sick momTwo weeks ago, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I’m a sick mom. This sucks for numerous reasons, including the fact that I feel like absolute shit and am supposed to be on bed rest. But what sucks the most is that I can’t kiss or hug my daughter or my baby.

I find this not “nearly” impossible to do, but “absolutely” impossible to do. I can’t tell you how many times in the past few days I’ve kissed my son or daughter and said right after, “Ah, shit! I wasn’t supposed to do that!” kicking myself. Of course I don’t want my children to get sick and I know the best way of making sure this happens is that I don’t BREATH ANYWHERE NEAR THEM or GO ANYWHERE NEAR THEM.

Really, I should just move cities for the next month. I know that not kissing them or being near them will keep them from getting sick because every single person I’ve told that I’m sick has told me to stay away from my children.

“I miss my baby,” I cried in bed a couple nights ago to my fiancé. I had managed to spend most of the day not touching him, waving to him from afar, and I really did miss touching him.

My daughter and I are big cuddles and huggers. We hug and cuddle all the time. She’ll come up, or leave for a playdate, and will hug me not once, but sometimes four times. This happened the other day when my parents picked her up so I could get “some rest.”

“Stop hugging her!” my mother screamed.

“Stop kissing her,” my father screamed.

“Alright,” I screamed back. “Stop screaming at me!”

I was recently in a doctor’s waiting room and I overheard a mother waiting with her daughter, who had a sore throat, kiss her daughter and then say, sheepishly, “Oops! I’m not supposed to do that!”

I wanted to hug this woman and say, “Oh my god, I’m going through the same thing.”

In a perfect world, where I guess in this instance, YOU DON’T HAVE A HEART, it would be easy enough not to kiss or hug or cuddle your children, just walking pass them like la-de-da, I don’t know you. But, in reality, I cannot – I repeat CANNOT – just walk by my kids and not want to grab them and kiss them all over.

First off, it’s routine. For my daughter it’s been more than nine years of routinely hugging and kissing and cuddling with her, and routines are really hard to break. Let’s even call kissing, hugging, and cuddling her a habit even.

When I’m sick, I do need an intervention to stop kissing my children. I know I’m sick, but when I see my kids, I just totally forget! And when it comes to my son, well, at almost eight months, he’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen and I just want to bite his chunky legs, and kiss the back of his neck. And, again, when I walk by him, I’ll pick him up, without thinking about being sick, and before I can even inhale the scent of him, someone is screaming at me to “STAY AWAY!!”

At least with my daughter it’s not always my fault. She’ll run up to me and kiss ME and then I have to tell her that I’m sick and we can’t kiss. It breaks my heart.

I feel now that I’m fine: I’m on antibiotics, and no longer contagious. So I do cuddle with my daughter on the couch and I do pick up my baby and kiss him, but only for a few minutes. And, in fact, I hold my breath, like I’m swimming under water, during these few precious moments when I can sneak in a kiss or a cuddle just to be safe, before my parents, or fiancé, or mother-in-law can yell at me to stay away from my own children.

Being sick sucks. Parenting while sick sucks. But worst of all is not being able to be near the ones you love. And, yes, I know that even if they catch something from someone at school, I will be blamed for making them sick.

So if I kiss my baby and no one sees or hears it, did it really happen?

(photo:  Sebastian Kaulitzki / Shutterstock)