Being sick stinks. And when you’re a mom and business owner, you can’t just call in sick and expect things to keep on running smoothly. On the home front, there are kids to take care of, meals needing fixing, and the minimal household chores that keep a home from falling into complete sloth. On the business front, there are meetings and appointments with clients — clients who expect to meet with you. And they don’t want your sick germs any more than your husband does.
Well, I have had the pleasure of being sick twice this winter — while pregnant. And the fun thing about being sick during pregnancy is that most “sick drugs” that help us adults plod through and carry on… those drugs are off limits. So I’ve had to resort to natural remedies, old wives’ tales, and those overrated concepts of sleep and rest.
The first time I was sick, I felt it coming on. But the holidays were coming too — and I wanted everything to be ready, to be done right. I didn’t want to drop the ball. So I didn’t slow down, I didn’t rest, I didn’t take a break or even ask for help. I attempted “mind over matter.” But it didn’t work. All it did was help my poor immune system get more stressed out, more run down, and less able to fight off the sick bug. I was probably sick for a good month. And my immune system was so worn out that that as soon as I started to feel better, the sick bug would get another wind.
So, when my son came down with a nasty cold this month, I did my best to stay healthy — but caught the bug anyways. I was a sick mom again. But this time, I didn’t want to a repeat. I took naps. Lots of naps. I tried to sleep in. I tried (tried!) to go to bed early. Healthy, immune boosting foods were a focus of my diet. I drank lots of liquids, plenty of a specialized herbal tea blend, and performed daily sinus rinses. I had a few terrible days. But not nearly as many as last time. I was tempted to plow through now once it felt like I was on the mend. But as I knew… as soon as I started pushing myself, I start to feel the sick bug attacking in full force.
This has been a lesson in asking for help, for admitting I can’t do it all, for letting others step in and take care of me. Yes, I’m a mom and a business owner. But I don’t have to be in charge all the time. Sometimes I need to be taken care of too. Sometimes, I have to tell my clients we’ll reschedule — because I don’t want anyone else getting sick. But, I still feel like I should be stronger, able to pull through and keep going. I have the utmost respect for those parents and adults who can make that happen.
It feels selfish and wishy washy to rest and “take it easy” instead of plowing through like the rest of the normal world. But with the added factor of being pregnant, you lose the option of relying on those sick drugs to help mom function normally. I have to take steps to prevent a body-wracking cough from hanging around. It’s ok to let my husband take care of me, make me meals, and ask him to come home early so I can rest. It’s ok to have my toddler entertain himself with his toys, or ask him to bring me a kleenex and refill my drink. My family is always willing to help — I only need to stop being stubborn, listen to my body saying I need help…and ask.
And the astounding thing, to me? No one was annoyed or frustrated about having to reschedule. I love my clients and friends! They are all so sweet.
I don’t really want to share any “sick mom” snapshots with you, so a sleeping toddler one will have to suffice. I think I napped as much as (if not more than) my son when I was sick. Go figure.
Some Resources For Staying Healthy (Not Sick!)
As I plodded through my sick mom experience, I pinned herbal and natural remedies to my “Health” board on Pinterest. You may find some of these pins equally useful 🙂
What About You?
What do you have trouble asking for help with? Are you stuck on trying to “do it all” like me? Does it drive you nuts when you can’t follow through with what you said you were going to do? Any go-to remedies you can share to cut short a cold?