This is going to be a totally poor me, pity party kind of post. So, if you aren’t in the mood to have an exhausted mom vent, then you better move along.
A few days ago was Halloween and we had fun plans. We were going to have a few family members over for dinner and trick-or-treating. The 6 year old wanted to decorate. We were going to make fun foods like Feetloaf and roasted pumpkin seeds. Her cousin was going to spend the night.
It was totally going to rock.
And then, I woke up about 2 a.m. Halloween morning with a deep barking cough. I had that annoying thing where I felt like I couldn’t clear my throat. I felt like someone was smashing my chest. I was running a fever. And, I knew we weren’t going to be able to have our Halloween gathering and I felt like shit about it.
A few hours later in a deep, raspy voice, I broke the news to the 6 year old as I tried to clear the foggy head feeling so I could form coherent sentences.
“I don’t think we should have people over tonight. I’m really sick and I don’t want to get anyone else sick. You can still go trick-or-treating with daddy though!” I told her, trying to still sound enthusiastic.
However, it didn’t work because she took one look at me and burst into tears of disappointment, which made me burst into tears.
I called my mom, who didn’t even recognize me because my voice was so raspy, and told her that we couldn’t have the Halloween party and that Ella was crying. Her response? “Bless her heart. Poor thing.”
I texted The Husband who was traveling. He also reminded me how disappointed the kid would be.
A few minutes later, I was standing outside in 36-degree sleeting rain on Halloween morning, untangling two dogs on their leash tie-outs, and crying the complete snotty ugly cry on the back deck between intermittent coughs.
I hate that parenting makes me feel like shit about myself and that I’m never, ever doing anything that is good enough.
I hate that when I’m this sick, I’m expected to just keep going, and then people get angry at me when I don’t take the time to go to the doctor. (Because, hello? When am I supposed to do that again when I can’t even raise my head off the pillow?)
I hate that there’s never empathy for being sick as the mom. Instead, there’s just an annoyed, “Go to the doctor!” before I can even get an entire sentence out about what’s wrong with me and how I’m feeling.
I hate that “checking on” a sick mom in our house means shoving open a bedroom door where I’m sleeping and shouting an exasperated, “How are things going in here?”
I hate that it never gets to be just about me, instead it’s how me being sick affects the kids’ plans or the poor traveling husband who has to pick up the slack at home.
I hate that no matter if I’m sick or if I’m well, I never, ever feel like I’m a good parent. I never feel like I get the support or the empathy that I need.
I homeschool. I run a business while I’m homeschooling. I’m the executive director of a non-profit while I’m running my other business and homeschooling. And, I do all of this while trying to be a single parent during the week and doing the home and pet stuff while volunteering and making sure my kid (mostly) gets to her extra-curricular activities. I think sometimes I deserve to have a pity party when no one gives an honest shit about how I’m doing. After all, if I didn’t take a moment to feel sorry for myself, who would?