Before having kids, being sick meant taking a day or two off work, foraging in the fridge for whatever I could handle the thought of eating, sleeping for ages, maybe even reading a book or watching a DVD or two as the fog of being unwell cleared away.
Not these days.
I'm still not feeling great. I've been mildly unwell for several days, but yesterday afternoon my sore throat and stuffy head took a nosedive into something more full-on. As in struggling to move off the couch, unable to face the thought of the afternoon round of jobs kind of sick. And Rowan was sick too. As in not keen to feed, constantly whingeing and miserable kind of sick.
The difference between being sick before kids and being sick now is that somehow, you still need to keep functioning so the rest of the family can stay afloat. When I finally summoned the strength to get outside to bring the washing in yesterday afternoon (three days worth because we're catching up from being away over the weekend, and a lot of it needing the tumble dryer), Rowan pulled the folded up playpen over on top of him while he was crawling around exploring and whingeing. He needed a lengthy cuddle to sort that out, plus another few minutes to offload him onto one of the bigger kids to stop him from getting into anything else. Having to put some kind of semi-healthy meal together for all the less sick people still had to be done even though most food is tasting like cardboard to me at the moment. Fortunately my husband arrived home from work as the dinner was almost ready to put in the oven, so he could take over with the evening routine (much appreciated, Chris, if you're reading!).
It's hard to stay patient when your head feels like it's about to explode. Not that it's all that easy for me even when I'm not sick. But that pre-kids ability to crawl off into the cosy cave under the doona and recover is a distant memory now. Now if I'm lucky enough to manage to get into bed when I'm sick to start with, I'm likely to be clinging the whole time to the 8 month old's ankle to stop him escaping. And keeping an ear out for what the two year old might be getting into.