Yesterday the doctor diagnosed me with sinusitis. “Rest,” she said, “If you can.” We both started giggling.
She knows there is no rest destined for me.
You see, my son is also ill—tonsillitis and a viral infection on top of that. He’s missing his first tournaments and games for the under-9 hockey A-side. He’s been sidelined for a week. So he trumps me. He’s losing more this week than I am.
But that’s the thing.
My children, my husband, my home, my work—they always trump me.
I’m not asking for sympathy. Not at all. These are choices I have made. I want to be the mom who does everything. I want to be at their games, the keyboard concert, the school outing. I want to be the one who nurses them back to health. And in order for me to do that, I need to lead the life I do.
My morning has been a flurry of cleaning the kitchen, packing away the laundry I folded last night, making a saline mixture to nebulise my son with (I discovered that our store-bought saline was gone this morning), sterilizing the nebulizer parts, administering antibiotics and meds, taking his temperature, remembering to take my own antibiotic and meds, putting a new load of washing in, paying attention to my husband while he explains what he needs me to do to help him on his website today, messaging family and work, replying to emails, sending doctors’ notes to the relevant parties at school.
And then my cat moans at the door.
She’s an old girl. I let her in (the dogs are at the back so the house is tranquil for old ladies). She has a nasty wound behind her ear. It’s healing (I’ve been putting antiseptic ointment on it and keeping a close eye), but this morning I see she has scratched the scab away.
So, while being genuinely anxious about my day, I sit on the floor.
A surgical glove on one hand, an antiseptic swab ready with the other, gloveless hand to give her some cuddles and scratches while I help her.
Because that’s what I do. That’s what women do. That’s what moms do. We sit on the (unswept) floor in our slippers and PJs to help others.