Last week I had two days off work with sickness, and for something I thought would be pretty straight forward and uncomplicated, it’s bought with it a range of unexpected emotion.
I saw a quote online the other day about a woman who as a child could never understand why her mum was never ill, and as she grew up and became a mother herself she realised that actually mums do get ill, they just have no choice but to carry on like they are perfectly well.
It’s so hard to stay upbeat, keep calm and stay smiling when all you want to do is curl up into the foetal position like the big baby you are and just sleep it off. You have to put a full shift in of mumming before you can even begin to think about yourself. But what took me back was the amount of guilt I was feeling…
Seeing Ted off to nursery with daddy, whilst I lay on the sofa snuggled up in the biggest, cosiest jumper I own and a blanket up to my chin made me feel terrible. I wanted to see Ted off at nursery and see his happy little face when picking him up. I wanted to walk him in and answer him every single time he points and says ‘what’s that?’ at every bird, dog and plane. Sitting at home without him was lonely and despite being ill, I felt bad that he was in the care of someone else when I was there. When Ted started nursery, one of the things we talked about was how when we were unwell we wouldn’t need to look after him and we would have time to properly recover. In reality, I missed him and wanted him there with me more than anything else.
I’ve always hated being off sick. To be honest, I’m the sort of person who would rather be in work and I don’t like sitting and doing nothing. Especially since Ted has been born, I’ve felt that every moment is so precious and shouldn’t be wasted and feeling ill always feels like a waste of time to me. I try and fill my time up as much as possible and that sometimes leaves me drained and exhausted. I’m determined to leave behind something to be proud of, so I work hard at work, I work hard at home and I put my absolute all into everything.
Actually, what I should be doing is making the most of those rare days I get to myself to relax and look after myself. I forget that for Ted to be okay, I have to be okay too.