Mamas Don’t Get Sick Days?


    moms can't get sickMama’s sick. Now what? Admittedly, the first thought I had was, Maybe I’m not too sick to go to my son’s class, go to work, clean the house. . . and do all the other things we do to keep life running smoothly. Then, I remembered a post on Facebook I saw, “Mom Who Was Caring for Her Sick Children Dies of Flu Complications.” I don’t want to die! I told myself. It normally takes a big blow to slow me down. We live a very busy life and I never want to ruin the fun because of a little cough or a runny nose. This time, though, my body slowed me down. I was exhausted, sick, and I needed to take care of myself.

    I caught myself telling a friend, “Mamas don’t get sick days,” but then I really started to think about it. How much do we sacrifice of ourselves keeping everything in motion despite how we feel? This mentality is not only about when we’re acutely sick but about the time we (don’t) give to ourselves for self-love, self-care, development, fitness, nutrition and sleep! How many of us go every day justifying the fact that we are taking care of our families at the expense of ourselves?

    In my foggy brained illness, I vowed to change this pattern in my life starting with taking a sick day.

    I let that pre-paid class be a loss for my health:

    Missing my son’s favorite class was hard enough but deciding not to go even though we’d already paid was really hard. No one likes losing money or missing out on fun! For the sake of my health, and the health of those who could have been exposed to us, we took the loss.

    I finally convinced myself I needed to stay home:

    Making the decision to stay home the first day was the hardest, but it paved the way for more self-serving decisions to come. I decided to take the day off from everything that was not necessary and to only do the bare minimum for the survival of myself and my child. That meant no extra cleaning, no long walks, no classes, no day at the park, no work, nothing! I would just lay there, drink lots of fluid, and rest, getting up only to care for and feed my son.

    I gradually got back in the game:

    Each day I rested I got better. With my energy returning to me I was able to start caring for our home again and go on short walks. I made myself get back to regular life slowly so that I could get well. I decided to rest as much and as long as I needed to feel 100% healthy. I didn’t want to feel kind of okay and get back at it resulting in a much longer recovery time.

    This flu taught me to slow down and to contemplate my health and wellness in the context of my busy, family-serving lifestyle. I realized that nothing fell apart when I took a day off. I realized that people and instructors are actually very kind about having to miss a class or meetup for your wellness. Actually, everyone else was kinder than I was to myself that first day. We all know that we should be taking care of ourselves. But we shouldn’t give ourselves this kindness only when the flu breaks the routines that cause us to be too busy to care for ourselves.

    I want to be a Cared For Mom just like my family is cared for. If that means letting some things go so that I can feel great then that’s just what needs to happen. Let’s move from the mentality of “mamas don’t get sick days” to one that encourages moms to take care of themselves all of the time. And although it is true that the diapers don’t stop needing to be changed and little mouths still need to be fed, it’s also true that there is always enough time to take care of Mama.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here