It’s January and winter is in full swing. With this comes the beautiful snow and fun outdoor activities like building snowmen, sledding, and skiing. But another thing that comes with the winter and all it’s frozen glory is the infamous flu and cold season.
As a child I remember getting sick and my mother would take care of me. In my bedroom she would put on a vaporizer, set up the 13 inch TV from the kitchen, and bring me a tray of noodle soup with oyster crackers so I could rest in my bed while watching The Price Is Right.
I remember thinking, my mother must be a descendant of a Viking Warrior... she never gets sick despite all the pestilence that is being emitted from my body.
Now, as a married woman I realize things are different for men and women when it comes to getting sick. They way we respond to our ailing selves and the world around us all differs in many ways. Here is pretty how sickness goes down in our household. Maybe you can relate.
Sunday 7pm: My husband realizes he is under the weather. He must have the Black Plague as he has quarantined himself from the rest of the family, and is laying in bed pitifully. I decide go to the store and buy him noodle soup, oyster crackers, and gatorade before getting the kids to bed.
Monday 6:30 am: I walk the dogs and feed them, get the heathens (AKA our children) up and ready, and before I take them to school I bring my husband oyster crackers and a Gatorade in bed. I feel like the 2019 version of a Stepford Wife, well, except that when I leave the house I look like Amanda Bynes.
Regardless of my despicable appearance I go to work leaving my hubby home alone to rest and recover. Once I’m done at work and all the kids are home, I take care of my household chores plus my husband's. Dogs are fed, after school snacks are given, homework completed, extracurriculars attended, dinner on the table consisting of most of the food groups, noodle soup made for sick husband, dishes done and put away, next day lunches made, trash taken out, mail open, bills paid, school permission slips signed and put back in school folder, baths are attended to, bedtime books read, and bedtimes happen on time. I feel like I’m on fire, like Serena Williams felt winning the French Open.
But I really looked like this…
Monday Night: My husband is back to his normal self and ready to go back to work the next day. Thank goodness, how I’ve missed him! Single parenting is the worst. Major props to all my single parent friends out there... you are the true superheros.
Tuesday 2:30 am: I wake up feeling nauseated and continue to get physically sick. As I make my way back to bed, my husband wakes, looks at me and says “too much wine?” My response, “No... man I’m sick!” Husband says, “Oh…” Then I get a little interested in this ridiculousness an ask, “What? Did you think I drank an entire bottle while you were gone for 1.5 hours with our oldest at gymnastics?”. Husband replies. “Well yeah, I mean I wouldn’t judge you... they’re heathens.”
Tuesday 8:00 am: I tell my hubby he needs to get the kids up, ready, and take them to school and I spent the entire rest of the night sleeping on the bathroom floor. Before my hubby leaves with our kids for school our middle child pukes, and only now does my husband even believe that I do actually have the stomach flu and not a nasty hangover. I ask for him to pick up some food for us at the store on the corner. He says, “Here are some pretzels I found in the pantry, I love you, I’m off to work!”. After her he leaves I realize they’re stale, but they’re better than nothing.
I spend the rest of the day attending to my daughter's needs: water, pillows, tv shows, blankets, taking of temperature, and passing her stale pretzels. After vomiting for most of the morning my child asks if she can cuddle with me.
Tuesday 12:30 pm: I get a call from my oldest child's school that he is ill and in fact puked on his teacher.
I call my husband to pick up said child, of which he asks “are you okay to do it?.” And then he remembers I am in fact sick and not just hungover, and agrees happily.
Tuesday: 1:15 pm Husband shows up at house with oldest and he decides he’s going to work from home in the office for the rest of the day because it would take too long to drive back downtown. I agree with him that commuting back downtown would be a waste, as our suburban paradise, that in theory sounded great, but in actuality is close to everything but near nothing, is a total pain in the ass to live in.
I’m sick in bed, caring for 75% my children, and as we pass around the stale pretzels I wonder how I ended up taking care of all the kids and when my husband was sick, and still am watching them while I’m sick. It’s at this moment that I realize that I’ve won some parenting lottery from hell, and I must have murdered someone in my previous life.
Wednesday 7am: I decide I needed to be able to leave the bedroom. I see that all of my house chores have not gotten done and I just shrug it off. My hubby puts in long hours at work (including a long ass commute that I will admit is basically my fault), so adding anything to his plate is hard. But then I realize none of his household chores even got attempted either. When I inquire, he claims he was super busy taking care of our kids.
What kids - plural - were you watching? There was only one child left to rear. Then my youngest says, “Dad and I had the best bro time! Look at the video footage I took of our dude time.”.
As much as I give my husband a hard time, he is a great husband and an amazingly engaged father. I mean, he was practically a single father for 2 years while I was in graduate school from 2016-2018, but that’s a different story and blog to share. My husband may drive me crazy, but in the end he never judges, he works hard, and sometimes he just needs a break from the crazy. We hope that you are able to stay happy and healthy this winter season. Though if you do get sick this winter, we hope you are able to find some solace, and maybe you can read this blog and laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.