I was unlucky enough to experience strep throat for the second time in my life last week. This is a very bad thing to get. Especially because I have stuff to do and a toddler to watch and a seven-year-old to schlep and a show to produce. The only up side is that I had some time to read Nicole Helget’s new book, Stillwater, and having a fever while reading this was a completely tripped out experience. You should read this book, with or without a temperature.
Surviving being sick while being a mom is, let’s say, challenging. I kept having these fevered hopes that I could be 12 again, curled up on the couch with nothing more to decide than whether or not I wanted to watch TV or take another nap. My mom would be there, with fresh soup and quartered toast, she would drive me to the Dr.’s and pick up my antibiotic, and I could just be…sick. Instead, I got the pleasure of trying to explain to a two-year-old a hundred times why I wasn’t getting off the couch to look at her, I’m sure, amazing drawings and cursing the fact that her bathroom habits are unrelenting and in need of my assistance. Here are some ways to survive being sick, with kids.
1. Cry hard enough so that your partner will stay home with you. If this doesn’t work or they have “important meetings” to go to, cry hard enough so that they will at least come home early. And pick up your antibiotic. And make you chicken soup. And do every and all kid duties the second they walk in the door.
2. Turn the TV on for the entire day for your littlest ones and don’t feel one ounce of guilt. Thank you PBS, you may have saved my life that one day.
3. If you happen to have strep throat or any other kind of throat ailment, don’t drink a whole bunch of orange juice even though the Dr. said drink lots of fluids. Pouring acid onto an already sore throat is a very bad idea. Not my finest decision-making moment.
4. Realize that, your toddler, who never wants to cuddle, will inexplicably try to climb on your lap every 10 seconds on your worst day when even your skin hurts. “Hug you Mama? Kiss you Mama?” Which proves the theory that your toddler is actually a cat.
5. Take heart that your seven-year-old will probably remember having strep throat and will be sweet and caring and wonderful. And probably not just because they get unlimited iPad time either, I’m sure.
6. Try hard not to think about the fact that every surface you touch will have to be washed, sanitized, bleached etc. once this thing is over. And you have to do it because that’s your job.
7. Try not to have your feelings hurt when your toddler starts calling your partner “Mommy” at night just to get back at you for not holding them at all that day and for generally being a lazy person who only makes Ramen for lunch and lays on the couch and who won’t play babies or trains or jump! jump! on the trampoline with them.
8. Be prepared that your toddler may decide to jump on the trampoline so much that she actually pulls a muscle in her back and can’t jump for a couple of days.
9. Wash your hands a billion times because the only thing worse than being sick while having kids, is having your kids be sick at the same time. And the only thing worse than this scenario is….your partner being sick.
10. And when it’s all over, and you don’t ache anymore and your throat is just sorta crispy, maybe just milk it for one or two more days, because the rest of house is probably going to go down next week and you are going to need your energy.
Stay well out there people.