...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Don't Moms get Sick Days?

Parenting is the hardest job ever. It also has the worst benefits if you're comparing to other careers out there. Fantastic perks, yes! Benefits, not so much. Parenting is a 24/7 365 days a week with no vacation time accrued, nor paid sick days. Heck, no paid anything for that matter. In fact you PAY your kids if they behave well (in the parenting world we call this allowance.)

I've been sick since last Sunday night. Not this past one 2 days ago. The other past one. I'm on day 9 of having my body betray me with racking coughs, congested nose, achy body and sinus pressure that make my teeth ache. If I were a normal person with a normal career I would have called in sick for a few days, cuddled back into bed and pass out with aloe vera moisturizing tissues beside me and within reach, and my desk filled with a cocktail of cold medicines to sample and figure out which one works best. But I'm a Mom. And Moms don't get this luxury. Yes, it is a luxury. One you don't realize until it's taken away from you for a minimum of 18 years, depending on how many children you have. On top of this I'm a nursing Mom to a newborn, which means I need to carefully read the labels of the medicines to ensure that I only take what is safe for Soren to ingest through me. Which means the only cold medicines I can really take are placebos placed in child friendly, adult proof medicine boxes and cost more than my months rent.

When I get a cold like the one I have now, it's virtually impossible for me to sleep in my bed unless I steal J's pillow, as well as the kids. I need to be propped up to a 90 degree angle so my head doesn't explode and my coughing abates. When lying horizontal my coughs act up. So when I'm sick I get the best spot in the house: the couch. I also sleep here because Soren is still in our bedroom and I have learned the hard way that he will not sleep when I cough. As he doesn't sleep much anyways I was not going to wake him up every 2 minutes. So I've been sleeping there now for 2 days. I use the term sleeping lightly. In reality I'm up until at least 3:30 am trying to get my cough in control, guzzling airborn and tea, nibbling toast, finally pass out only to have Soren ail in our bedroom at 3:35am for his nightly feeding. It never fails. It also never fails to amuse J.

This morning, after both Soren and I passing out around 4 am on the couch ( we were both just too tired to care who slept where by then) waking up to Ashe banging pell mell on the door at 6 am and Soren taking this opportunity to nurse again I realized I am just dead tired. I don't know if I can go on. It's not like I'm leaving the house today except to buy more tissues and "Cold Meds" but even listening to Dora played repeatedly on the tv while I lay there cuddling Soren and Ashe seems to be like too much work. All I want to do is to lock my bedroom door, have a servant ready to wait on me hand and foot with tissues, read to me a bedtime story and sleep undisturbed.

I've tried napping. hahaha...ha. I'll lie down for a moment with the door cracked to hear of any impending disasters Ashe may get into. I can guarantee though, that the moment Ashe realizes I'm MIA my door will swing open and bang loudly against the wall. He jumps onto my bed asking "MOMMY YOU OK?" Yes honey I'm ok. Just a little sick. "SICK? MOMMY WANT TISSUE?" (as he rips all the tissues out of the box) "MOMMY I HAVE TISSUES? I SICK TOO.. and he jumps on top of me with a fistful of moisturized tissues ( you know the expensive kind) and proceeds to sniff each one, pretending to blow his nose. It's just not worth opening the door to my bedroom. The temptation is there, but the end result is sigh worthy.

So I'll keep slogging on, cold tea in one hand, tissues in another, and both kids swarmed on my lap. One benefit of having kids on your lap when you're sick? They produce way more heat than any electric blankets could dream of.

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