What Happens When Mom Is Sick? (PHOTO)

I rarely get sick or feel “under the weather,” but late this past weekend, something hit me. It wasn't really the flu or a cold necessarily, I honestly think it was just a case of plain old mom exhaustion ... Imagine that! I just felt really, really tired and achy, and after preparing an entire dinner, I asked my kids' "permission" to go get into my bed! They willingly and lovingly agreed to completely clean up the kitchen together so I could rest my weary bones! I was thrilled, but admittedly, I was a bit skeptical!

So ... with my door open to listen closely to the “goings on,” I retreated to the restful haven that I call my bed. After resting tentatively for a short while, I received a knock at the door. It was one of my smiling children coming to ask if I needed anything. I actually did need something, so I asked for a few crackers from the kitchen. Moments later, they appeared! So nice!

Not too long after that, another small knock sounded. The door opened farther and another sweet child appeared, also asking if I wanted anything. I asked for a glass of clear soda. It arrived in record time, un-spilled and in a very “nurse-like,” almost professional manner. So sweet!

I rested a bit longer and decided that although the house sounded very peaceful, I should collect myself and climb out of bed to check on the status of the kids and the house. As I slowly walked through, I was shocked -- and impressed -- that the house was standing and no worse for the wear. In fact, it was cleaned up and the lights were even turned off (you know moms -- it drives us all crazy to see a light on in every room when there's not a person around!).

“Hm,” I thought. “This is so different from those first five years ...” and my mind took me instantly back to those early years. Back then, when this mom got sick, a total household panic ensued -- literally. I remember during the first year of our six babies' lives, I got the full-blown stomach flu. It was the most violent type! Not only was I out of commission, but also that meant the “baby schedule” was out of commission AND most of our friends and volunteers, a.k.a. “baby feeders,” didn't want to come over and help -- and trust me, I didn't blame them! Word traveled fast how very ill I was and no one wanted the unnecessary exposure to my horrific germs! So my four-day illness became a sort of mass casualty scene, where long shifts, never-ending feedings, baths, and diaper changes were carried out by an exhausted skeleton crew chasing their tails!

Talk about guilt?! I laid in my bed quarantined, dehydrated, and spent -- listening to the chaos -- feeling SO guilty that I was helpless to change the short-term fate of my family! It was a long weekend and probably THE experience that sent my already OCD-type germ response into overdrive!

Another memorable illness comes to mind in the years since that first one. It was one night when I was making my hour-long drive home from my 16-hour shift as a nurse. I didn't feel too well and I decided that denial would be my tactic for this round of sickness. Sick? Not me!

As I returned home, I took a shower and decided that I was just tired. My muscles ached furiously and I told myself that I had just spent 16 hours on my feet and had had a long commute each way, so NATURALLY I'd feel this way at the end of a long day (never mind that I did this shift every weekend and had never quite felt this drained before!).

I denied my illness all the way up until we began to hear retching and vomiting from the kids' rooms above us ... And as I rinsed set after set of vomit-filled bed sheets in our laundry room sink, I finally faced the music or, more accurately, the vomit, and “allowed” myself to join the ever-growing sick population in our house. That was the first time I had been gravely ill while taking care of six gravely ill 2-year-olds. Not to be graphic, but especially around the age of 2, it's very hard to coordinate a vomit-spewing child with a bucket -- to ensure that a literal puke fest on every possible surface of the house doesn't occur every five minutes! Not to mention that I had six of these, or maybe eight all at once?!

Every spare surface of our home became a “sick bay,” as I call it. I made as many make-shift beds as I could fit anywhere near me in the “main” areas of the house. This made it easier to help do the “bucket vomit tango” each time it struck, as well as offer comfort, fluids, and medications for fevers. I knew I'd never make it up the stairs each time, so anywhere there was space and a shred of privacy, I made a bed! Whew! That was quite the Influenza War of 2006 we suffered here in the Gosselin household!

Since those early years and since the kids have grown and learned the “bucket vomit tango,” it hasn't ever become EASY to manage the mass illness here, but let's just say that I'm extra glad that I'm a registered nurse. The training in patient care really helps when the “sick bug” hits here! I once traveled the hospital corridors “making my rounds,” and now I make them in the hallways of my own home whenever illness strikes. Once the germs start spreading, it's a FULL 10 days to 2 weeks until I remove the “quarantined” signs from our front door!

I'm sick, resting in my bed as I type this, with a little sick one not far away! I'm bracing myself for what I still hope is NOT the Influenza War of 2013! Wait ... did I just hear that telltale retching sound? OH NO!!! Gotta go ...

How do you handle sickness in your home? Tell me below ...


Image via Mady Gosselin

family, kid health, cold & flu, energy & fatigue, illness


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar HappyMom2Six

Huh? Kate says:

"with my door open to listen closely to the “goings on,” I retreated to the restful haven that I call my bed. After resting tentatively for a short while, I received a knock at the door."

So, her door is open, but then she says someone knocked on the door? When you make so much stuff up, it's really difficult to be consistent and keep all the lies straight.

Teresa Walsh Bompadre

She tweeted that she got up to make dinner, not that she rested AFTER dinner.

nonmember avatar Margaret

I remember the episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8 where all her kids were very sick with the flu. So what did Kate do? She and Jon accepted an out-of-town invitation for Jon to have FREE hair plugs. Yes, Kate left her sick kids with her brother & sister-in-law (no longer talks to them) and his wife and their 3 sick kids to babysit all the 11 sick kids at Kate's home. Oh, of course, TLC was there so film it all.

Unbelievable that Kate chose FREE hair plugs & a weekend away over being there for her flu-ridden kids.

Crick... Cricket178

Reading a blog about copious amounts of vomit makes me want to vomit. Some things one should keep to themselves.

After all, it's been televised just how you treat your kids when they are sick: making them sleep on a cold tile floor in a laundry room might seem practical to you, and downright abusive to someone else.

nonmember avatar Sunny Day

And the nitpicking begings. You can knock on a door when it is open. And, it is common courtesy to do so before entering someone's bedroom whether the door is open or closed. It says something about the kids manners. The being said, this is not a well written article but it will continue to attrack the crowds all week long.

Snickdog Snickdog

And there you have it, folks. Kate Gosselin attempting to rewrite history, trying to justify her utter cruelty in making poor Joel lay on the cold hard laundry room floor when he was sick. That was no "bed" he was laying on, Kate. Are you forgetting there is video proof?  And another thing, oh Supermom, when your child is sick, you DO push yourself up and down the stairs to tend to their needs while they are in the comfort of their own beds. You think of the CHILD first--not yourself and what's convenient for you. 

This blog post is vomit inducing in many ways. But go ahead, Gosselin fans--tell Kate that she is the best mother the world has ever known! Ask her where she buys her vomit buckets--surely that is information only one as awesome as Kate knows. How did our mothers survive without Kate Gosselin as a role model and "knower of all mommy stuff". 

Pukefest is right. 

nonmember avatar Margaret

Kate wrote:"My muscles ached furiously and I told myself that I had just spent 16 hours on my feet and had had a long commute each way, so NATURALLY I'd feel this way at the end of a long day (never mind that I did this shift every weekend"
This is NOT true. In their very first episode of "Surviving Sextuplets and Twins" Kate said that she worked EVERY OTHER Sat from 6am to 10pm which was 2 miles from her home. And then later on she had to pick up an 8 hr. shift on the Saturdays she wasn't working.

Again, Kate worked double shifts EVERY OTHER Saturday not EVERY Saturday as she wrote. And the dialysis center where she worked was 2 miles not an hour drive from her home. Again, what a liar. Kate always wants people to feel sorry for herself.

Nativ... Native1111

Gravelly ill? Do you know what that means kate ? Are you not a nurse? Nurse ratched is more like it- gravely ill MEANS imminent of dying- you are such a drama queen. The flu is TOO good for you- but what you do have on a constant basis Is diarrhea of the mouth!!!!! I like how your guilt eats at you - ever think they want you to stay in your room? And don't come out- ever!!!!! Bully

Pinkmani Pinkmani

I guess I'm one of the few who actually likes Kate, and enjoyed the Celebrity Wife Swap episode.

As we got older we became more nurse-like when my mom was under the weather. My daughter is too young to play nurse. I was always able to avoid getting sick when everyone else was sick. It's nice to know that someone will take care of us when we're old. 

nonmember avatar VAMom

What is the bolding for? To reduce the amount of exclamation points? Based on the episode of Celeb Wife Swap, the kids clean the kitchen EVERY day so why was this day any different? Did the kids open all the windows and doors and let the brisk cold air in while they laid you out on the floor?

Last question: Do you believe your own lies or are you even tired of them?

1-10 of 217 comments 12345 Last