Last Monday, I woke up feeling off. The kind of off that can be anything. A combination of a second glass of wine and middle of the night feeds, perhaps. I shrugged it off and added some Advil into my morning routine of #allthecoffee and got the kids ready for our mommy and me stroller workout in the park. 30 seconds into high knees, I felt it. It was more than just a little off feeling, cold sweat/dry mouth/you ladies are about to see my smoothie kind of feeling. I made it home without getting sick (rolling every stop sign), but it was close. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but I learned some valuable lessons during my SAHM sick day.
My husband is an excellent parent.
Of course I already knew this. I would never have married a man I didn’t see being a great father, but he really stepped up in my time of nauseous need. I woke him up at 9:45 am to take the kids. He got off work the night before at 3 am. Not a single complaint out of his mouth as he made lunches and warmed milk, while I napped away my fever under ten blankets. It made me truly grateful to have such an excellent partner on this parenting journey. I honestly do not know how single parents manage or people with selfish unhelpful spouses.
I do a lot most days.
Even on the days I feel like a survivor over a thriver, there are certain things that I do out of habit. They most often go unnoticed, until they aren’t done. Dishes are clean, laundry is usually done (not put away, I’m not a Marvel character after all), meals are made and cleaned up. A day without Mom’s behind the scenes work did validate all that I do.
Adult fevers suck a lot.
Fevers are no joke, kids. I hit a Tmax (highest temp for my non-medical readers) of 102.1 and I started thinking of everyone I’d previously wronged and wondering what kind of cosmic karma was in play. When my son has a fever he just runs a little slower, I thought I was dying. Further proof that toddlers are incredibly resilient and I’m a little (a lot) bit dramatic.
Daniel Tiger might be a better parent than me.
When my husband did have to go back to work that evening, ol’ DT took over parenting while I shivered on the couch. We learned about sharing, using the potty, and even how crayons are made. The nostalgic part of me reminisced about sick days in my youth watching Mr. Rogers. Screen time for the win.
I got jealous of working moms and then I checked myself.
In a moment I am not proud of, I thought about how if I had a regular job I could “just take my kids to daycare” and not have to parent through my illness. And then reality set in. I *may* be able to use financially crippling childcare on a sick day, but I would likely also be upsetting my boss by calling out sick. I would be disappointing coworkers. I would be giving up all of the freedoms I have being fortunate enough to be able to stay home with my kids. A couple days of feeling sick while parenting is not even a little comparable to the sacrifices working moms make to balance finances and family life. It’s always good to give yourself a reality check. I credit the introspection to my eighth episode of Daniel Tiger.
And there you have it. Being sick sucks. It however did shine a light on some pretty fantastic things I’ve got going on in my life. I’d like to say I won’t lose sight of my blessings again, but I am human. I am so fortunate to be healthy most of the time. There are plenty of parents who never feel well due to chronic illness. I think occasional tough days show us our own strength and gifts. I may also be ordering vitamins in bulk off amazon from here on out.