Parenting,  Popcorn Zone

There is a Sick Mom in the Home!

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After a week long bout of viral infection, I have come to the conclusion that feeling ill as a parent is one of the toughest situations. Weak and exhausted, as I lay on my bed moaning with body pain, the only thought that kept cropping up is why, oh why, did I have to fall ill? With two little kids, and a husband whose line of duty often keeps him away, I am the single caregiver and parent in the home front. Thus, by me falling ill, the household actually comes to a standstill.

I look forward to the monsoons almost every year. I love the smell of the wet mud, the gentle breeze that sweeps the trees and all things fresh and clean around. But this time around, I got sick. Really sick. My throat felt sore. I was running a high temperature, and could barely swallow. My doctor confirmed the seasonal virus at play, with a prescription of antibiotics and an order to stay put in bed and rest. For most moms I know, staying in bed and resting is a difficult task, and if you are like me, managing the whole scene single-handedly, it’s an almost impossible one. The kids need to be fed, bathed and tended to. Life has to go on and cannot stop because I wasn’t feeling well. Moms don’t get sick days or offs, do they?

But in illness there are lessons to be learnt, and my nine years as a parent has taught me these

  • Throw in that emotion; seek help and no guilt about it

Of course this sounds like a no-brainer, yet trust me most of us restrain ourselves from asking for help. I called and threw open an invitation to my mom/mom-in-law to be around. I used emotional tactics to get the husband home, to abandon his duty calls and be by my side. I didn’t feel guilty about it, because every bit of energy saved is going to help me get back with vigor, to normal existence. Though there have been times earlier when my emotional tactics have worked and the family has been around me, this time around, none of them were able to be by my side. So I just had to double up the pay of my domestic help, to be around the kids. Of course I heard the pans and dishes clanging in the kitchen but I had made that conscious decision to let go, and have someone to step in and do the job. I let the domestic help be in charge – not something that comes easy for me.

  • Let it pile on

The phone calls could wait, the laundry could too. It wasn’t my time to be the super-woman I otherwise am. With a viral infection weighing down my body and antibiotics stuck in my throat, the housecleaning and odd chores around were pushed aside. Yes, it was tough to ignore the pile in the corner of every room. But then, I had to tell myself that the more I rested the quicker I would be back on my toes. So here’s what I did. I picked up three classics and re read them. Nothing like books to make you forget the sores and woes.

  • I let the kids know I was unwell

I didn’t want to be a super woman in front of them, not at the time I was unwell. It seemed just right to let the kids see that I was vulnerable and most importantly human too and not a robot. The result was quite a wonder. I was surprised to see the tenderness and empathy they exhibited, as I coughed up through the day. It actually felt nice to capitalize on the moment, as my nine year old fluttered around me. I loved the role reversal for a change.

  • I threw that perfect parent hat away

The television time increased (Ah! haven’t I always said television is the best baby sitter?). I didn’t sit with them to read a book, I didn’t hover over them as they completed their school work, nor did I bother about the food getting cold as they ate their meals slowly. My priority remained to rest and to get well.

Back to routine and the shock from the kids

As the week passed by, and I regained my energy back, I felt like a newer version of the person I was. Much as the viral had bogged me down, the break from my usual routine felt good. I had read three classics back to back and felt energized in a unique sort of way. With an increased enthusiasm, I got the routine back; the home was spic and span yet again and the meals were served in the most appropriate way. I was pleased with myself, hoping the kids must be glad too.

But the shock came soon, when the little one blurted out that life was more fun when mom was unwell. It was a jolt from the blue, but gulping it down, I tried to rationalize what she actually meant. I realized all that the kids wanted was to break away from the usual routine too, just the way I loved the break from my routine.

Hmmm maybe I need to feign illness often? What do you think?

*Featured Image: Pixabay 


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  • Shalzmojo

    Awww that sounded tough Ramya. Glad to know you are doing better. I am surprised how well you coped with it by letting go and asking for help – your kids sound amazing even if they did want you sick more often 😉

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thanks Shalz… yup the kids were all up and about trying to pamper me. It felt good and somewhere did help me recover soon:)

  • Sid Balachandran

    Looks like falling ill wasn’t all that bad a thing, if it gives us valuable life lessons like these.
    Hope you’re feeling better now, Ramya. And as always, I’m at the other end of a WhatsApp message. 😁

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Of course life is strewn with lessons, that we need tp pick and mature as a person. Feeling much better and yes, glad there is a soul at the other end of a whatapp message 🙂

  • Shilpa Gupte

    Oh yes, mommy! You need to do that, and take a break ,for yourself and the kids, too! 🙂
    I am glad you are fine now, Ramya! Maybe, you could take a monthly off…and chill with the kids! 😛

  • Shilpa Garg

    I can relate to this completely. I had severe back ache last year and had to be on bed rest for a week or so. My son was home from his boarding school and between him and hubby, they took care of everything at home. Though the house wasnt as per my expectations but I didnt let that feeling grow and enjoyed their pampering and spent all the waking hours reading in bed. It was a blissful week. 😀

  • Ashvini Naik

    Ramya, I second you on everything that you said. Our falling sick is like some chain reaction. You fall sick, you can’t cook, you order food from outside & then by the time you’re fine, somebody else from the house gets sick out of the food. At least, it has been so with me,

    And I follow all the 4 points that you mentioned to do while we’re down. Especially letting kids know that we’re REALLY sick helps a lot. They empathize with your condition & that lets you accept some rest time as well. While it’s true that it leads to some menial anarchy in the drawing room & also in the cleaning domain, we deserve rest. Because less rest would only mean delayed recovery & harder things to expect.

    Loved your post!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Its tough indeed Ashvini. The home comes to a standstill and getting everything back to normal takes so much time. Much as kids show maturity, its difficult to keep them at bay away from you so that they dont catch the infection , coupled with the fact that they need to be managed. Sigh!

  • shanayatales

    Ah Ramya, I am so glad you are feeling better. Being sick is never fun, but all the more aggravating when you are a mom whose responsibilities don’t cease to exist when illness comes calling. Because let’s face it, in my teens, I used to not mind being sick as much – actually welcomed the occasional cold and fever, because that meant I could laze in bed all day reading books. Yes, I am a terrible, terrible person. 😛 Or I used to be at-least. 😀

    Now, I know that no matter how I feel, the show must go on, so I dread even small aches and pains. However, during such times, my husband takes over, and I always have him to rely on. So I can imagine how hard it must be to face these things single-handedly. That being said, you dealt with it like a champ, and even made the most of a bad situation. So kudos to you mommy!

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thanks Shantala for the warm words. Yes its increasingly diffcult when an illness strikes with two kids in tow. But then life has to go on and we need to find our own sweet ways isnt it!

  • Mayuri Nidigallu

    Not the best way to learn them, but these lessons are precious, Ramya. I am going to share this post with my sister who is a Twin Mom, she could learn a lot from it. Wishing you a fabulous July!

  • Natasha

    Letting go is more often than not the best option, as hard as it may sound. Good to know you took time off to recuperate and left “being in charge”, which does not comes easy to most of us women.
    Yes, kids love a change of routine. I agree with Rachna, maybe one day of the week could be “take it easy day.” Might work wonders for you and the kids both.

    Glad to know you are feeling better. Virals can be so draining.
    Here’s wishing you a wonderful rest of July. 🙂

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Letting go is difficult but there are situations we just need to force ourselves and do it. Its for the better and I have learn it the hard way that yes the kids need a no rules day!

  • Nabanita Dhar

    Oh I know what you mean. The entire household comes to a standstill when there is a sick mom at home. Makes you wonder how much work we moms do, doesn’t it?
    You did good and I loved your lessons. I hope you feel better and get back to good health but do take it easy.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Thanks Naba. i have often wondered why is it that we moms have oodles of responsibilities, and sometimes we just dont have a back up. But anyways, back to good health now and the routine gets going.

  • Rachna

    Yes indeed. I can imagine why the kids loved less discipline. 😊 Good to hear that you areare the now. Perhaps you can give one day on a week where you go easy, what say

    • Ramya Abhinand

      I guess so Rachna. Kids prefer the easy attitude on discipline. I must start giving them a weekly no rules day sort of thing!

  • Obsessivemom

    Aw I so completely get you Ramya being in pretty much the same boat, except that my children are a little older. The household goes topsy turvy. You’re so right about the kids too – curiously enough they don’t seem to worry much. It’s good in a way yet kind of upsetting too. Do get well soon.

  • Suzy

    Always good to take a break but probably not in this way. Still, sometimes bad things are blessings in disguise. Hope you are better now.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Yup Suzy. a break is always required. If one doesnt do it, I guess Life has its own hard way of making you realise.

  • Anagha Yatin

    Having gone through this kind of phase a handful of times, I could see my own reflection here Ramya.
    Those difficult times do make us take a moment at time and go on! And surprisingly children show great maturity and buffer up as the grown up!
    Loved this honest, from heart reflection.

    • Ramya Abhinand

      Yes Anagha it indeed becomes difficult. Much as the kids do show maturity, the home becomes a tough thing to manage.

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