As I sit down to write this post under a cloud of germy germs infused with Lysol disinfecting spray, I feel it’s only fair to warn you of my present Albuterol/Fluticasone/NyQuil-induced haze. I apologize in advance for any misspellings, misgivings or general editorial eff-ups in the name of proper blogging. I’m sick, you guys – so totally I-want-my-mommy sick.
It all started at 3:30am Christmas morning, because of course it did.
Christmas Day and I have a long-standing tradition of battling it out for all that is non-contagious on this very important day and, as usual, I fought the demon illness and the demon illness won. Because it always wins.
But here’s the thing about being sick, when you’re a mom it’s almost like getting sick doesn’t matter. Like it’s not a real thing. “Oh, hey, sorry you’re not feeling good, what’s for dinner?” And I’m not even talking about my husband – I mean I am, but it’s not just him. It’s everyone.
I know life isn’t fair and blah, blah, **cough, cough** blah, but even amidst fever dreams and chest rattles, two things have become abundantly clear: One, when my kids or husband are sick, the world – THE ENTIRE WORLD – slams on its damn axis until they’re better. There’s no work, school, chore, or obligatory half-assed attempt at anything in the name of personal responsibility. And two, there are 7 distinct stages of being mom-sick with each stage sucking even harder than the last.
Mom-sick: it’s a thing 1 of 8
Click through and allow me to explain. Also, is it cold in here?
Stage I: Paranoia 2 of 8
Oh God, I feel a tickle in my throat. Ahem. Ahhhhheeeeemmmm. That's better. Whew, for a second I could have sworn I was coming down with **a-choo!** [looks left, looks right] ::sniff:: No big deal, just an innocent sneeze. It's a little dusty in here. [whips out hand sanitizer] Man, I hope I'm not getting sick. I don't have time to get sick right now [runs through mental calendar]. I have that conference call tomorrow, appointment on Thursday…and oh yeah, that teacher conference on Friday. ::shivers:: [watches chapped-nosed people pass by clutching tissue wads] Ugh, germs. Germs are everywhere! Everyone, get away from me!
Stage II: Denial 3 of 8
I'm not getting sick. I'm not getting sick. I'm not getting sick. If I tell myself I'm not getting sick, then I won't get sick. Mind over matter. I'm not getting sick. People get little sniffles and coughs that resolve in like a day or two all the time. You know, the weather's been so crazy. It's cool. I'm fine. I'm fine. In fact, I'm better than fine. I've never felt better. Yep, I've never felt better than I do right now. **a-choo!**
Stage III: Fear 4 of 8
What if I am getting sick? Crap! What am I going to do? Should I make an appointment with my doctor just in case? I know, lots of Vitamin C and Echinacea. And that Emergen-C stuff. Yes, that'll do it. [pats self on back] But what if it doesn't? What if I have that new super flu strain? Or SARS? Or…
Stage IV: Anger 5 of 8
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME?!?! That stupid [insert name here], coming around all sick last week. I bet s/he was the one who gave this to me! Curse you, Universe! [drops to knees] Can't you see how busy and important I am?!?!
Stage V: Defeat 6 of 8
It's. just. so. cold. I think I'll just sit here a moment and rest my eyes. Can someone get me a blanket or a dozen? Is it bright in here? I feel my body shutting doooooooooooowwwwwwwnnnnnnnn.
Stage VI: Guilt 7 of 8
Kids, I realize you haven't eaten a square meal in days, but maybe just this once you could snack on that raw macaroni in the pantry? Mommy **cough, cough, hack, hack** loves you. Stay far away from me, I love you. Leave me alone, I love you. Be quiet, I love you.
Stage VII: Acceptance 8 of 8
I'm sick. I'm sick, I'm sick, I'm sick, I'm sick. And I need prescription drugs - the good kind. The kind that'll knock me out until next Tuesday and allow me to forget about the hamper that runneth over with stinky moist boy socks and the breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria that is my kitchen sink. The minute I get this prescription filled, I'm settling in to binge watch all 71 episodes of Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. Because I deserve this.