I remember when I was in my twenties, or even my thirties and catching a cold or some other kind of illness. I might sniffle and grumble a bit, pop a few aspirin and carry on. I’d soldier through being sick and just keep going because that is what we women do. We suck it up and carry on. But boy, have I noticed a BIG difference when your older and sick, Middle Aged Mamas and Malaise don’t get very well together.
I can count on one hand the number of naps I have taken in the last year (with the exception of the day after that one crazy late night out drinking with a friends band) where I was tired and actually took a nap. Who has time for that? There is so much on my to-do list that I can’t possibly take time for a nap. The thing is, this time, I actually had an epiphany and thought about that little speech that the flight attendants give to tell you what to do in case of emergency: TAKE CARE YOU YOURSELF before you take care of others. This was it: MOM DOWN! MOM DOWN!
It all started with a headache that has morphed into a cold that is rapidly turning into something yucky. It’s bad, but not quite as bad as the Man Flu. Not yet, anyway. I thought about all the stuff I needed to get down during the day and I balked. I did the unthinkable.
I called in sick to my Mama Duties. I took a Mama Sick Day.
I acknowledge that it’s much easier for me to take a sick day as a middle aged Mama with older kids, but I did it. I called in sick to my duties at homeschool co-op, dropped off one kid, came home, put on my pajamas, and went to bed.
I did not start a load of laundry. I did not put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher. I did not take anything out for dinner. I did text my family and tell them that I was taking a sick day, and they had to handle the stuff, and I was going to bed.
I did, and they did.
When I surfaced hours later to take more Dyquil, my kitchen was clean, thanks to my daughter. Laundry was started. She has been taking care of stuff on me during the day. My son texted me to check in, and my wonderful husband picked up not only our son, but dinner on his way home. All the while, I slept and watched bad tv.
The world didn’t end, nor did my house cave in. People got to where they had to be, things got done, meals were served and messed cleaned up all without me.
I used all 24 of the hours in the Mama Sick Day to rest and recuperate. In fact, the next day I still took it easy. Guess what? It worked. I was feeling much better. While I still had some cold symptoms I wasn’t as drained as I had been. My family stepped up to take care of what needed to be taken care of, including ME. It gave everyone a chance to change roles and I think it helped us all appreciate each other more. I know I really appreciated the rest!