The only thing worse than having a child who is sick is being sick yourself when you're a mom.
When your kids are sick, they get to stay at home (in most cases), and you, mom, take care of them. When dad is sick, he crawls on to the couch, phones in to work, and YOU get to take care of him, too.
But when moms are sick, we get about a half a second and a piece of Kleenex to feel our ills before we have to hop to, suck down some Tylenol, serve up breakfast, pack lunches, chauffeur the kids to school. If we're working, we head off to work ourselves, or if we're stay-at-home-moms, back to the abode to tend to babies and toddlers.
The very thought of sacrificing a PT day at the office to curl up in a blanket and nurse a fever, or feed a flu (which ever way you're supposed to do that), is simply unheard of. Instead, we bring our hacking coughs and our aching and weary bodies, throbbing heads and swollen glands to our workplaces, where we spend the day dodging our co-worker's dirty looks and fingers pointed in an "X" at us to "stay away." God forbid we moms eat up any of our own personal days at work for ourselves when there's always another bout of the flu ready to swoop in and knock down our families.
Best part, after we've spent a day at work hacking and achy, or catering to our children's every whim at home, that's when the fun begins. Your kid has soccer practice, and straight from there you head to parent teacher conferences. Only once in my entire history of being mom to three kids have I ever afforded myself the luxury of lying on that couch to feel better. That's when I had a fever of 104, adult chicken pox, and pneumonia, and begged my doctor not to hospitalize me because "who would take care of my kids?" I remember my spouse (at the time) stopping in for lunch one afternoon and saying "Wow, you must REALLY be sick." Even then, my resting time was short-lived, as it was soon time to pick the threesome up from two different schools.
Even for moms who have extremely helpful partners, there are just some things that fall in the "only mom can do this" realm. And there are also events we just don't want to miss – like a school play, or a ballet recital.
Indeed most of my mom friends habitually stockpile their work PT and sick days so that they can "take off" when they really need to. Loosely translated, this means they do all their work at home or at the pediatrician's office while simultaneously taking care of a sick child.
Sadly, just when you think the sickness madness will be tapering off because your teens are in high school and could swing a day home alone okay, they are diagnosed with mono or some infectious disease that begs for care from, guess who? Mom. Or, your kids head to college and you're sitting smugly at your office daydreaming about your first sick day in bed with honey tea and a good book, when you get a call from the hospital ER informing you that your senior mom took a spill. Once again, off you go.
From reading conversations among Circle of Moms members, and from listening to other moms I know, it seems there just isn't any way around the no-sick-days-for-mom dilemma. At least that's what members tell stay-at-home-mom Rebekah G. in response to her query: "I have a really bad cold and I've had chills and a headache all day. All I really want to do is go back to bed, but I have a 19-month-old and a 3.5 year old. I tried lying on the bed and letting them play in my room for a while earlier, but now that room is a huge mess. During nap time I lay on the couch with my 3.5 yr old and watch Winnie the Pooh, but I need more ideas... What do you do on sick days?"
Candy D. says it all: "I suck it up and move on."
Have you ever been able to take a break when sick? What's your secret?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.