My last post was about caring for a sick toddler. Well, as soon as the toddler was feeling better, I got the toddler’s stomach bug. Luckily the toddler only had a mild version of the stomach bug but I was not so lucky. I don’t recall being that sick in a very, very long time.
The stomach bug hit me the Friday night, mid-bedtime story, of a weekend when my husband was out of town. While my toddler slept peacefully through the night, I was up sick the entire night and by the time he woke up, I was exhausted, weak and my whole body hurt. I was in no shape to take care of him that day, even though I had planned a fun filled day for us. My in-laws had told me just the night before to call them if I needed anything. So at 6:30 that morning, I sent a text letting them know how sick I was and asking if Slade could come to their house for a few hours that morning so I could get some sleep. Within 20 minutes they were at my house, which is quite impressive given that their house is at least 30 minutes from mine, picking up my son and whisking him away for the day.
I fell instantly asleep as soon as they left but when I woke up a short time later, I began to fell this tremendous guilt because I wasn’t spending the day with my son. I had planned a fun mommy-son day for us and now he was at his grandparents’ house and I was at home alone. I am frequently plagued by this “mommy guilt” that I don’t spend enough time with my son, which is probably made worse by the fact that I work full-time.
As I sat their feeling tremendously guilty, on top of terribly ill, it suddenly occurred to me that I should not feel guilty at all. All I did was ask for help and asking for help is not an admission of failure. I am not superwoman and most importantly, no one expects me to be. Everyone gets sick and it’s usually at the most inconvenient times. The reality is that no one is judging me but me. I am the one who allows myself to feel so guilty for missing a day with him. So when this mommy guilty sets in, I’ve realized that I need to remind myself that my son is very loved and very well cared for even though I am not by his side 24 hours a day. Instead of feeling guilty, I should be happy and thankful that I have family that live nearby and who want to have an active role in our lives, so much that they will drop everything they are doing to come get him, not only because they want to see him, but because they want to help me. And while I was at home feeling miserable, he spent the day with his grandparents having a lot more fun with them than he would have had at home with a sick mommy.
So my point is- don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs a little help now and then and it doesn’t make you any less of a mom.