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Why It Sucks So Bad to Be a Sick Mom

Photograph by Getty Images/Blend Images

It sucks when your child is sick, there's no doubt about it. But when Mom gets sick, has a chronic disease or is afflicted with anything that keeps her from being 100 percent, well, that's a different sort of hell—especially if there isn't any help on hand.

I asked a few of my mom friends for their own experiences when it comes to being sick while on mom duty. They did not disappoint, and I'm sure just about every mom in the universe has had a few episodes where they just couldn't, but still had to.


Commonly referred to as the "stomach flu," gastroenteritis was a top vote-getter among my mom friends. There is nothing quite like vomiting and having diarrhea while having to tend to little ones, who may or may not be sick themselves. Here are a few highlights:

RELATED: Here's Who Really Suffers When Parents Get Sick

Heather, mom of four: "When Vada was about nine months, I was five months along with the next baby and I became incredibly ill after Thanksgiving dinner. I was up all night getting sick from both ends. I would run to the bathroom with baby in arms and sit on the toilet nursing her back to sleep. By 6 a.m., I was so sick and tired and just couldn't do it anymore, so I went to the hospital for fluids and Baby came along for me to hold and nurse and intrude on my 'getting well' time. When I went home a few hours later, I was completely abandoned by Baby Daddy who had to go to work, leaving me alone, still sick with no sleep and a 9-month-old who had no intentions on letting me rest. I pretty much spent the entire day crying and feeling sorry for myself."

Amy, mom of three: "Nothing was worse then when 'Pukeaggedon' ran through our house in March. My husband, 6-year-old, 4-year-old and I all had it at the same time! Our lovely 2-year-old had it two days prior and passed it to us. Holding a bucket for the oldest and having to drop it so you yourself can puke, all while hearing her gag in the living room. Puke. Repeat."

Have definitely breastfed while violently crapping.

Taryn, mom of two: "Have definitely had gastro with a baby. Have definitely breastfed while violently crapping."

Kelly, mom of two: "Happened to me Monday. Barfing, diarrhea at the same time. And the baby was sitting in the bouncer next to me screaming."

Vicki, mom of two: "Noro. I couldn't peel myself off the bathroom floor for three days. Kids ate what they could fend for themselves out of the fridge."

Kelly, mom of two: "I got a tummy bug with fever the day after my husband left for tour. I was with a nursing 6-week-old and energetic 3-year-old. Thankfully, my mom was able to step in and help a bit."


Mono, short for mononucleosis, is another unhappy thing to experience as a mom. Parker, mom of one, shares her experience: "Mono was awful," she said. "I could barely move and couldn't swallow. I can't imagine if I would have had a baby or toddler. Luckily, Cricket was a very independent 4-year-old and could mostly get herself snacks and navigate Netflix. I just wanted to sleep all day. I was so exhausted and in pain that I felt like crying anytime she needed anything. I felt like the worst mom ever for about four months, it went on forever."

RELATED: Why Is Everyone So Afraid of Sick Kids?

Sinus infections

For Hurley, mom of two, sinus infections are actually the worst: "I think the worst illness to have is a sinus infection because that means I won't be able to fall asleep at night because of trouble breathing," she shared. "I won't be able to deal with screaming kids because my head is splitting constantly. I won't be able to eat because my teeth hurt. I won't be able to take them anywhere to let them play or blow off steam because trying to concentrate on anything even as simple as driving is impossible. And a sinus infection lasts for weeks so eventually I will have to catch up on all the housework and errands that I will undoubtedly put off."


Difficult maladies aren't limited to physical illnesses, as Jenn reports. "To be honest, out of everything, so far the worst thing I've gone through illness wise is depression with kids. It was hard the first time around with my first child, but now with the second, trying to get myself together and still having to be a good mom to both of them has been incredibly difficult. How do you tell your toddler and newborn you don't want to get out of bed? How can you get back the random moments of rage that you don't mean to do but can't help? It's been such a challenge and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

No matter the illness, moms agree that parenting while not 100 percent truly, truly sucks.

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