Mothering (and Working!) While Sick by Elisa Garcia

thermometerRight now I have a horrible, lingering, downright debilitating cold and sinus infection.  Yes, of course I’ve been hacking and sniffling all week, but optimist and procrastinator that I am, I’ve pooh-poohed any notion of any kind of doctor’s visit.  Why? I hate shelling out a $35.00 co-pay simply to be told, “Drink lots of fluid and rest.”  That’s money that could be used toward something useful, like our once a week restaurant dinner, thank you very much.  Besides, I rarely get sick. 

But now I’m thinking that I should have forfeited the prospect of takeout and visited old Dr. McGruff after all.  Because now it’s Friday, his office closes at noon, and I’m simultaneously facing two deadlines and a cranky toddler who’s (rightfully) tired of dealing with a cranky mother.  And my head feels as if it’s going to explode, even though, truth be told, I’ve already ingested enough cough and cold liquid this week to stock CVS. 

Back when I was a corporate minion, it was simple; I (or my partner) trudged Alina to daycare, and I stayed blessedly in bed to catch up on a mother’s most elusive, priced commodity: sleep.  Of course, that’s only if I were sick enough to stay home in the first place; many are the days that I headed to the office armed with a medical kit to suffer gloomily behind a desk, picking and choosing my e-mail battles.  But even that was easier than this … how do you work and feed your child(ren), and entertain your child(ren), and tend to your house? Or do you? How do you cope with being a super employee when you’re a sick mom who just wants (needs) to sleep but also needs to care for her rambunctious kid?

I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve raised my voice at my beautiful daughter more than once (more than twice) today.  I’m stressed and sick and apparently unable to discipline effectively enough to be able to send even one e-mail.  And of course she’s eschewed her nap.

Work at home moms, how do you all deal when you– not the kid(s)– are sick? I’m counting the minutes until my partner comes home.  Too bad McGruff won’t be in until Monday.

by Elisa Garcia