Thursday, February 25, 2016

calling in sick




once upon a time, i had a job that actually paid me a salary. i left my house every morning, ate lunch with people over the age of five, and come home each evening. when there were holidays, i spent the day lounging around my house. when i was sick, there were magical days called, "sick days" and i simply didn't go into work and slept. all. day. long. 

then i had kids and like mothers and fathers everywhere, sick days became a thing of the past. i would simultaneously vomit in the bathroom while sanitizing it with clorox to keep everyone else from getting sick. i would be coughing up a lung but would still manage to make carpool. it's just the way it worked. parenting stops for nothing. absolutely nothing.

and then this last monday happened. monday night after being up until 12:30 with my youngest not feeling well, i started to feel bad as well. by 3:30 am i had not only thrown up for three hours straight but i'd also managed to pull out my back in the process. at this point i woke up my husband, told him what was going on and said simply, "i can't do tomorrow." 

because i know my husband and know the kind of man that he is, i wasn't surprised when he simply said, "i'll stay home tomorrow." if i had known how easy it was to make this happen i might have been bowing out of "tomorrows" much sooner. that was it? the sky wasn't going to fall? the earth wasn't going to stop spinning? just, "i'll stay home."? 

i've known all along that the hang up with 'calling in sick' was all my own. while my husband can't take days off all the time, when things are particularly rough for me, he is happy to take a sick day to care for his wife and family. for some reason, i have just hated to ask. 

why do we do that as wives and mothers? why do we feel that it is okay for our spouses to take sick days when they are sick but when we are on death's door, we still feel the need to power through? when are kids are sick, we will keep them home and nurse them. when my husband does take a sick day, he is up in bed the entire day, resting and getting better. why don't we allow ourselves the same courtesy? 

somewhere along the line i decided that i could manage without a sick day. i decided that, because i was no longer at a paying gig each day, my ability to call in sick had ended. well, no more. it's time for moms everywhere to call in sick. imagine how we would feel if we actually spent a day and rested and got well instead of powering through miserably for weeks of a prolonged sickness. wouldn't we be better wives and mothers in the long run if we just stopped and took care of ourselves once in a while? 

i know i am better off for having a couple of days of help and rest. honestly, i couldn't have pulled myself off the bed this week if i had tried. still, i am grateful to be recuperating and well rested. i couldn't have done that without my husband taking one for the team...and i know i'd be nowhere near as well as i am now without having called in sick from the job of motherhood. i may just make a habit of it.