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Why It Sucks so Hard to Be a Sick Mom

Photograph by Twenty20

There is nothing quite like becoming a mother. You will run through a cluster of emotions, some heavy, some slight, but at the end of the day, week, month or year, you will feel it's all worth it.

Until you get sick.

Unfortunately, as you probably well know, moms do not get sick days. There is no calling in, there is no light duty, there is no extended break. There is only dragging your aching carcass through the motions of your day well enough to get through to the end with an intact child and really that's about it.

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Here are a few reasons that being a sick mom sucks so hard:

You can't lay down.

Oh sure, you can lay down, but chances are, unless you have a live-in nanny or a robot (or a partner or other family member who can spend the whole day with you), you're not going to stay there. Your body is begging you to crash, but you still have to crawl around and be present. Hard stuff.

You still have to do things.

You may not need to shower, shave your legs or put on clothes, but if you have a little one at home, you're going to need to feed him, or change his diaper, or give him food. He's not a dog, and requires care and interaction, but that can be pretty tough when you've got a banging headache or rot gut.

We all know that sleep is a precious commodity in Mom World, even when things are going well. When you're dying of head, stomach or nose, it's a different story.

Your toddler may grow tired of "Bubble Guppies."

This is the only thing that is giving you a moment of rest, but she can't deal with it any more. The sad part is that you finally relegated yourself to hearing that theme song over and over so you could get some downtime, but now that she's ditched the tablet, you'll have it in your head for the rest of your day. Yay.

Sometimes you have to help your barfing child while you barf.

With families, you share many things… sometimes, you share terrible things. We've lived through several phases of gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, where several family members get sick at nearly the same time, which is completely soul sucking and straight up gross. There is nothing like laying on a couch in agony as you watch your son run by trailing vomit on the carpet, and then your baby barfs all over herself in her crib. True story.

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You can't sleep.

We all know that sleep is a precious commodity in Mom World, even when things are going well. When you're dying of head, stomach or nose, it's a different story. Sometimes, you're so sick that even when the kids are in bed and you've relinquished yourself to the cozy confines of your bed, you're hacking, snotting, aching or spewing all night long. Your kids, though, are in great shape, which means they're bright-eyed and bushy tailed at the break of dawn.

Thankfully, most illnesses run their course and you can get back to normal in a few days… a week… a couple weeks? At least a month. Maybe before someone else gets sick and starts the whole, terrible cycle all over again.

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