Hello lovely people, sorry I have been absent for so long. I am back after my run in with the plague of 2017, Strep. Now I consider myself to have a pretty high pain tolerance and overall a champ when it comes to mothering through sickness. I have birthed three beautiful babies; all unmedicated natural labors. That’s right, not even a god damn Tylenol to take the edge off. To top that off, I’ve also been induced all three times, and any woman who has received Pitocin knows right away that I am an extra badass for laboring 15+ hours on that shit. So, point is, I’m not a little baby bitch when it comes to being sick or in pain.
This last week, I died. I saw the light, and walked hand in hand with my higher power, which happened to be Prince this week. We sang Purple Rain while I cried in my car every day as I drove around aimlessly just so the kids were restrained and couldn’t touch me. Evie asked dozens of times, “Where are we going mom?”
NO WHERE EVIE, WE ARE GOING NO WHERE… BUT WE ARE GOING.
She was confused, but she’s four so who cares. Thank you to whoever invented the drive-thru. Everything should have one.
I started getting sick Monday night. One of my cleaning jobs requested that I come on Monday instead of Friday so I arranged for my babysitter to come out Monday morning. Since our yard now looked more like a field of tall grass rather than a yard I took it upon myself to mow.
Our house sits up on a huge hill, so our yard is… big. For some reason we thought it was a good idea to buy a push mower for this bitch of a yard. It took just shy of two hours to mow; I finished just in time to come inside when Millie and Livie woke up from their naps.
I know, I’ve missed my calling. My company will begin taking reservations, just look up Pissed off wives who have to mow because their husbands work too much .com.
It was still hours before Sean would be home from work so I took the girls to the park (the swamp); we played for a couple hours and headed back to the house. I started to notice some aches in my neck and a headache, but dismissed my symptoms as usual.
By the time I tried to go to bed, my whole body hurt. I refused to accept that I was sick, so I did some yoga and climbed into bed. It felt like our sheets were ripping off my skin, but I needed the warmth. I piled on blankets and surrounded myself with pillows and shook until I fell asleep.
I woke up on Tuesday and couldn’t turn my neck. My temperature had spiked, and I could barely swallow. Sean left for work. I sent out text messages looking for someone to help, but everyone was busy. Around 10:00 I started begging Sean to come home. The girls were all fighting the ends of their colds from the week prior. Millie and Liv were undoubtedly both teething, and Millie caught a case of pink eye over the weekend. We all on laid the floor and cried until Sean came home.
Wednesday, again Sean went to work. A motherly surge of adrenaline hit me and I decided I’d try to take the kids somewhere. I thought getting out of the house would help, and since they were doing better we put on our shoes and headed to Evie’s T-ball practice. We lasted ten minutes before Evie ran over to the bleachers where I was sitting.
“I don’t feel good mommy,” Evie said. “Can we go home?”
“Oh sweet girl, mommy doesn’t feel good either,” I said as I packed up our bag to go. We got back home and I made some lunch before settling Millie and Liv for their naps. Evie and I climbed into my bed and fell asleep.
When Sean got home from work around 4:00 I was angry. Angry with him for going to work, angry with myself for not being able to kick whatever cold this was. I called and scheduled myself a doctor’s appointment for the next morning.
Thursday the girls were up early, sometime around 6:00. Sean fixed them breakfast and I forced myself out of bed. I made it to our living room and fell onto our couch. At this point, every time I stood up I broke out into a sweat, followed quickly by overwhelming chills. Sean left for work. My doctor’s appointment was scheduled for 8:30, and my mom was coming to help with the girls at 8:00. I managed to make it to the doctors and fell asleep in the waiting room. It was strep, and my doctor lectured me for waiting so long to come in.
I spent all of Thursday in bed, cancelled all my houses for Friday and Saturday for the first time in the five years I’ve been cleaning due to personal illness. I had my sitter come on Friday for her normal schedule since again, Sean went to work. Saturday, I tried to come out of the room a little more and see my kids. I missed them; I missed being me so I could take care of them. I was angry with my husband and with myself for getting so sick. I felt guilty every minute that I stayed in my room while someone else took care of my kids. I knew in my head that I needed to rest, that coughing until I threw up every time I stood up wasn’t mommy.
After they fell asleep Saturday night, I mustered up what strength I could and fought, actually fought, yelled even, at my husband. I yelled about how he abandoned me this week. I yelled about how he didn’t listen to me, and didn’t help me with the kids. I yelled about how he still hasn’t filled out the damn paperwork for the last minute childcare center his work offers. I cried when he said he didn’t realize I was so sick. I cried when he said I normally can handle it all. Then I continued to yell, but as Sean pointed out, it seemed like I was now just yelling at myself.
Guilt is a horrible thing. I know it’s there to serve a purpose, to let us know when we are doing wrong, but why is it there so often when we are doing right? Taking care of myself shouldn’t make me feel so awful, but it does. Like every minute I spend taking care of myself or enjoying something other than my children… is bad? This guilt wasn’t here before kids. We have these kids, and all of a sudden all of their needs are so much more important than our own. Before kids, I never felt like a bad person for taking too long of a shower. I never used to feel like a bad person for watching tv and resting in bed. I can remember more days than not going until 2, or 3:00 before I stop to eat. I wake up every day and I spend the hours of the day taking care of these little girls, while completely neglecting all of the same needs that I have too. Then when the time comes that I do take care of myself, I’m overrun with guilt.
I am still angry with my husband; he wasn’t there for me the past week. I have no doubt that if roles were reversed and he had this same sickness, he would have taken the days off work to rest. He was right though, I usually just handle everything. I need to work on being honest when I really need help. For now, he just won’t get any until he fills out the damn forms. Next time I am that sick I will skip the drive-thru and instead drop the kids off at his office and sleep under his desk.
This is hard… being a mom. I keep telling myself that in order for me to be the best version of the mom I want for my kids I have to take care of myself; but it’s hard. Finding the time for me when there is barely enough time for everyone else, it’s hard. Trying to be the person who takes care of a sick little one who doesn’t understand you feel awful too, it’s hard.
Some days are just hard. The guilt is just hard.