There are two rotten things about being sick when you’re the mom: 1. You don’t get a sick day. The laundry still needs to be folded, mouths still need to be fed and the cookies you promised for a school function aren’t going to make themselves. 2. You get hit harder than anyone else.
If I were a betting girl, I would put money on the idea that you’ve been sick since November.
All across my e-mail and Facebook pages, I see messages from friends about the random antibiotics being doled out in their house.
Of course, my “friends list” is skewed with an inordinate number of mommies: We’re constantly smooching on kiddos who have no problem sucking on other people’s toys. So, perhaps, sick germs live among us more than in households where, say, a person’s toothbrush is sacred territory.
There are two rotten things about being sick when you’re the mom:
1. You don’t get a sick day. The laundry still needs to be folded, mouths still need to be fed and the cookies you promised for a school function aren’t going to make themselves.
2. You get hit harder than anyone else. When my kids got a stomach bug a few weeks back, they each threw up one time. I ended up in the hospital from dehydration.
You would think we moms would learn — teach those darned kids to wipe their own noses. Follow them with a bottle of Lysol. And, most importantly, don’t kiss them until they can make it a day without sneezing.
But no. We take temperatures by pressing our lips against their feverish foreheads, even though there’s a thermometer in the medicine cabinet. For me, the old-fashion method just seems to work better.
Remember when you were a kid and you would fake being sick? You would come up with a random stomachache, maybe even run the blow dryer on the thermometer for an extra-convincing temperature. It was a nice way to get a day off school so you could lounge on the couch and catch up with all that television you missed while sitting in a boring chemistry class.
No one warns you that you can’t fake sick very well once you have a family of your own. I hear other moms complain about the babies their husbands turn into when they get sick. They whine and lie in bed all day and generally can’t bring themselves to do much of anything.
Of course, that doesn’t go over well with a mom who is also sick but has a child hanging from every limb. I’m fortunate that my husband is not that guy. In fact, he will tell you that he hasn’t been sick in years.
“A little sinus drainage,” he’ll say, while coughing up a lung.
“Must have eaten something that didn’t agree with me,” he’ll comment while leaving for a full day of work.
Recently, I went to hug my husband after blowing my nose. He strong-armed me.
“I don’t want to get sick,” he said. Then he quickly added, “Not that I would.”
The only solace offered between sneezes these days is the idea that the flu season is closer to the end than the beginning –– then we’ll just have hay fever to contend with.
Elizabeth Davies’ column runs Sundays in Life&Style. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. At least that’s not contagious.