When mama is sick

I woke up with a fever of 102 racking my whole body. I staggered into the girls’ rooms to change their diapers and get them dressed. Putting out two bowls of Cheerios and two sippies of milk, I turned on Sesame Street and promptly (and accidentally) passed out on the couch.

I was awoken from sleep by a kiss. My eyes snapped open, horrified that I had fallen asleep. I was staring into Ruthie’s enormous eyes. “Mama, you sick?,” she inquired. “Yes, baby,” I answered. Before I could stop her, she planted another big kiss on my lips. “I make it all better, mama.” “Thank you, baby.”, I told her, realizing how the whole “kiss it and make it better” thing had really backfired on me from a hygienic standpoint.

My husband was able to come home from work to feed the girls their lunch, and my mother, grandmother and sister were able to help me watch the girls and bring me groceries for the next three days, thank God (and them!) I felt so helpless. My children depend on me all day and all night. What is to become of them when I am out of commission? And how am I supposed to recover when I spend all day running around after babies and all night feeding the infant?

Today it got so bad between being sick and the children being more demanding than usual (I had two crib messes to clean up, and Ruth had four accidents in a row), I told my mom that I was going outside to lay down and die in peace and quiet. In retrospect, I was probably being a tad dramatic.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. I have never personally subscribed to that belief, but there are times when I just can’t do it alone, as much as my pride would tell me I MUST do this alone. I sometimes find myself wrestling with guilt over needing help. I feel like I was the one who got myself pregnant all those times, and if I can’t take care of my children all the time, no matter what, then all those people who look down on me for having three under three were right. People these days tend to have such negative attitudes toward having children, I feel a lot of pressure to do it all myself and make it look easy just to prove them wrong. I once tearfully admitted to this guilt when my dad had offered his assistance and I turned him down without really knowing why. They way he responded to my concerns I will always remember. “You can’t think that way.” He told me. “Everyone needs help sometimes. That doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. We love you. We are so glad for your children. We’ve been there ourselves and we know that it gets easier. And we want to help.” Being a mom sometimes means accepting help when you need it.

Thank you to my dear family for helping me out. I couldn’t do this without you. Someday, when my own children are grown and I see a mom with small ones struggling, I will be sure to pay it forward. Although having my three sweet babes is the biggest blessing of my entire life (besides my wonderful husband, of course), it would be disingenuous of me to act like every day is smooth sailing. It is difficult. But so is anything else in life worth having.

Never be ashamed of struggling, mamas. You are doing Herculean feats. Thank you for giving your all for these precious little ones. We are grateful for every little face and the mama behind it that makes sure it is clean.



About sylcell

Wife, mom of four girls, Catholic, insatiable sweet tooth
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11 Responses to When mama is sick

  1. right on with this one again! I am very stubborn, especially regarding accepting any form of help. don’t even talk about me asking for help. I despise it 😉 BUT occasionally I need it *shrug* and I’m usuallllly okay with that 😉


  2. lindalatuch says:

    You are such a strong and beautiful Mommy. This is from a great grand mothers point of view. We love to help with the grand children and do fun thing and then send them home with Mommy and Daddy. You aren’t asking for help you are allowing them time with the children that are also part of them. I can’t wait until we move back to Atlanta and I can have the girls over to bake cookies with me. It would be a treat to help you out not a chore. What hurts the grand (or great grand) parents is when they aren’t given the opportunity to spend time with the grand children. We are so lucky you include us with pictures and your stories when we are not able to spend time with the girls. We love you for sharing!


  3. Benmo says:

    Loved your blog, but am especially impressed with the photo of your adorable daughter with a BOWL OF SOUP on her high chair tray… AND it’s still in the bowl! Incredible table manners! You have a beautiful family!


  4. Emily says:

    I sadly cannot tell you the number of times my kids have lived off Netflix and cereal. I live over 4 hours from all of our family and what makes me the most sad is when the church expects my husband to run and help while I have the projectile vomit virus and I can’t leave the toilet to change my infant who has just blown through his pants. We live in a sad time. I pray that I will never forget these days and offer to help whenever and whatever the risk may be to me.
    On another note if you get a chance. Mom’s night out meant the world to me. I am not sure when it comes to DVD, but soon I suppose.


  5. morgan says:

    100% full ack to your article. It feels like I could’ve written that one myself!!!
    And to be honest, I’m really astonished that you are struggling with the same problems, because here basically everyone thinks that having to struggle with calling for help is a typical german tread, because yaddayaddayadda [insert prejudice about german perfectionism to your liking ;-)]
    So it is really comforting to know that halfway around the globe things aren’t that much different.
    It really is a blessing having family close by who can help out if needed. I don’t know how people manage whose family lives hundreds of kilometers (or more) away.
    Get well soon, and keep your head up.


  6. I hope you feel better soon! Thank you for this fantastic reminder that it is ok to ask for help, and we aren’t failures in doing so. 🙂


  7. Rachel says:

    This really spoke to me today. Thank you for your insight and perspective. I am less than four weeks away from delivering my fifth sweet little one. We are so happy and excitedly anticipating his arrival! However, earlier this week I felt a bit defeated and wondering ‘what in the world I was thinking? could do this or was I cut out for being a mamma of five?!?’ But they are my greatest joy and blessings (and my hubby of course)! Gratefully, my own support network for friends and family reached out as I voiced my worries. They helped me remember this very thing, we can’t do it all on our own all the time, and ITS OK! Thank the Lord for each one of them. I also loved you earlier post about surviving three under three. I did that with my first three. I find myself on the other side of toddler-hood with them (they are now 10, 9, & 7)and I wonder how I did it. =) For me the answer is with the support and love of friends, family and my Faith in Jesus Christ. Hope you’re on the mend. =)


  8. serins says:

    I hope you feel better soon.


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