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This Is Why SAHMs Need Sick Days Too

Photograph by Twenty20

Sick days. Everyone gets them. Well, almost everyone. Unless I start teaching our dog some stellar babysitting techniques, this stay-at-home mom is on her own. I try to stay as healthy as I can by eating my vegetables and working out (occasionally) but, as much as I may sanitize my hands, there are those pesky colds and flus that I can't avoid. I try my best to practice self-care while caring for my 4-year-old, but it's a challenge when all I want to do is curl back up in bed and sleep. Here's an account of what the last glorious sick day looked like in my house.

6:30 AM: I woke up to my son singing the theme to "Mr. Toad Wild’s Ride" in his sleep. False alarm. Went to the bathroom and blew the state of Wyoming out of my nose. It’s official: I have a cold. Went to sleep for 14 more minutes. Dreamt of drag racing with Mr. Toad.

7:00 AM: The kid is awake. Put him in my bed to watch TV while I sleep. Dozed for 23 minutes while he watched "Paw Patrol." TV was so loud it felt like I was at a U2 concert. Then, 4-year-old decided to play mosh pit on my head. Tried to cough on the dog instead of my son. Accidentally French-kissed the dog. We are awake.

8:00 AM: Fixed breakfast for my son while using kitchen tongs. Will not get him sick! It went well until I sneezed and dropped his waffle. Fixed waffle for dog’s breakfast.

9:12 AM: Left the dishes in the sink for the maid (my husband) to clean up later. Encouraged my son to play by himself so I could sit. This worked for a whole 20 minutes until he decide he needed all new toys in order to do this and could we order them all from Amazon? Looked on Amazon for toys for his grandparents to order.

10:01 AM: Convinced the kid to sit down and make Play-Doh cupcakes instead of playing the naked-running-around-the-house game. Went through an entire box of tissue. Texted my mom to tell her I have a cold. Not much she can do from out of state except text back to say, “Sorry.” Considering moving us all in with my parents. Craving real cupcakes.

Tried to cough on the dog instead of my son. Accidentally French-kissed the dog.

12:06 PM: Had morning popcorn and movie time in bed. Watched "Aladdin." In between coughing and Googling "Zika virus symptoms" I tried to catch some shut-eye. #Winning

1:00 PM: Lunch time. Thought about asking the dog if he could make the kid some lunch but then considered the obvious problem of him eating it. Also felt like he wasn’t understanding me. Must be my congestion. Microwaved lunch. Husband checked in: No, I’m not miraculously cured since this morning. Made myself canned soup. I am stronger than my cold. My Mom Power is strong! Pre-Mom Power, I’d be cuddled in bed watching "Friends" reruns. Briefly wonder if preschool is too young to watch "Friends."

2:02 PM: Going stir crazy. Took the dog and kid outside to play in the backyard together. They both found it necessary to pee in the grass. Could have house-trained the kid with the dog and saved a fortune in diapers.

3:07 PM: Feel like kid’s goldfish snacks are swimming in my head. Babysitter not free. Hard to practice self-care when you’re caring for a person who can’t care for themselves. Our days are interdependent. He depends on me to be there for him and I depend on him to depend on me. I also depend on him to love "Finding Nemo"! Movie time again! #Stillwinning

5:17 PM: Bath time! Kid washes, I supervise. My head feels as big as the tub.

6:00 PM: Dinner. I have outdone myself. I may be sick, but I can still pull off a great dinner—especially when I have my husband order us pizza.

7:00 PM: Bedtime. Husband is home. He asks how he can help. So thoughtful. Hubby puts kid in PJs, but kid only wants me to sing songs and read books. I sound like Harvey Fierstein, but manage to croak out some pages. Kid is asleep. Say goodnight to husband.

7:06 PM: Dreaming of taking another sick day tomorrow. #winner

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