I've had a really hideous stomach bug for the past couple of days. I think it was Lynette on "Desperate Housewives" who said "Moms don't get sick days - we're like ER doctors!" Thankfully, I did get a sick day thanks to Isla going into nursery for an extra day and Paul coming home for the school run. I slept and slept and slept and started to feel a little more human yesterday.
I was on the sofa still feeling a bit ropey. Isla came up to me and asked, "All better?" I said no, my head hurts. "Awwww", she said. "Poor mummy," and pat my head. Mia rubbed my belly and Jack...well. He ran into the room wearing nothing but his Star Wars underwear and a cape shouting, "I'M CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS." Which did help me feel better, to be honest.
And then the next day, I was making school lunches, cooking supper, doing the dishes, putting dishes away, clearing up messes and back to business despite still being under the weather. I wasn't incapable, but not really up to it - but that's just what we do. I don't know any mother who can ignore all the jobs that need to be done, who doesn't have a persistent (unending) mental "to do" list, and who can ignore the screaming fights. We plod down the stairs with a head full of stabbing pain, in clothes we haven't had time to change out of for two days, mumbling something to the effect of "Please stop fighting because mummy's head is about to explode."
Paul always tells me to stop doing stuff when I'm unwell; just leave things for another time. But I can't. Once you've produced a child, some dormant gene switches on that forces you to do all the shit that pre-children you would have left until absolutely necessary. I remember resorting to eating off paper towels because I couldn't be arsed to do the dishes.
So tomorrow, give your old mother a break, will ya? Cook a meal, do the dishes, let her sleep past 6:00am. We don't want cards and flowers (okay, maybe a homemade card from the kids - they rock). I know some mothers are big on gifts and a Coach bag or two wouldn't go amiss, but me, I just want a day off and a bit of sleep. And quite a lot of wine.
(Of course all of this is moot because UK Mother's Day was in March. I've campaigned for 7 years to get both, however claiming cultural oppression hasn't worked so far.)