The last two weeks plus my house has been a cesspool of germs. What started with my husband and what we thought was a minor stomach bug, shifted through all four of us followed by a round of the cold from hell that never left. We tested negative for everything… just guessed it to be a severe form of the common cold. I don’t complain overly or at all about being sick. Having had chronic illness at one point in my life, I’ve learned to power through much that comes my way. But man, the lung I thought I was coughing up on the daily, scratch that hourly, for a good week had even me reaching for the pity party tissue box.
This is the first time I have ever been knocked on my butt, want to roll over bury myself under the covers, and not come out… well ever kind of sick with my kiddos being here. So this was the first time ever that I got to really experience the concept of “moms don’t get sick days.” I have to give my hubby credit. He really did try to manage my babies while letting me rest. But my babies had other plans as they constantly demanded “MA-MA!” It struck me at the giant juxtaposition that was taking place between my being sick and my hubby being sick.
While my hubby was left alone, no ardent calls up the stairs to garner his attention, no demands to see daddy. But when I was sick, there was a consistent flow of screeching of my one-year-old screaming for mama and the four-year-old loudly telling daddy she wanted to go see mommy. Even when I finally relinquish and came down, I became the jungle gym and the momma “please may I…” or more often the case the less polite version.
I was reminded of the American Greetings YouTube ad for Mother’s Day where they interview candidates for “the world’s toughest job” that they have dub a working title of Director of Operations. The interviewer proceeds to describe the job to the candidate's details of which include no breaks, mobile all the time, no salary, no vacation, no sick time, willing to be on call, no sleep, and on and on. At one point one of the candidates says that it was almost inhumane. But mothers do this day in and day out, some at home 24/7 and others while juggling a job in or out of the home but with no less expectations on being mom.
In the moments of hacking up my lungs, it hit me how real that ad was. I was not getting sick leave and I was still being expected to still be momma. But when my little “associates” aka my two babies crawled into my lap, snuggled with me, gave me sloppy kisses on the cheek or ugga mugga nose kisses, it really didn’t matter the cost. It was worth it.
You would think as a mom of a one-year-old, four-year-old AND a 24-year-old that I would have learned all the lessons of motherhood. But the lesson I am constantly learning is I always have something more to learn as a mother. This time I learned there really is no substitute for momma. So sick, not sick, I suit up and show up for them.