Where's My Parenting-While-Barfing Trophy? HMM?
May 26, 2011
I'm up freakishly early for a West Coaster, and I've BEEN up for a while. That's what happens when you've been evacuating your stomach contents all night - sleep begins to feel otherwordly, out of reach, nigh impossible. I blame the children, of course. Molly caught herself some stomach bug, I think maybe at the doctor when we went to get her ears checked. Jack caught it a few days later and, LUCKY ME! It's my turn.
I sort of want to die.
Is there any run-of-the-mill, average Mom Job as terrible as having to take care of the kids when you're sick? Even with just a runny nose and a cough it's pretty rotten. I held out the best I could until yesterday afternoon when I begged my husband to come home. I didn't even bust out a sarcastic "AWESOME" when he said, cheerfully, that today was actually a GREAT day for him to take a sick day, as he had no big work deadlines, I just whimpered gratefully.
As I wait for the next round of communion with the bathroom, I'm thinking about my REWARD. Do you do this? Find yourself in parenting situations (or really, just LIFE situations) and tell yourself that if you survive, you totally deserve a trophy? Yes, well, on this early morning my trophies are looking like:
1. Day at the spa
2. Funky Etsy jewelry
3. Shoe shopping
4. A quiet house all to myself with a big stack of books.
HMM, WHICH SOUNDS MORE REWARDY?
The thing is, I don't deserve anything. I signed up for this gig, fully and willingly. And it's not like I wouldn't get sick if I didn't have kids (ALTHOUGH, I have to SAY, I get sick a lot MORE now that they're hanging around my house all the time.) I shouldn't feel like my husband is a superhero, because I'm not either. This is just what we have to do to take care of the kids, get through the days, and move on. Why am I always acting like I'm entitled to rewards (okay, SPARKLY PRESENTS) every time something curvebally gets thrown at me?
Maybe it's motivation? Maybe it just makes me feel better, or helps me find my sense of humor in the barfing. Sometimes I think I use talk of "where's my medal!" to make sure my husband knows this is super hard work, WORTHY of a medal. But come on now, he knows that. He was awake for all the times I dragged myself out of bed tonight and flung myself towards the bathroom door. (And dear God, please keep him healthy!)
I don't think this is a huge character flaw of mine or anything. I rarely follow through. My mantel is scandalously bare of my achievements. But I DO wish I had another way of coping, or another perspective. It's kind of like how het up people get about "push presents" on Twitter. I hear about a push present and I think, "HEY. That is an awesome excuse for a fancy new purse!" and then I sometimes think, "Eh, but don't EXPECT one." The folks on Twitter, obvs, have stronger-worded and much funnier opinions than mine. They also tend to fall in one camp or another, while I just sit here thinking, "Yeah... you shouldn't think you should get a reward, but wouldn't one be NICE?"