I had chicken and corn soup for dinner. My chest feels heavy and my face swollen. I am a mum with a head cold, most likely caught from a child with a snotty nose who likes to kiss open-mouthed, and, although this is not the first time I have been sick as a mother I am quickly remembering how being a sick parent is a whole lot different to being a sick non-parent. Quite frankly, the idea of writing a blog post this week is making my head pound slightly but I had an idea and in my zombie like state I couldn’t resist.
It’s simple, it’s quick, it’s all I can muster. It is, The thoughts of a sick parent vs the reality of being a sick parent.
1. Thought: Maybe you will play quietly so I can have a rest on the couch.
Reality: Finds this the perfect time to smash the living daylight out of your xylophone and everything else that bangs and clammers.
2. Thought: Ugh, there are so many tissues, I’ll clean them up later, they will be fine on the floor for now.
Reality: Not fine on the floor, apparently tissues are good play toys and an interesting new texture for the mouth, clean them up, clean them up NOW!
3. Thought: I could really go a massage.
Reality: Yes, I guess you climbing all over me, riding me like a horse and squashing me is kind of like a massage.
4. Thought: An early night would be nice.
Reality: As a parent you should never have this thought. This is the jinx of all jinxes. As soon as you even think you will have an early night your child somehow senses it and makes it their mission to make bedtime a long, drawn out and painful process.
5. Thought: Why did I think teaching you ‘one more’ would be a cute thing to learn?
Reality: I am beginning to think this will not just be a ‘sick parent’ thought. One more is the new favourite term at story time and even if it is extremely adorable, sometimes (usually somewhere after about book eight) there is no room, time or patience for one more.
6. Thought: I am so glad you are not sick.
Reality: Being a sick as a parent is annoying and hard but it is nothing compared to being the parent of a sick child. In Leo’s short life we have been extremely lucky in terms of sickness, we have only endured one ear infection and one has been enough. Having a sick baby, and when they are sick even if they are well and truly a toddler they revert back to being a baby, is hard on a whole new level. You feel hopeless and desperate. All you want to do is make it better and it is so hard to watch them in pain. Even though I am currently feeling terrible I am just so grateful it is me and not him.
7. Thought: I’ll be better by tomorrow.
Reality: It doesn’t matter if you are or you aren’t, you have to be because there are no days off when you have a one year old. Faking health when you are feeling under the weather is just another part of what being a mum is, and really truth be told, when they are as cute as what they are, you are happy to put on a healthy smile even when you are not at your healthiest.