Parenthood Chronicles: No Calling in Sick


No one cares when you’re a mommy and you’re sick.There is no calling in sick.

I remember the days of coming down with a cold or the flu and having the luxury of phoning into my employer that I wouldn’t be coming in that day. The rest of that day was spent in bed, sleeping or catching up on mindless reruns of Family Feud and Rosanne. Now if I wanted to spend the day in bed I would have to come down with some sort of aliment that would land me in the hospital.

This week I came down with a cold. Usually I fight through illness, put my big girl pants on and take an OTC, but this cold was different. One of those colds where you hate life. Your face swells up like you got punched in the face. Your nose and lips become so chapped that to strangers it looks as if you have rug burn across the bottom half of you face. Your head feels empty and full all at one time. Upon waking your throat feels like you smoked a pack of cigarettes after swallowing shards of glass. Your body feels as if you ran a marathon then stayed up all night lifting weights. Your hands become so dry from washing that they begin to crack and flake like some sort of decaying lizard. A small pond could be filled with the amount of leakage from your nose. The only motivation you have is to walk around the house moaning.

I was a pathetic mess. But my offspring did not care. Rather, they seemed to shout louder, play harder, fight dirtier, eat more, want more and poop more. All Making me feel worse. Feeling worse lead to self-pity where I became wrapped in a cloak of gloom with a force field of Kleenex and Lysol hovering around me. My kids watched more television and were escorted to the playroom more than I would like to admit. I JUST WANTED TO LAY IN MY BED. But no one cared, because there is NO calling in sick when you’re a parent.

Finally the haze of self-pity lifted this morning as I awoke with a clear throat and only a slight amount of snot slipping from my nostrils. I am on the mommy mend! Praise baby Jesus! Though the tiny germ army has left my body I may pretend to be lost in illness just one more day to avoid the 5 loads of laundry, the bounce house that has been up for a week, the Play-Doh embedded in the carpet, giving the kids a bath, the bananas smeared on booster chairs and the landmines of toys scattered throughout the house. At least I kept the children alive.

Moral of the story? There are no sick days in Parenthood, but just keep the children alive when you do get sick.


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