Sometimes, Moms Get Sick


Somehow I escaped contracting COVID-19 over the past two years. I realize putting that fact out into the universe highly increases my odds of catching it soon, so I am knocking on wood, crossing my fingers, and saying my prayers. Yet I need to say it to convey my point.

Three of my kids had COVID, and my husband finally caught it this summer.

Each illness, I prayed to escape it because Moms cannot get sick.

I remember how, years ago, viruses moved through our house and our kids, in no particular order. Usually striking the child who could least afford the time away from school or sport at that particular time. Most of the time, I willed myself to stay healthy. Using home remedies and vitamin overload to stave off illness.

Who would caretake if I was down for the count? Who would handle carpool, and oversee homework?

My mom, of course, but I did not want to expose her to whatever ailed us. She had a job and a life to attend to besides me, her adult child.

Recently, the years of escape finally caught up to me. Cannot say for sure whether food poisoning or a virus wreaked the havoc, but that really isn’t the point.

The point is…

Mom got sick!

a woman sitting on a bed clutching her stomach

I was down for the count for several days.

Gross alert: I did not shower, wash my hair or change my pajamas unless I had to. Yuck!

I avoided my phone and streaming services for about thirty-six hours, AND it was Amazon Prime Day. You know I was sick.

The real low occurred around 1am when I found myself lying on the cold bathroom floor. Why the bathroom floor? Because it was closer to the toilet than the bed. I eventually roused myself enough to get cleaning supplies and disinfectant. No one needed to see this.

Now I realize me facing a temporary illness pales in comparison to women fighting acute and chronic illnesses while also working and mothering. We, as a collective mom community, must step in when they need us to help with carpool, dinner, and homework.

Their battles are long and, many times, unending.

While I complain about my recent episode, I do not begin to compare my “suffering” to serious health battles.

I cannot recall the last time I really felt ill before this episode. As expected, I experienced sluggish days after the COVID and Shingles vaccinations. Hay fever and allergies occasionally slowed me down. But a full-blown, send Rocky to the bed for days illness, it’s been a minute. Fortunately, it was summer, so there was no homework. Autism Camp and screens kept Matthew entertained. One of my adult daughters helped with meals and household errands.

I slept, for two days, in between numerous visits to the bathroom.

I practiced gratitude.

Things I was grateful for: my normally good health, Instacart, Zofran, an empty extra bedroom, the rest of the household remaining healthy, Audible, my husband for not expecting a clean house or freshly cooked meal, and friends and family checking on me.

Lessons learned

After practicing gratitude, I noted a few lessons learned this go round.

One, I am not as young as I used to be. My mind thinks I am young, however, my body does not. Recovery takes time, and I need to be patient with this 52 year-old body.

Two, Lake Pajamas are my favorite wardrobe item. I rotated through two pairs of mine the last few days.  Wash, wear, repeat.

Three, premium toilet paper is worth the investment. I know that’s a first-world luxury, but I appreciated it this week. Thank you, Cottonelle!

Finally, never take good health for granted. If you are sidelined for a week, a day, or a year, you will immediately appreciate the “little things” upon return to the chaos we call motherhood.

a basket filled with toilet paper rolls


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