Parenting... While Sick

Now, it's safe to say that I have the immune system of a tree frog. Come to think of it, tree frogs probably have better immune systems than I do, but that's neither here nor there. The point is, my immune system took a crap on me shortly after I was born.

That means that seventy percent (okay, eighty) of the time, I'm sick with some bug or another. Generally speaking, these bugs don't slow me down a ton - I'm great at faking it until I make it (to the other side of the death flu) because, well, life doesn't stop when I get sick. Unlike the Man Cold, which I'm pretty sure is the most deathly form of illness... EVER. Makes me GLAD I'm not a dude.


Life doesn't slow down even if I feel like curling up under a blanket with a humidifier and some Green Death Flavored Nyquil.

Especially since I've got three kids.



Now, those of you who know me know that I'm in the middle of a divorce, which means that the time I spend with my kids is sacrosanct. I don't have the luxury of seeing them every day because that's not how it works anymore. Sad, but true.

Weekends are the time I see my kids for the longest stretch of time, and I hold that time with the highest regard. I rarely touch my computer, I ignore phone calls, and I focus on seeing the three delightful monkeys who keep me going when I'm feeling at my lowest (which, during a divorce, is often).

This weekend was no exception.

Well, okay, one exception. I'd been sick the week before.

Normally when I'm sick, I get all EYE OF THE TIGER and decide to push myself through it. Not necessarily because I want to, but because I know people are depending on me to be well enough to work, care for my apartment, and make sure that I don't accidentally die in an oven accident only to be discovered by people after the cat has gnawed off half my face. Pleasant thought, right?


Friday, my daughter came over for our weekly girls night, wherein we take a trip to Goodwill and do girl things, like paint our nails and watch whatever she wants on television. Having been through two boys, I'm delighted that she loves being a girly girl as much as I do.

I'd been on the couch most of the week before - it was clear that the germ factories I popped from my nether regions had infected me with some mysterious flu, and I was prepared to rest and take it as easy as I could. I had a big weekend ahead of me, after all, and I didn't want to miss a moment.

I was mostly okay on Friday - still pretty weak and wobbly - but assuming I was on the mend.

You know what they say about assumptions, right?

Yeah, me neither. I don't listen well.

By Saturday afternoon, even with my ass firmly wearing a groove into the couch, I was having trouble keeping up with them. I was half asleep, groggy, achey and now I could barely stand.

This is where parenting while sick (and single) sucks the most.

While I'd wanted to spend that time enjoying the crap out of those three kids, I could barely stand up to do things like, "make lunch" and "get juice" which meant I knew I was failing at this whole parenting while sick thing.

Sunday, I did end up getting a much needed nap in before the kids returned to sleep over at their house here (weird distinction, FYI). I found myself counting the moments until bedtime so that I could rest in peace for a bit before getting kicked in the spleen by small sleeping people.

It didn't work.

They were so hyper, so excited to be at my house that everything I tried didn't do anything to calm them into any position to be ready to head to the land of nod. I was at my wit's end, which meant that I began sobbing, which made me feel like a TOTAL winner at life.

I ended up calling in the calvary - their father - to pick them up. It broke my tiny, shriveled and blackened heart into a zillion pieces to do it, but I had to. The kids deserved a proper mother and I needed to rest. Not a question.

I haven't begun to forgive my immune system. I'm hopeful that I will soon, but since I'm STILL sick, we're still not talking. Me and my immune system, I mean.

So this is me.

Barely surviving the (single) parenting life.



Image via Fenkieb/Flickr

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