Mother's Work · Motherhood · Parenting · Self-Care · Toddlers

Parents aren’t supposed to get sick

Ugh. We bid 2010 farewell with stomach flu Armageddon, now we’re welcoming 2011 with the sinus infection Rapture. I was so grateful to be at Grandma’s house when the stomach flu hit my husband and me simultaneously. I remember the mom at the gingerbread house school project table a few weeks earlier describing how they had to keep their babysitter for the full day because she and her husband were down for the count from morning ’til night. “But the silver lining is that it’s short-lived. Just a 24-hour bug.” It echoed in my mind as we laid in the fetal position that fateful December 27th. Short-lived doesn’t matter! When both parents are sick we long for the days when extended families lived together in big shared homes, or villages, and supported each other, raised each other’s kids. Thank god we were at Grandma’s, and my sister was there! I had texted my brother that morning, too, to see if he could come over and help, and he texted back, “I would if I hadn’t been up puking until 6am myself.” It’s just wrong.

Now it’s a new year, and with it comes a new virus. Grandma is visiting us this time, and all three of us adults are sick again. I can at least function, but I’m wiped with a bad cold. Grandma and hubby both have it in the sinuses – which it seems everyone on the planet has right now. Has the atmosphere become dryer or something? At least the kids aren’t sick – yet.

I think when a parent, or both parents, get sick, our ridiculously fast lives really rear their ugly heads. Our relatively isolated, we-can-do-it-all, hyper-connected lifestyles implode. We have no other choice than to slow down and reach out for help. I think that’s the true silver lining.

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