What does mom do when she is sick? Or rather, what doesn’t she do to take care of herself?
For any mom, working or not, this is a real issue. We don’t just get to leave our jobs, take our kids with us to the Dr for hours, go to bed on time or for hours in the middle of the day, eat right, etc. As moms we are often the last to be taken care of.
I don’t know about you but my kids do not care if I am sick. If I were oozing blood they might be slightly grossed out, but would otherwise ignore it. Because they are kids. It is their job to ignore everything but themselves as they learn who they are in this world. Yes, it is important to teach compassion, but we can only expect so much out of little ones. Yeah yeah yeah. I know. We should be the first to take care of ourselves because no one else will. Great advice… now what’s reality?
Since my sweet twins have been born I have had very little time for self care and my body still has not recovered from back to back pregnancies, one with multiples. And this last round of being sick has really been a beating. Not because I’m that sick, but because the way my children need me right now is more physically demanding than it was before. Read: 95 lbs of kids want you to pick them up at the same time. So what do you do when no one but mommy will do for the kids? I went to my go-to place for mom advice and asked my mommy friends on Facebook what they do when they are sick.
Here’s what my Mommy Friends had to say:
- “TV. Lots of TV. Something I SWORE I would never do. You gotta do what you gotta do.”
- “I sat the Girls (they were 2 or 3 at the time) on the couch with a package of saltine crackers one evening then went to bed to wait for daddy to get home . . .”
- “When I was pregnant and sick I got him a snack, milk,and juice, turned on a movie and then hide under a blanket on the couch for a nap.”
- “I would get my mother to help me when I got sick. Mom knows best.”
- “I thought mommies were not allowed to get sick!! No one told me. I had a cardiac pacemaker implant and that night I was rocking my 11 month old to sleep because daddy said, ‘…the baby ONLY will sleep for you.’ “
- “Now she is old enough to give me an ice-pack for my head.”
From the WMAG Contributor crew:
- Sara “This is going to sound bad, but… I don’t let myself get sick. I mean, I do get sick, but I power through, which isn’t good for me or anybody. The biggest tip I can offer is to be honest with your husband/partner (if you have one) about needing time for yourself. I don’t do that enough, and then things build up and I get depressed and resentful and sick, and then I explode. I’m trying to be more “selfish” these days.”
- Susan “Personally, I’m not the poster child for great self-care. I know I should do it, and I know it’s important, but I’m kind of like you — I wait until things get pretty bad before I take serious action. A few things I pretty much insist on (for myself):7-8 hours a sleep MOST nights, annual OBGYN and dental checkups, time to myself on weekends (even if it’s while folding laundry — just to be alone and watch a TV show I love), take daily meds to control hypertension (which I’ve had since age 22), and regular pedicures. I think each woman has to decide what really matters to her health and self-care, and FIGHT to maintain it.” Read how Susan dealt with Life Under Quarantine
But my favorite piece of advice came from my Dr:
“Go home while your kids are at school. If you died tomorrow your job would have you replaced within a week.” Gee, thanks doc! But it’s true, isn’t it?
So what do I do? I let my husband know to expect that he needs to help me more, call mom if I REALLY need help (I try not to abuse it), do TV, but I also power through. Because that is what we have to do sometimes. And I don’t do the extras. Dinner is easy, dishes wait, laundry waits, and baths may not happen. And I make sure I see a doctor before it gets too bad because I have learned what ignoring signs of trouble can do. What do you do when you are sick?
Want more about caring for yourself? Check out our other posts about health and self-care: