No Sick Days For Mom

©Pavel Danilyuk via

There are a plethora of analogies I can use when it comes to motherhood, but the one that I always come back to is the idea that Mom is the ship’s captain. The household. The command center. The one who knows everybody’s where, when, why, and how. The one that keeps everything running smoothly. While there are several other comparisons, the ship’s captain best serves this purpose. Because when Captain Mom gets sick, the ship will undoubtedly sink. Figuratively and sometimes even literally. 

Last month, I was the lucky winner of a nasty sinus infection that, of course, was not strep, not the flu, and just a “virus that has to run its course.” Awesome. It came on slowly, and as each day passed, I just felt worse and worse. I communicated to my family that I was not feeling my best and needed to take it easy and go to bed early to keep it from worsening. And, of course, almost as if on cue, both of my children acted like total knuckleheads every night of the week. As the week went on, my symptoms increased, and my energy level plummeted. I made it to the weekend, and by midday Sunday, I was spent. I told everyone I just needed to lie down for a while, and my husband left with the kids to get them out of the house. Sounds perfect, right? 

Well, that peace and quiet and rest time lasted for maybe an hour or two (I managed to squeeze in a nap), but I was abruptly woken up by two screaming children fighting over something ridiculous. In my blurred state, I tried explaining that I had just woken up and needed a minute. Still, of course, my two children didn’t hear what I said and continued to scream at one another: “Mommy, he hit me!” followed by, “Mommy, she kicked me first.” As I was trying to grasp my head around all the yellings, I said, “Where’s daddy?” they both responded, “He’s downstairs.” At that moment, I realized that when I proudly gained the title of Mom, I would never have another “sick” day in my life, at least while my children were still dependent on me. 

Moms are the ones who take care of everyone else most of the time, so when Mom gets sick, the ship is bound to sink eventually. This is not to say that dads can’t be helpful, but moms keep things running in most families I know. They know when the next doctor appointment is, what the daily theme for spirit week is, what’s for school lunch, and who has practice for what on which nights. So right now, in this stage of motherhood, there are no sick days for Mom.


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