As a mother, I often feel as though I can’t get sick. No stomach bugs, no colds, no flu, no nothin’. There just isn’t time for that. Moms can’t get sick because they have to take care of everyone else. If they get sick, the kids and everyone else in the house won’t be able to function. There will be a code red. Everyone will starve. The house will go to shambles. The kids will be dirty and get fleas. It will be a nightmare. So, the easiest solution is for mommy to never get sick. Ever.
But, what happens when mommy’s been fighting off a cold for days? What happens when even three nights of NyQuil doesn’t knock the nasty germs out of her body? What happens when mommy can’t stop coughing at night? What happens when mommy goes to the gym and somehow pulls a neck and shoulder muscle so badly on a spinning bike that she can’t turn her head right and feels like Zoolander (the only difference being he couldn’t turn left)? So now mommy is a coughing fool who can’t move. Does mommy call a timeout and take a sick day?
Do you hear the crickets?
Normally, I would say no way. Mommy does not take a sick day. I repeat, mommy does not take a sick day. Mommy pops some Advil and chugs some cough syrup. Mommy sucks it up and pushes through. Mommy pretends her head is not throbbing and that she really can turn her neck both ways without wanting to scream. Mommy does not take a sick day.
But, today, this mommy did. Some may call it a sign of weakness. I call it taking care of yourself first for a change. This mommy skipped the gym despite the nagging muffin top. This mommy called out sick to one of the only two days a week of a freelancing gig despite feeling silly for doing so. This mommy let daddy take the kids to school and grandma’s house. This mommy slept for another two-and-a-half hours and then stayed in her jammies for the entire morning. This mommy watched some of her shows in the DVR. This mommy took a long hot shower without trying to break some Olympic record for taking the shortest one. This mommy drank her morning coffee…hot.
Guess what? This mommy felt wonderful. Guess what else? The world didn’t come to an end. The kids had a great day at school and at grandma’s. The house did not look like a pig pen. The kids were not malnourished. Everyone survived and was pretty darn happy.
It’s strange how we sometimes think we are not allowed to be human just because we have the title of “mother”. Being human means getting sick. Being human means taking time to rest and recharge. Sometimes being human means knowing when to take a timeout…for yourself.
While I may not feel 100% better at the end of my sick day, I feel a whole lot better than I would have if I tried to be some crazy superwoman. I feel much better than trying to prove to everyone that I am invincible.
Guess what? Mommies do get sick. Guess what else? Mommies can take a sick day. Guess what else? Everyone will be just fine…even you!