Friday, November 3

My Mother the Charity?

When I was a kid, my mom bought me a book entitled The Sick of Being Sick Book. It was one of those paperback collections of silly things to do when you're home sick and bored with staying in bed. I thought it was great fun at the time.

Now I need a different book. Maybe The Sick of Having to Take Care of Other Sick People Even When I Feel Sick Book. Or perhaps The Sick of Having My Daughter Shy Away from Me When I'm Trying to Wipe Her Nose Book. How about The Sick of Not Having Sick Pay and Holidays Book?

Motherhood isn't really a job. It's more of a charitable contribution. At a job, you have pay, benefits, and holidays off. Not to mention merit raises and retirement plans. But charitable gifts by their very definition do not allow for tangible compensation.

I'm not complaining, exactly. I knew what the deal was when I signed on. No days off. I get it. I just didn't realize how demoralizing no days off can truly be.

To quote Huey Lewis and the News:
    I need to change my disposition
    Change my point of view
    I need time to figure out what I want to do
    Believe me when I tell you it gets a little rough
    We work a little harder but it never is enough
    I'm not afraid to say
    I'm a total loss
    All I want is a couple days off
Unfortunately, the best we're able to do in our house at the moment is a couple hours off at a time. Which is nice, while it lasts. But...all too quickly it's over and there I am back to being Mommy again.

Please tell me, all you moms of more than one child, how do you manage with two or three or six sick kids? When you're getting over being sick yourself? And you're husband is just coming down with it? And you need to get away, but there is no away to be gotten? And why is it don't they pass out medals for this? Or at least let you take it off your taxes?

Motherhood is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. "No goods or services were received in consideration of this gift." Sounds about right to me. Now where do I go to incorporate?


  1. somehow you just get through it. I have 4, and 3 have asthma-we have a nebulizer machine. It's a war zone when I am going from child to child doing treatments. (and my husband is the biggest baby of them all!) somehow you just do it. And one day, as you are somehow (grace rained down on me-it wasn't me) but somehow you are cleaning up your son and his bed that is covered in diarhea...and it's 2 a.m. and he is crying and you are being calm and gentle, and he says to you "I know I'm going to be a good daddy someday cause you are a good mommy and you show me" and you feel like you have just been crowned. I just tell myself that it is only a season, and it will all be different someday.
    that, and I hide in the bathroom alot...or take off for starbucks when I can.

  2. Amy--the good news with a family of 8 is that we're USUALLY not all sick at once (with the exception of that Christmas Eve two years ago, but we don't like to talk about that). So there's usually someone able to take care of everyone else, or to stay home with the younger ones. And now we have teenagers too, who can serve in that way. The last time I was really sick, my daughter took over and brought me hot chicken noodle soup in bed!

    But ya gotta put in your time wiping those noses as they dash by...and when your daughter is older--teach her how to heat up canned soup! I'll bet she can do it in another 5 years!

  3. Hen & Jenny,

    Thanks for your encouragement! I know (somewhere in the back of my head) I can do it when I have to. But it's so hard to imagine when just dealing with one is already such a challenge.

    Teaching her how to heat up a can of soup, huh? As soon as she's tall enough to reach the stove....


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