooming appointment.
These things are planned and scheduled way in advance, so it’s a logistical nightmare to have to cancel and reschedule.
The receptionist at the pediatrician’s office sounded frazzled and started really pushing me to keep the appointment; I literally had to warn her that IF I was able to drive to the appointment without crashing my vehicle (since I was literally throwing up every two minutes), then my son and I would be little vomit bombs, just waiting to explode in their office while we waited an hour to actually see the doctor.
Ugh, what a headache I had from both the illness and all the riff raff of life’s daily details.
Yet, what I find sweet and encouraging is how our little ones can usually pick up on when mommy and daddy are not feeling well.
During our bout with the stomach flu, my little guy, laying next to me all pale and lethargic, put his hand on my hand and said, “It’s too bad we’re both sick, Mommy.”
Awwwww! I melted.
Unfortunately, I did not have time to truly revel in that sweet moment, as I had to run to vomit for the thousandth time that day, but, it still stayed etched in my mind.
My son even rushed to the bathroom with me, rubbing my back and telling me it would be ok; until his eyes suddenly turned to terror and he ran toward his bucket screaming, “I’m going to get sick now, too, Mommy!”
Luckily after a couple of days, he was on the mend. I knew he was feeling better by the jubilant yells of, “MOMMMMYYYYYY! I want a donut!”
Now, unfortunately, I was still feeling like death, but I was so excited my little guy was better…and that I was able to function enough to grab him a snack in the kitchen before crawling right back into bed and slipping into a near-catatonic state.
Ultimately, when an illness leaves the house, and everyone starts to feel human again, it’s an amazing feeling. It’s like the sun comes out, the clouds disappear, the birds start singing and the mail man has multiple Amazon packages waiting for you on the porch.
We persevere for our children during these sporadic, yet inevitable illnesses because we are moms…that is what we do.