I know I am not the only parent who has had to take care of a child, or children, while being sick and I certainly won’t be the last. But I would like to know how some of you manage this? And, not to be sexist here, I love men just as much as the rest of the world, but men are SUCH BABIES when they are sick. Us mothers have to go on and take care of everything as if we weren’t dying to take a 12 hour nap. I don’t know how I managed to live through today.
The first time I had to take care of my baby girl alone while sick was when I had the flu. I am not the type of person to go to the doctor over a silly cold or flu. But I wanted to see what I had and if it was contagious to see how far I needed to stay away from Baby Girl while still changing her diaper. The dad was absolutely no help whatsoever. I was crushed that he couldn’t even get me a Sprite or hold the baby while I puked.
Several months later he had some sort of panic attack, was driven to my friend’s house where I was at the time, and whined. I was babysitting her two kids aged 18 months and 2 years, along with my six month old baby. Now I had a 32 year old baby on top of that who demanded way more attention than the other three children.
“Can I get you some water, soup, anything?” I asked while silently rolling my eyes. The two older children getting crabby, over-ready for lunch.
“Maybe just some yogurt…” He whined while covering up on the couch.
“They only have Greek yogurt. You won’t like it. What about chicken soup?”
“Just yogurt, please.”
I sigh, I only scoop one spoonful of yogurt because I know he won’t like it. I sit next to him on the couch and stroke his hair while I hand him the yogurt, listening to the other little ones waiting patiently in their high chairs for food and my Baby Girl starts to fuss, she’s waking up from her nap.
“I don’t like this. Can I have some soup? Is there any tomato soup?”
Ugh…I get the other kids settled, warming up food for three kids while my 32 year old kid yells from the living room for a heating pad. I get everyone settled and attempt to wash some dishes while everyone seems content.
“Can you come sit next to me? I want to hold you?” He whines, not even touching his soup.
I wanted to say “I am trying to do something here and you really aren’t sick, ” he may have had a panic attack and I know those are serious, and he needed me. We hadn’t been together in over a month. “You said you hate me,” I kept remembering those words, burned in my mind. But all the times I needed him and he was skeptical and said “you’re always sick” when it really was only like twice a year that I had a migraine or a cold, I remembered feeling abandoned and just wanting love. I needed him and he brushed me off. But I am not the type of person who could do that to someone I loved. So I went to sit next to him and scratched his back until he fell asleep.
Fast forward seven months and I texted him early in the morning to see what he was doing because I had woken up with a migraine. Just like panic attacks, migraines are no joke. I couldn’t keep my medicine or water down. I did my best to try and act normal around my daughter, I tried to make scrambled eggs but kept dry heaving into the sink. I had to feed her a Pop-Tart. Lunch didn’t go any better either.
I called her father to see if he could take her for the day, or just a few hours. He was working. Which I understand, you can’t just drop everything and leave work because I have a “headache”. I knew my daughter would be ready for a nap soon so I thought I would nap too and see if I felt any better after that.
Waking up from our nap, I almost felt worse if that was even possible. It was now 2:00 in the afternoon and I had been battling my migraine for six hours. I was thirsty, tired, clammy, and desperate. I felt bad because i wasn’t really paying much attention to my daughter, I sort of just watched her from the couch with one eye open. This isn’t good. So, I called my mom. Mommas are always there to help. So nurturing. I know that is a common trait among women, but can’t a man even text “how are you?” or bring some damn crackers?!
I am feeling much better now and I can’t wait to pick my daughter up in the morning. But along with not feeling well, I feel guilty for waiting so long to have someone take better care of her today and I also feel rage that I never received the same level of care from someone who claimed to love me. Maybe I am the one being a big baby. However, at least now I know who I can and cannot count on.