I have NO idea how this stupid universal truth of parenting started but it may be the most universal truth in all of the universal truths about parenting. Moms can’t get sick.
If you are a mom you know this. If you are the partner of a mom you may also know this, but you probably don’t appreciate this enough. When a mom gets sick it’s business as usual. She may be on antibiotics , or nursing through an evil hell-cold, or she may even have pneumonia, but I can guarantee she is still up, getting the kids off to school, running the dishwasher, checking homework, and even deciding what will be for dinner, even if that is just making a list to be picked up at Panera. I’m sure even moms who are seriously sick, like those going through chemotherapy, are never truly sick. Even in the most dire circumstances while trying to rest in bed the second a kid comes into the room with a picture book or homework to be checked the mom does it. I have never known a mom to actually be unfunctioning when sick.
The only time I have ever wished not to have children is when I am sick. You childfree and childless people? You can crawl into bed with a cup of tea and just DIE, because when you are really sick you feel like you are dying, while those of us with kids are conducting business as usual, but with a fistful of used tissues and a head fuzzy with Nyquil.
I’m a professional at being sick the same time as being a mom. I have to be, and you probably have to be too. And it’s pretty much the worst. I know I am lucky, because my partner will make me bourbon and honey and bring home dinner and let me crawl into bed when he is home, but in the meantime I am getting by the best I can. At least I don’t have a newborn to care for, because when those moms get sick? Forget it. They have it even worse than the rest of us.
So as a PSA to the rest of you, if you are related to or know a mom who is sick? Go to her house. Take her kids. Leave her a few boxes of Kleenex and some soup and send her up to bed. If she has a newborn? Leave Kleenex and soup on her doorstep like you are some happy illness fairy. They say it takes a village and all I needed yesterday when my husband was out of town was a village to help me put my bra back on because I was too weak after taking a bath to do so. And I’m still not wearing a bra.
Moms can’t get sick. We may actually be sick, and we may feel like utter garbage, and we may stumble for a few days but we are never hiding in bed and not taking care of business. We may just not be wearing a bra while doing so.
(Photo: Getty Images)