I never realised how easy my pre-parental poorly days were. Obviously it is awful to be poorly at any time, but Jesus being ill whilst in charge of a baby or toddler is like a 12 hour battle of will where only the strongest survive.
When my husband and I first got together, we would ride out sick days (or more often hangover Sundays) in style by getting up late, popping out to the shop to pick up only what we most needed or craved, and taking long lazy afternoon naps on the sofa. I think I am mourning those days...
This week, hubby and I were struck with a flu-like virus. Sweaty then shivery, headaches, aches all over - the whole shebang. 'Proper Poorly' as we like to say. Our toddler, on the other hand, woke up fighting fit and fully expecting a fun-packed day of activities. Mummy and Daddy both at home on a weekday - he must have thought it was going to be a great day. And we tried. Oh how we tried...to instigate as many different activities as possible that could be supervised from either sofa. Block building, 'drawing hour' on a big plastic sheet and (let's be honest here) more episodes of Fireman Sam and Peppa Pig than would usually be allowed. Having mustered up enough energy for a 'quick' trip to the park, I ended up chasing my little sun beam from one end of the park to the other after an aeroplane flew over and he tried to run after it (to say Bye, obviously). On a normal day this would have been amusing. And cute. Today, I can assure you, it was neither of those things. I returned from our fun excursion sweaty and light headed.
My other half looked no better after tackling the state of the house during the 30 minutes 'free time' the park excursion gave him. Before you have children, when somebody says you have half an hour 'to yourself' you simply do not prioritise having a quick sweep up and putting the bins out. But when you have kids, THE SHOW MUST GO ON - even (sob) on sick days.
If you are thinking I'm lucky to have had my hubby at home to help you would be right. He had one day off, and the truth is we were better off both being ill that day - solidarity in sickness and in parenting. It did make me count my blessings that:
1) I am not a single parent - full respect to single parents who get through a sick day without losing the plot
2) we only have one child (and yes poorlygate has undeniably pushed back any future date that we had previously considered 'thinking about another one.') Like many days, today's conversation ended with 'definitely not broody, are you?'
Lesson 5: Being ill whilst trying to look after a young person is a brutal test of emotional and physical willpower (arguably only easier if two of you are poorly together). Have a brief fond recollection of how you used to combat sick days in style if you need to, and then face the day with as many 'rainy day' activities you can set up in the living room. Oh and never EVER allow yourself to get a hangover - that goes without saying, right?
The Unmumsy Mum