It's an unspoken rule. No, it's a rule I have spoken many times in my life. Especially since becoming a mom. Mom's aren't allowed to get sick. We don't have time to be sick. Our children will suffer horrible lives if we get sick. The world as they know it will end. And yet, as much as I chant this mantra, I am fighting with getting sick. The "New Flu" hit early last week. Both Neil and Cierra spent Sunday night tagteaming the toilet. I finally moved to the couch. My one day to sleep in (MLK Day meant no school for the kids and I wasn't supposed to work) turned into a sleepless night and I had to go to work anyway to cover a co-worker's shift who had also succumbed to the flu or the cold or herpes. Not sure exactly, but it meant that I was now facing day 3 of 10 work days in a row. Day 3 isn't that bad, except that it was accompanied by sick family members who wanted to be taken care of. I can do this. I'm the mom. I'm not allowed to get sick.
By day 7, everyone had spent at least one day home from work and/or school. Everyone except me. I was fine, except for that slight tickle in my throat. No biggie. I'm not really sick. It's just the change in the weather. Drink some orange juice. Take my vitamins. I don't have time to be sick. I was looking forward to my day off on Tuesday. I was going to catch up on housework then head to my other job. I always look forward to my other job because that's where I get to do what I used to do in my life BC (Before Children). Instead I had one child with a migraine, one with a stomach ache, and one with an arm that felt like it had been chopped off. The fourth child decided she would just stay home with all the others. It was easier I suppose but not one of them was really horribly sick so by 10 am they are fighting with each other and complaining of boredom. I was fighting the lingering sore throat and trying to avoid being choked by sneak phlegm attacks. My patience was also practicing its tightrope act, fluctuating between concerned love and downright disgust for my children.
To make up for not going to help out my friend on Tuesday, I decided to go in today even though that would cause for a double shift and a long day. But that's okay, staying busy is good for me and helps me ignore the stuffy nose, lack of smell capabilities, and achy back. I'm not getting sick. My co-worker asked if I was getting sick. I denied it - it's just a sore throat. He suggested I take a vitamin pack - it's liquid and according to the packaging it tastes like chocolate cherry. According to my taste buds, which have not been blessedly afflicted with a lack of capability, it just tasted gross and washing it down with Dr. Pepper did not help relieve the effect. I got home, yelled at all the kids to get to bed at least three times, and took some Nyquil. I'm a mom. I'm not allowed to get sick. Death, however, is welcome.