Monday, February 11, 2008

Sick




Today is my second day of being sick (I know, poor me), and being sick has caused me to ponder at the differences between being sick as an adult and being sick as a child.

I remember when I was younger and even up until I had children that I didn't hate being sick, I only pretended to because it's expected. I think that even then I knew somehow that it would be drastically different later in life. I was thinking about this as I laid on the couch yesterday because I had suddenly remembered what it felt like to call in sick to my boss. I remember that I had to muster up all of the horrible feelings I felt and try my hardest to sound disappointed to be missing work that day when really I was elated (also truly sick, but elated none the less). Because for most people, being sick, as awful as it can be, really means you get a break. Especially when you are a kid.

For me however, now that I have kids of my own that I care for in my home full time--being sick is hell. I promise that no one gets the full meaning of the cliche "Mom's don't get sick days" until they have been a sick mom. I realize this excludes many of you who are reading this, but please keep reading.

Let me tell you, even busy working adults who don't like taking sick days still have the option of doing so and I believe they would if they were sick enough. But who is going to fill in for me when I get sick? No one. Period.

It's sort of like that scene from "The Devil Wears Prada" where Emily the assistant comes to work even though she is visibly ill, and we are all supposed to think thoughts similar to: "Wow, what a horrible boss to be so uncaring!" and "I can't believe she has such a demanding job that she can't even take ONE day!" That's me, I'm Emily the assistant and my kids and house collectively are Meryl Streep. The only difference being that neither of us get to wear such expensive clothes.


Being sick means that I have to do everything I normally do while feeling like crap. I must wake up when my kids wake up, I must feed them meals, I must entertain them and clothe them. I must change diapers and do dishes and laundry, and if I decide not to do them while I am sick, guess who still has to do them later? Me. The mom. Only by then, the piles of housework have become larger from not doing them earlier. And unless I want to have my kids forcibly removed from my house and placed in foster care, I cannot neglect that aspect of my job. ever.

Being sick no longer means that I get to take a break from the things I dread doing, but it does mean that I have to give up all of the things I love to do. I had to miss church, which I love because it is a wonderful opportunity to fill myself spiritually, and an opportunity to get out of the house and dress up (which I love to do), meet all of my friends and get a break from my kids.

If I had become sick one day earlier, I would have had to miss a party that my friend was throwing, and these types of parties are few and far between, and incidentally they only seem to happen when you already have eighteen obligations or are sick.

So I guess what I am getting at is the fact that mothers have the ultimate sick wild card to play that trumps anyone else's sick card. Particularly those mothers who have kids at home--and the younger they are, the worse off the mother is. Which basically boils down to the fact that I no longer pity anyone who gets sick unless they are a mother of young children. I really don't feel bad about that either. Some of you who are reading this might be a little put off by my admission, but I don't care, it's my only joy that I get out of being a sick Mom, and you know me--I love to look on the bright side.

11 comments:

Juli said...

Sorry you're sick! It seems to be the week for it. Mom & Dad have been laid flat, Mel's sick (got the sexy, husky voice thing going), and my indestructible hubby just succumbed as well. Still, I feel for you and Mel the most--being sick when you're pregnant is the worst. Hope you feel better soon! Gotta go pound down some Airborne and zinc lozenges.....

Adam said...

That sucks, Ali. You've sure painted a grim picture. I'll flat-out admit it: I love sick days. Lying in bed all day, eating chicken soup, dragging a blanket out to the couch to watch SportsCenter/Anchorman in the middle of the afternoon, wearing pajamas at 6:30 p.m. You know... maybe I'll call in sick today...

Andy & Jessica said...

Ali I totally know how you feel. Being sick as a mom and pregnant is the worst! I hope that you are feeling better. It is nice that Gabe is at all day school, so you can have a little bit of a break(hopefully). Take Care:-)

ali said...

yeah, having Gabe at school helped a lot.

Ads, I used to love sick days too... *sigh*

Melanie said...

Here's to being sick! Juli and 2 out of 3 of the kids have it too. It really is the pits!

Becky O. said...

You know I read this when you first posted it and thought...oh that has got to stink. But after having the flu over the weekend I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE having two kids to take care of. I wouldn't be able to do it. Hence, this story just postponed Adam or Becky Jr. another 6 months. ;)

Hope you are feeling better! We miss you guys!

ali said...

don't put that on my shoulders! my parents will have my head!

Teri said...

wow you said it! print that in the newspaper so everyone can read it.... that is how all us moms of young kids feel, and I love how you said it :) get better!

Colleen said...

Ali, I loved your sick comments -- mothers are only allowed to get sick overnight!

It has been fun reading your blog. I'm sending you the link to Shanna's blog. It is
3cutekids.blogspot.com. She has links to Melinda's and Lisa's blogs.

Shanna said...

Hey Ali! I'm glad my mom found you guys! I love your post. We went to Argentina for a week, and I got sick- everyone felt so sorry for me to be sick on vacation, but I totally loved it, because I can't get sick at home!! I truly got a real 'sick day'!! Pathetic, I know, to be happy about being sick on vacation.....

Sarah said...

Hey Ali,
I guess this is the day where all your cousins find you! :) I totally understand how not fun it is to be sick as a mom. Check out our blog at rberries.wordpress.com
Sarah