Parenting: it’s guaranteed to make you sick

When my kids get sick my gut reaction is always the same: a wave of annoyance and then an overwhelming feeling of mom guilt.

Of course, I know what I should be feeling: concern for my child’s health, empathy over their current situation, even a little sadness that they aren’t feeling well.

Instead, though, I seem to always fall short. Take the other night for example. My youngest was in my room having stolen both my phone and my bed. It was a quiet night until I heard it. The sound no parent wants to hear, but can immediately recognize.

The sound of puke hitting the floor.

Instead of being the good mother who runs to be by their child’s side, I find myself muttering ‘for fuck’s sake’ under my breath and cursing our lack of paper towels.

I hate when my kids get sick.  It’s not only the fact that instead of becoming snuggly, tired and sweet my kids become whiny snot monsters wrecking havoc on the household; it’s because they are determined to take me down with them.

My kids are amazing at timing their sneezes to land directly in my face, and they also manage to insist on sleeping their sickness off as close to me as possible just to up the ante.

During this particular sickness, I was fortunate enough to have the stomach flu hit just as we had run out of laundry soap. With a serious concern with the state of both of her ends, I finally attempted to venture out a few days after the start of ‘shitmageddon’ only to have my little one fall asleep in the car. My need for a home that didn’t smell like sewage was overthrown by my daughter’s sheer need for rest.

After a few days of insanity, I found myself desensitized. My little one would find her usual spot in the kitchen (in case you were planning on eating that day), let me know she wasn’t feeling well and then proceed to puke all over herself.

I guess after shitting her pants while sleeping in my bed a little puke on the tile floor was a welcome change.

And now, with a family party on the horizon and plenty to do, she has managed to pass her stomach flu to me. So after days of cleaning up bodily fluids, I now get to experience it first hand. It could be worse though.

She could have given it to my husband.

 

 

Mom’s night out

 

 

Just because I am a mom doesn’t mean I have stopped being me. It actually took me a long time to work that out. It took years of parenting for me to figure out that while I am a mother, it does not completely define me. I love being with my children and I love being their mother, but before I was a mother I had a whole other life for 28 years and I loved that life as well.

One of the ways that I work towards keeping my life in balance is spending time with good friends. I love having mom friends who would never judge a dirty house or a bad parenting moment because I know they have them too.

A few months ago I got the opportunity to reconnect with some friends that I had not seen in 16 years. When I last saw these friends I was fresh out of college, with a super hot pre-baby body and all the time to hang out in the world. Almost two decades later I have a mom bod, wrinkles and I am piled with responsibilities, children and mom jeans.

I could have of easily said no, or opted out at the last minute. The thought of staying home and soaking in a tub with a glass of wine often trumps any ‘plans’ I may make, yet for some reason I decided I was going, come hell or high water.

And so I found myself knocking on the door of a friend I hadn’t seen in 16 years and yet when she opened it one of the first things she said was, ‘you haven’t changed a bit.’

Well, she may be a wonderful liar, but truth be told, sometimes I need a break from being a mom. Sometimes I need to be around people who don’t want to hear about my kids’ latest ailments and are instead interested in knowing where I would like to travel to or what the next step is in my career. Of course I couldn’t avoid bragging about my kids completely, that would be way too hard for this momster. But I still got a chance to be Melissa for the night, instead of just ‘mommy’.

While the night was fun and I loved a chance to be out late without worrying about my children (I have a wonderful husband) and got to blow off a little steam. In order to be the best mom I can be sometimes I need to get a chance to just be a woman out with her friends. In order to not let the insurmountable responsibilities of parenthood and adulthood overwhelm me I need a chance to once in a while step away from them a remember what life was like at 20 before marriage and children and a mortgage.

And of course by the end of the night I want nothing more to climb into the comfort of my husband and wake up to the sweet faces of my babies, demanding breakfast and attention and their mom.