It always comes on suddenly. It is early morning and I’m just waking up in bed. I open one eye and I already know. “Nooooooooo, I’m sick,” I quietly panic.

My head pounds and my nose is completely stuffed. My body aches all over and feels so heavy just getting out of bed. The baby was sick earlier in the week. I knew this would happen.

Moms get sick because we kiss the kids the most
My husband laughs, “You’re sick again?!” He almost never gets sick from the kids. That’s because he doesn’t hold their hands and hug them nearly as much. The kids don’t open mouth kiss him like they do me. I lay in their beds next to their sick bodies and caress their foreheads to soothe them to sleep. I’m completely hands-on  so when they get sick, I get sick later.

There’s never a good day to be sick
There’s laundry to fold. The house is a wreck. I have to sort the mail and break down the Amazon boxes. I have to clean the dishes from breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert. I can’t relax because toys are EVERYWHERE and giving me anxiety. I have to pack lunches and drop the kids off at school and practice. The list churns in my head and seems impossible.

Of course there’s almost no food in the fridge because today is grocery shopping day. I was looking forward to my lunch plans I had finally made with my friend. The one, small thing just for me which now I have to cancel. No, no, no, there’s no time to be sick!

Whatever we do to get through the day is okay
I give myself permission to simplify everything. The kids will skip practice. I’ll order dinner and they can watch TV all afternoon. Laundry will wait and we’ll use paper instead of dishes. That’s how it has to be because that’s all I can handle today.

I take a long, hot shower and put on something really comfortable. I find the expensive lotion tissues I’ve hidden since my last sickness. I splurge on an enormous, sweet, hot coffee. I need the caffeine. I do one thing at a time and only what’s absolutely necessary. I’m easy on myself.

Don’t be a hero. The most important thing is to just get through the day and get healthy asap. Because Moms can’t get sick (but it happens anyway)!

Christi Terjesen

Christi Terjesen is the mother of three lively boys in New York. She keeps her sanity through daily walks, expensive wine, and good books. Check out her blog, Mental Stimulation for Moms at, and her playground blog,