Monday, November 28, 2016

The 5 Stages of Being Sick (When You're a Mom)

No one enjoys getting sick, but when you're a mother, illness is one of the worst things that can happen. Seriously. Life is already busy, challenging, and exhausting, and being sick adds cruel and unusual punishment to the mix. 

When moms get sick, we are forced to experience the following five stages:

1.  Denial: Denial occurs as soon as you begin to feel the slightest itch in your throat or rumble in your belly. You engage in duplicitous self-talk such as “It's just in my head. There's no way I'm sick again." You go on with your daily routine, ignoring the scratchy throat, stuffy nose, and swirling, twirling stomach pain. You have no choice in the matter. Perhaps if I ignore it, it will just go away? you wonder hopefully. It's a strategy that's never worked before-- on anything-- but maybe it will work this time.

Isn't coffee considered a Super Food these days anyway?

2.  Anger: As the illness begins to take a firm hold on your immune system, phrases such as, “No F-ing WAY!” and “I can't afford to be sick!” are hollered from the rooftops. There's a lot of slamming doors and cursing under your breath. “Who is going to take care of me? Who?!” becomes familiar to anyone who will listen. There's no patience to be spared. No one is safe, not even your spouse. Especially not your spouse.

3.  Bargaining: You begin to repeat solemn promises and devout prayers in your head; we'll call it Internal Bargaining. Promises such as “I will never order a venti mocha Frappucino ever again if I can just get over this stomach bug!” and “Please Lord, let me wake up feeling better, and I'll take the kids to any park they want. We'll explore all the parks in the city-- every single one!” You will probably also resort to more begging, er, External Bargaining, than usual, as in, “If you stop fighting with your brother for 10 minutes, you can have the entire bag of Skittles,” and “I swear when I'm feeling better I'll play hide-and-seek with you all day. Anything you want! Just let me lie down for 5 minutes.” And the sad thing is that you really believe it too.

I try REALLY HARD not to feel guilty about extra screen time.

4. Depression: There's no joy in life, no happiness to be found. When your mom advises you over the phone-- from 300 miles away-- to “get some rest,” you simply whimper at the impossibility of it. Crueler words have never been spoken, you think, staring longingly at the couch where your 3 year old is busy eating Goldfish in her pajamas and your 5 year old is busy hitting her with a sword/pillow.

5. Acceptance: The final stage. A sad, lonely place, best faced by drinking extra coffee and encouraging your children to indulge in extra electronic time. The recommended limit of two hours of screen time per day now feels laughable. We reach that limit by breakfast, you think, shrugging your shoulders, blowing your nose, and handing over the iPad to your 4 year old. At this point in the struggle, you are advised to avoid looking in the mirror or checking Facebook; nothing good will come of it.

You see, few things are quite as hard as life for a mom when she is sick. How are we expected to take care of everyone else when we can't even function? Repeat after me: It's not fair! It's NOT FAIR!

This message brought to you by Julia herself, presently wallowing in Stage 2.

~Julia @ Frantic Mama

Consider giving this book to a mom friend this holiday season! I'm in it!
It's hilarious!
It's available on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. The stages are just right just so! I just went through ' acceptance' of course followed by the great ' depression' And I always do get it last, after having nursed everyone to health. And I get it harder! I saw my little ones eat a tub of ice cream and get up I just could not. Oh the guilt the misery even when we are sick!


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