As soon as I delivered my first baby, I realized very quickly that sick days were now nonexistent for me. My body had just endured a marathon, and was in need of recovery. And yet, this tiny human needed me to rally and be strong in order to survive. You have a slim chance of being successful at the whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” thing… until baby #2 comes along. And then, when the baby sleeps, you’re tending to the toddler instead of resting.
I go to great lengths to avoid illnesses with my kids, but honestly, I’m terrified that I’ll be the one to catch the bug. Being a mom, the days of calling into work and spending the rest of the day sleeping off an illness are long gone. My little boss babies still need to be fed, bathed and looked after. They still demand milk in the blue cup, not the yellow, and pee on the floor as I beg them to sit on the potty. They still balk naps, and are wide awake when I desperately need to sleep.
I fear getting sick because NOW my typical sick day look something like this…
By 8am I already have a blow-out diaper, two changes of clothes from spit up under my belt. I’ve nursed a baby and got another out the door for kindergarten. I’m not sure if the spill on my kitchen floor is urine or milk. Mostly likely a combination of both. Bath #1 for the day. Did I mention I’m sick?
Potty training doesn’t take a day off. Nursing a baby doesn’t take a day off. Not unless my next “sick day” is mastitis.
That’s why moms are known as warriors. We’re built for this. Built for childbirth and child rearing. We have to take care of ourselves and stay healthy, BUT taking care of our babies is something instinctively deep within our bones. We somehow muster up the strength to keep going, keep working, keep taking care of our babies. Even when we’re sick. Even when we’re tired. Through other pregnancies, the flu, or allergies.
Mom needs a sick day, but we don’t get a sick day. We don’t take a day off. No matter how old they are. Even if they’re off at school, or day care, or grandma’s for the day or they’ve long left our little nest. We still think, plan and worry about them. Every day. Even on a “sick day.”