Sunday, 27 May 2012

Mums Get Sick Too You Know...

 I still clearly remember the first time I got sick after I became a Mum. It was only a bad cold, but I felt miserable and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep. Of course I couldn't, as I had a beautiful little helpless baby boy to look after. I remember calling my own Mum on the phone in tears saying "I just don't want to be a Mum today....."

Usually when we get sick we call work and get out of it for the day. But as a Mum who takes over? We can't call the kids in and say "Look I'm not feeling great today, so I've decided you're on your own, I'm not being Mum today"

This all came back to me yesterday when I was the sickest I can ever remember being. I woke up in the early hours of the morning feeling nauseous and tried to go back to sleep. I drifted in and out but a growing dread of "Oh my god I'm going to be sick" was hard to ignore.

By light I was up and I was sick, Oh boy was I sick! I haven't vomited since I was in labour with Orlando 5 years ago, I'm not a 'vomit-er' but boy did I vomit. Then with a momentary feeling of relief I crawled back into bed.

The rest of the day progressed with a similar fashion, sleep, vomit, slight relief, sleep, try to shower, no more vomit, sleep......

At one stage I was able to move to the couch, but only to go on sleeping, feeling like the kids had me in their space. I was so sick that Matilda woke me at one point to say "Mum my tummy hurts (Vomit)" and all I could do was tilt her head to my bucket and call Nath. Luckily for her that made her feel much better and she was right. I on the other hand went back to sleep and woke to see an angel had cleaned up all the mess.

Nathan was my angel yesterday.  Not only did he have weekend work to do from home, but he also managed to look after both the kids yesterday to the extent that I was able to sleep all day and look after me. The house hummed along as normal with me passed out on the couch.

Having Nathan was my godsend but it got me thinking.... what if he wasn't here? What if I was a single mum? What an earth would you do? Most of the time you can suck it up and push through it but not yesterday, yesterday I was out for six.

As Mums we are so used to caring for others, nursing others. But when we are sick who looks after us?

I had to communicate how sick I felt to the kids. Try to assist them to understand why I was so unresponsive to their requests. Why I wouldn't offer cuddles, needed them to be quiet and not move my body, as the slightest bump gave me motion sickness. But also that, although I give them cuddles and kisses when they are sick, I didn't want them to give me any as I was worried about making them sick (which I as Mum would then have to deal with). I felt like I needed to be in an isolation bubble to keep everyone safe (including the future me!)

The kids understood, but I could see they felt torn between their want to show me the love I show them when they are sick, and their want to have their mum back. They listened, and for the most part gave me my space.

This morning they came cautiously asking me if I was still sick, and with joy on all part I said I was feeling much better. We were able to enjoy Sunday morning cuddles in bed all round. Today the kids have been particularly emotional and needy, but I understand they are just trying to make up for the day of lost mummy time.

I on the other hand still feel rather weak and like my bones and joints are aching from the insides. But I have eaten and had a reasonably slow yet productive day... Let's hope that doesn't happen again for a loooooong time...

But to all those single Mums out there, I take my hat off to you...

We all need amazing support networks around us. and I'm feeling very blessed that I picked a good one :)

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