Recently all three of my kids and myself contracted a stomach flu. I won't go into the gory details (chances are, as a parent yourself you already know them anyway), but just know by the end of it all I felt like I'd been hit by a Mack truck and there were copious amounts of laundry to wash. Meanwhile, my languishing "to-do" list grew as I went over it and over it in my head, while laid up in my bed moaning. Sometimes our bodies tell us we just have to give in, and for me, this was one of those times.
Many parents would have a partner to help them in this situation, but I was on my own. I am recently divorced and handling these types of situations is solely up to me now. My kids are not babies anymore, however they are not yet old enough to drive the store for ginger ale and crackers. And when sick, they still need their Mommy.
Being a single mother presents many challenges and is something I never expected to be categorized as in my lifetime. I am pretty sure no one ever does. When you first start going at this parenting gig on your own, it can be quite daunting. However, I've known from the moment I became a "single mom", it was a title I was simply going to have to own.
So, I cleaned up after the kids (and myself), went to the store in a sick haze for things we all needed and did all the laundry, all the while thinking, "this too shall pass." Once we were all feeling better my daughter, age 7 said, "Mom, those were the worst 2 days of my life." I simply nodded and we both smiled in happy agreement they were over.
I'm not sure how much my kids will remember of those few days where we all laid in my king-sized bed together, floating in and out of sleep, hoping to feel better sooner than later. Honestly, I hope they can forget how sick they felt and just recall that we spent time resting and recovering and that family, though not always picture perfect, can still be close. And that in actuality, they were not the "worst" days after all.
No matter if there is a husband in the house or not, I am their mother and always will be and it is my job to take care of them to the best of my ability. And even though it took a stomach bug (and no, I would not do it over again!) to bring us closer for a bit, I am thankful. I am always so very grateful to have these kids in my life and to be with them through all of their ups and downs.
Even when it means three times the laundry...