Tale Tues: Why Moms Can’t Get Sick

There should be a law against mothers getting sick.

A law of nature. Of our biological composition. So that from the second we commence our 24-hour-a-day vocation of raising children from scary 104-feverish infants through whining-hormonal teenage years, we never experience a single lapse in energy.

Because this is what happens when Mommy actually gets sick and may lounge around on the living room lounge all day:

She neglects to inspect the bathroom for spattered toothpaste so it morphs into an encrusted Colgate cave; she forgets to remind little boys to lift toilet seats, so winds up wiping up splattered pee with her own butt.

The house gets gross. Popsicle sticks adhere to table tops; half-eaten cookies are abandoned to computer mouse pads.

Because Mommy dozes off easily, sinking and rising on the lulling tides of Benadryl (her med of choice for dousing the common cold), the puppy gets free rein. To  pull out more stuffing from chairs:

To root through garbage pails overflowing with Mommy’s tissues and leave shredded trails throughout the house:

To poop on door matt because Mommy forgets to take him out.

Mommy neglects to clean poop up – for boys to step in coming home from school and track through house. Because she neglects to remind them to take off their shoes.

She nearly forgets to feed her brood.

“What’s for dinner?” Little Bro asks.

Dinner. Meals. You’re kidding. Ramen Noodles:

Easy instant packets. Done.

“I had that for breakfast.”

Little Bro refuses to eat anything but Ramen noodles for breakfast. Otherwise, it’s off to school on an empty stomach where he dozes off during class story time.

Mommy glowers. Through snot.

He raids a cheese stick from the fridge and makes a run for it.

Mommy might remember to put in a load of laundry, but she forgets about the dryer until Daddy comes home and claims he’s out of clean underwear.

He’s just out of shower, standing there naked. On a healthier night, she might find this sultry. On a night when her sinuses were just possibly clear.

“I have a fever,”  she announces, with great fanfare.

Because she does and is glad of it; she knows a fever will get his attention, even though she doesn’t mention it’s a mere low-grade 100.2 degrees.

“You need antibiotics.” he says. Which means he wants her to bundle up and go out in the cold to stand on line at the local clinic.

She wants to tell him it’s just a cold, a virus, which it is, but then he might continue with his usual nightly routine. He is a man of perseverance, and will dig out that last pair of clean underwear; don his comfy sweatpants and torn T-shirt; go back downstairs to eat a late dinner and ask Little Bro to do a card trick and how Big Bro is coming along with the “city’” he is building on Minecraft.

“I just need to rest,” Mommy claims. Rightly.

Once she does have Daddy’s attention, he is good. He does breakfast dishes still in sink; coaxes boys into jammies; to brush teeth; reads them Flat Stanley downloaded onto iPad. Gets them into bed.

And by the grace of oh so merciful whatever, Mommy can, guilt-free, lay back down on lounge, with the dog now, thankfully, exhausted from a full day of tissue-shredding:

And she is suddenly happy to be sick because guess what! She can plug headphones into iPad to watch reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, all the seasons she’s missed since commencing mothering.

Until at some point out of the corner of her eyes she sees shadows. Movement.

Big Bro is on the computer. Little Bro has raided the refrigerator again. He’s eating a popsicle.

“Why aren’t you in bed? Where’s Daddy?”

“In bed….”

So Daddy’s asleep and they’re awake and Mommy has to pause Grey’s Anatomy just as  two interns are about to do “it” in a hospital storage room, and rise up off her lounge chair.

She storms upstairs. She can storm, anyway, as she is peri-menopausal, but she storms more loudly when stuffy as well.

Daddy is snoring the snore of a deeply sleeping man.

“Why aren’t they in bed?” She harps. Crows. Immediately guilty as this snoring man has to get up daily for work before even a rooster would crow.

He sits bolt upright as if the fire alarms have all gone off.  “What?”

“Your boys.”

“They’re in bed….” He squints at the clock. He thinks he’s dreaming.

“They’re not in bed now…”

He realizes there’s no fire, it’s just his stuffy wife, and rolls over, mumbling,  “They were in bed…” He’s snoring again.

Mommy  storms back downstairs, the clingy toddler-pup at her heels, because she is Mommy to him too… and barks at the boys to get back to bed which sets the pup barking too.

She longs to unpause Grey’s Anatomy, but the hot storage room moment is ruined.

So if there is no law of nature declaring moms cannot get sick, when we do fall ill, there should be a law that mandates we’re shipped off immediately to a resort.

Ok, if no resort, then a lovely sanatorium, where we can loll in bed all day and be served fresh orange juice and sponge-bathed.

While abandoned needy people back home must fend for themselves doing their own laundry or picking up a pack of Target underwear, and survive on Ramen noodles as long as they all remember to take their vitamins. Because restored healthy moms do not like returning home, not only to popsicle sticks stuck to coffee tables, but to vitamin-deficient family members.

But if there were such a luscious law, perfectly healthy mommies would all be feigning fevers all across the globe and innocent little children would be left to wander their houses sleepless, and to subsist on Ramen noodles. Perish the thought.

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About Sandra

Author;editor of The Woven Tale Press at thewoventalepress.net; mother; weaver
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34 Responses to Tale Tues: Why Moms Can’t Get Sick

  1. Mama G says:

    I love this post! You made me laugh so much, I loved you glowering through snot, and your husband stood naked with no underwear, and you being too ill to find it attractive. I can empathise with a few things. The toothpaste in the sink – unless I go into FlyLady mode each morning with a baby wipe, my sink has a luminous blue gel crust in a stripe down the middle! The pee on the seat (and the floor, up the walls, behind the toilet, perks of 4 males under one roof). One of my sons would exist on those noodles (called SuperNoodles here in the UK and only the chicken ones) if I let him. I miss being pre-Motherhood ill. It’s so half-hearted nowadays :-/

    Hope you’re well soon 🙂

  2. Natasha says:

    Great post!!! Sitting here battling my second cold in a matter of weeks after picking it up from my toddler son who has a tendency to cough in my face or rub his runny nose on my clothes, I can completely sympathize with the concept that mommies should not be sick. I wish dearly that I had someone around (significant other, family member, somebody!) that could help me get everything together when I’m feeling horribly sick, but I’m stuck doing it all on my own. So what I had a fever? My son doesn’t care…he wants to play and take a bath and eat dinner. The things us mommies do are incredible! Thanks for sharing! This made me feel tons better! 🙂

  3. Oh Lord! I remember when I was sick and could barely keep anything down. And, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my 7 month old son took a nasty, brown squirt in his diaper, to which I had to cuddle to keep the pool from spilling over the top backside opening. Some spilled out while I was quickly transporting the diaper of wet crap, with a baby attached, to the bathroom.

    I’m telling you, when you’re sick, it’s mostly a mental thing. Whereas before the crappy episode, I’d have been in bed, weeping and feeling sorry for myself. Lo and behold, the birth of supermom happened when the squirts arrived in my little bundle of joy!

    • Sandra says:

      thank god for those births (or bursts?) of supermom moments…otherwise crappy diapers would not get changed, and children would not get Ramen noodles:)

  4. Hilarious. It is indeed somewhat mind-boggling, the trouble a household can get into when then “glue” that holds them together, Mom, has come apart.

  5. This has got to be my new favorite blog. Hope you get to feeling better soon. There is a small evil revenge when it comes to kids and colds. When they get colds, at least they mostly stay in bed all day sometimes. Leaving you time to enjoy at least one episode of your show (maybe).

  6. Desi says:

    Sing it, sister! I’ve been battling the same mild head cold since November. November! I know if I give in, it will lay me out for a week. But since I’m too busy right now to give in, and because I know full well what kind of chaos will ensue when I actually DO get sick, my body tends to stockpile it’s viruses and then release them in one mucous-rich torrent one or two days into my annual holidays. Lucky me.

  7. Sandra, you do have a knack of making awful situations funny! I don’t have this sort of experience to share with you, never having had children, and having been a neat sort of child myself who never stuck popsicle sticks to tables or smeared toothpaste in the sink (one mother raising one daughter by herself is a bit different!) And then suddenly a crumb of unknown origin got stuck in my throat and I had an urge to cough. Oh, never get an urge to cough when your rib is fractured! A drink of water fixed the situation for now. Anyway, I hope your cold is better soon and you’re able to corral all the livestock and put them through their paces!

    • Sandra says:

      Oh, good to hear from you! Thinking about you a lot. I hope you have people around to help you out. You ok?

      • Well, the darn painkiller isn’t working very well. Doctor said take half a tablet to start till I see how it affects me, but I think tomorrow night I’ll take a whole one. Bed has become a torture chamber – I can’t lie on my back forever and I just can’t turn over – too painful. Could your mother move herself around in bed with the rib? And the pill seems to wear off at 2:00am. I couldn’t stand lying there on my back any longer, so I got and finished the rough draft – of my income tax! It’s now 3:20. At least I’ve gotten something useful done! I think I’ll sit in the recliner the rest of the night with the TV on low. A lot of times I go to sleep that way, anyway.

  8. Tale Tues: Why Moms Can’t Get Sick: http://t.co/UMrcDwruE6

  9. I loved your writing. I remember too well what it is like. I reared six children and it wasn’t easy. Getting sick for a mom is not an option.

  10. You indeed are a great storyteller. Thanks for the laugh!! When mom’s get sick, the whole house goes to shambles….doesn’t it? With 3 dogs and a little boy, heaven forbid if I ever get sick!! Poor doggies…is all I have to say! Thanks for stopping by my Tuesday’s Thoughtful Comment Hop.


  11. Debbie says:

    Poor Mommy! Who cleaned up the dog poop that got tracked all over the house? (Of course, I related to that, immediately. 😉 ) I only hope that all is well, now. No rest for the sick, with kids or dogs.

  12. So very true. I felt like I fell sick less since I am a mommy 🙂 And the day when I felt sick, the *house* looked so sick as well 🙂

  13. Thanks for stopping by. Wow. your story brought back lots of memories. It sure would be nice for moms not to get sick. But then we would never get to take a break and let the mess pile up a little. I hope you have a great week.

  14. Kathy says:

    Boy does this sound familiar! I hope you get feeling better soon!


  15. I don’t know how moms do it. I mean, I am single and a cold can have me debilitated. It really is so difficult when it is my mom who gets sick!

    • Sandra says:

      I’ve always wanted children and finally have them but if and when you have your own, store up on all time you can just crawl into bed now!

  16. @Irene9583 says:

    Tale Tues: Why Moms Can’t Get Sick: http://t.co/45J7zJv8EZ

  17. Loy says:

    Enjoyed your post very much! Being a sick mom is a mega no-no! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier this week. I have no idea how you manage two children at 50…I can scarcely keep up with one grandchild three days a week! Feel better soon! Take care.

  18. What a brilliantly funny (and oh-so-true) post!

    I loved this.

  19. Shannon says:

    So true! Loved every bit of this!

  20. Hi, I just read this article about moms being sick. I thought I would leave a comment since I am sick with a cold right now. It began with a sore throat, yesterday. Today I feel drained. Thankfully, I don’t have to do much, other than sit at my computer and rest. My son will be 23 this month, so I no longer have to face the problems you just described!

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