“Are you feeling better,” a coworker asked me this morning?
“Um, I’m OK. I kind of have to be better. You know, motherhood,” I said. Smile.
On Thursday I was in the fashion closet showing my editors all of the clothing I pulled for a big shoot down in Miami. That’s when I cupped my hand over my mouth and ran out of the closet. I puked and returned to the closet. I continued the showcase, but left another three times. Once the shoot was packed and my work was done I left early and dove under my covers. I set the alarm for 5 PM and cringed thinking about having to get JD from school, but there was no one this time, to help. I needed to be a mom until at least 8 PM.
When I got to his school, his teacher asked me if I was OK and I told her I had the stomach flu. I guess my baggy sweats, pale face and floppy hat gave it away. I rushed JD home, made him some pasta and peas and sat with him while he ate. I told him I was sick and he needed to take a quick shower. He was genuinely concerned and didn’t put up a fight. “Are we going to the doctor?” he asked. We sat on the couch and watched Batman. I told him we had to skip books because Mommy was ill and needed to rest. He was so understanding and cooperative. Pretty sure this is because I cried and puked and he found me in the bathroom hugging the bowl. “Mommy’s belly hurts, but it’s OK,” I said. But it wasn’t OK. I feel hopeless and helpless when I’m sick and alone with JD. I wonder, Will this feeling ever go away? I’m a baby when I’m sick. But something that makes things a tad easier? I'm on a team. For a long time now, I've pounded into JD's head we are in fact a team. It's me and you, bud and we need to work together. Sure, I have fam and friends, but this weekend is an example of single motherhood at its finest.
In the morning I didn’t feel much better, but I found the strength to pack JD’s lunch and drive him to school because it meant I could drink gingerale and sleep all day—something I’ve found is the only cure for the stomach flu—and that is truly what my body needed. Rest. I wasn’t better by the time I picked him up—puking did cease and we ate soup together that evening. I was able to read to him and when he begged to sleep in my bed, I just let him. I couldn’t fight. I didn’t want to make him cry and leave him in his room. We both fell asleep by 9 PM.
I felt somewhat normal the next day, but only because I had no choice but to see the weekend through. I had no help. All of my family were busy and my friends have kids of their own, so no one wants pukey germs around them. We laid low, watched movies and played games. It was an early night yet again. On Sunday, I was feeling better than Saturday, so I took JD to an indoor playground and let him run and play (like a puppy released from a cage!)—and I even found the strength to slide down the green slide with him—three times! Iiiiiyiii iiiii! (Yes, we basically bathed in antibacterial gel when we got home.)
That’s the thing about being sick when you’re a mom. You have to carry on. So I did. And knock on wood, JD didn't get sick.