We are coming off a dreadful weekend. It was our first real family-wide sickness which awesomely enough coincided with our first real family vacation. What are the odds. Not only were we all sick, but we were all sleeping in the same room. Every cough and sneeze would wake everyone up. It was a disaster of epic proportions that resulted in us passing a screaming baby back and forth at 5am while we packed up our hotel room to leave.
The following day I wanted to give my husband a break so I bundled the babe up into her carrier to find fresh air and the strongest coffee Victoria could make. During this outing I bumped into a fellow Mom-friend. I had that classic struggling Mom look going. You know the one, dark circles, messy hair bun and eyes at half mast. As soon as she saw me, her expression changed to complete and total empathy. Her little guy was also sick as well. We exchanged war stories and gave each other the metaphorical Hunger Games salute to keep trekking forward.
Shortly thereafter my daughter started melting down, so we headed back to the car to head home. After an epic battle to get her into her car seat and buckled, I plopped myself down into the driver’s seat. The little Miss was already asleep in the back and I contemplated just reclining my seat and doing the same right then and there. As I sat there in the car, listening to the soft snores coming from the back seat, I took a second to check in with myself for the first time in days. My body ached from whatever sickness my daughter and I were passing back and forth. I had polished off an entire bottle of cough syrup in the past three days. And I was already contemplating having my fourth coffee of the day too fuel me into bed time.
Yet, here I was, still Momming and Momming hard.
A little back story on who I am. I am not the person who can power through sickness. I’m what you would call, a “Wallower”. As soon as I feel the slightest tickle in my throat, my world comes to a screeching halt. I like to hit the couch, rock the Netflix and nap like there is no tomorrow. I’m also guilty of calling my husband or Mom just to complain about how I feel. Like I said, when I’m sick, I own it!
Flash forward to present day, here I was, having been sick for nearly a week and I had barely even taken a moment to register how I was feeling. I was sick, sleep-deprived and exhausted yet was still going full tilt. Every ounce of energy I could muster was being poured into taking care of my baby and trying to get her healthy again.
I had developed the Mom Superhero gene and I didn’t even realize it.
Thinking back to my childhood, I have zero memories of my Mom ever being sick. She never took a day off, never had a runny nose, she was always in perfect health. Realistically, I know that isn’t true. I’m sure she took sick days, I’m sure she got the flu, but she was always my Mom, always my caregiver. I have no memories of anything every getting in the way of that.
I realize that that is the life I lead now, and I’m actually kind of proud. Now don’t get me wrong. I would still love to be putting in some couch time. And my raw nose wishes I had taken the time to go buy real Kleenex instead of using toilet paper. But to be able to pour all of your energy, even when you have very little, into something you love so much, is an amazing gift. It’s a power that you don’t have to grow, or learn, it is just bestowed upon you when you are given the title of Mom.
So to all you sick Moms out there. Way to go! When you are feeding the baby and blowing your nose or popping cough drops while playing paddy cake, remember, you are a real Superhero!