The stomach flu destroyed our family this week, and I got to thinking there should be a blog in here. The first draft was a whiny complain-y, crappy blog. So I left it alone. Then I thought about explaining my experience and then I realized that any parent has likely already been there/done that/bought the t-shirt. (and washed it a million times)
So instead, I’ll go for “the stomach flu reminded me of what I’m grateful for”…
- I get to go to work. That’s right. I might be on way less sleep than I’d prefer. And I might have not been super appreciated yesterday (or been all that appreciative of others yesterday). But this morning when several kids were feeling better, and the husband wasn’t his normal self, and the 2 year old was in overdrive because she never got sick, and got plenty of sleep, I left. I kissed them all good bye and left. (Well, I took one to school because it was ridiculously cold again and she still has limited energy/zest for life, but she’s fine). I walked out the door knowing that I got to leave the house for 8 or so hours. And no one, but no one was going to ask me to do anything remotely disgusting. Plus, I work for a company where the people told me yesterday “they’d handle it” while I tried to handle the family. No criticism that I didn’t make it in or didn’t stay online all day. (I did try to do some work yesterday, but that went by the wayside very quickly).
- My washing machine works. It was dicey earlier in the year, but yesterday, we washed all bedding/sheets/clothes/towels/blankets/fabrics of any kind. If someone who was sick so much as looked at a fabric, it was washed yesterday. Which is to say that we did a crap ton of laundry. I honestly don’t know what we would have done if that wasn’t working. As the only adult well enough to go to the laundromat, and the only kid well enough was 2, it would have not ended well. Hooray for in house washing machines! (and dryers).
- My husband taking the dogs out twice a day. I take the dogs out in the morning, and then he and the girls get the dogs out once in the afternoon and he does their night routine. I’ve had to be out in the bitter cold doing more than I would like with my monsters (who may or may not be good listeners and smart enough to come in when they are done because it’s -10 before windchill). And while I love these monsters – I sure wish it wasn’t that freaking cold when I’m already cozy for the night.
- My kids’ and husband’s health. They are actually quite healthy. We’ve had few missed school days this year due to illnesses (particularly from the littles in school). We have had few missed opportunities of other activities due to illnesses. For me, my kidlets are so healthy it can really mess with our world when they get sick.
- My ‘baby’ is over 2. Because she’s not a baby, she’s more self sufficient. As a rule – that helps. She could sit at the table and eat dinner while I was caring for a sick sister, and grandma was cleaning something else, and daddy was on the floor in the bathroom. Bits was content to eat dinner for a bit by herself. Eventually we were dealing with her wanting down, but she could feed herself so the rest of us could do what needed to happen. I love my kids, but being out of the baby stage makes nearly everything easier. (We won’t discuss the terrible twos or terrifying threes in this context). Also – my older two ‘littles’ were able to do some of the work of being sick on their own, too. This stage is easier than the time of the stomach flu when they were 4 months, 2, and 5.
- And last, but certainly not least – my mom. My mom was physically present (although she probably wished she weren’t) for the worst of the sickness. She helped get dinner on the table and watched some children while I was dealing with others and/or while Mike couldn’t deal with them. She helped do laundry and clean the kitchen, and played with kids, and so forth. I just (selfishly) wish that Dad was also here. It was his job while I was growing up to deal with the stomach bugs, and I so wish that were true…
We are all better now. Peanut greeted me Friday with a big smile and “I feel great, Mommy!” This, this is how my mornings should start!