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Monday, October 13, 2008

Job Description: MOM

When I was pregnant with my 5-year-old, I had wonderful dreams of toting the baby around to stores, showing him off to anyone who would look, and singing him to sleep. For a while, that is how it was. No one warned me, however, that there would come a time when that dream would no longer be my reality.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. I finally took some vacation from work. Aaahh...wonderful vacation. So, I have been off work since the 2nd of October. We were away from the 3rd to the 9th and I tacked on a few extra vacation days at the end to just relax. Since we've been home from our trip, I have not stopped. Not even for a second. All 3 of the children (OK, 2 kids and 1 childlike husband) have been sick. The 2-year-old had a fever for 2 days and was miserable. Then my husband starts throwing up for 2 days straight. Then my 5-year-old catches that. He's a great sick person, never complains. But he's the "silent attacker". He woke us up in the middle of the night telling us that he was going to use the bathroom. OK, he never does that, so I knew something was up right there, but I stayed in bed anyway. Then he comes in to tell me that he wanted to sleep with us. Why, you may ask? Well, so did I and the answer was because he threw up in his bed. And ATTACK! So now I'm worried the rest of the night that he's going to throw up on me or in my bed, which will, in turn, cause me to start hurling. And I keep thinking about how I now have to strip his bed in the morning, on top of the mile long list of other things I have to do on my last day of "vacation". No sleep for me. So what else is new?

So today, my husband still cannot muster enough strength to do anything, really. It is day number 4 of this "illness" and he can still do nothing but sit on the couch watching TV. I can honestly say that in the last year I have literally taken 1 day off work for actually being sick, and I was in bed only a few of those hours. The remaining time I spent tending to the kids and the house because somehow me just being home is some sort of signal to him that he can do nothing. But I digress. I did 5 loads of laundry and put it all away, ran a bunch of errands, made lunch and dinner, played with the kids outside, emptied all the garbage cans (which were disgustingly full), vacuumed, talked to our insurance guy for a half hour, pulled together a week's worth of snacks for preschool this week, and straightened out our daughters Dr. appt. for which my darling husband wrote the wrong time in the calendar. Whew! So much for a vacation day!

Unfortunately, this type of chaos occurs any day I have off work. If I stayed home with the kids, these things would be done throughout the week, but since I can't be here, I have to do them when I am. I guess my job away from home is my second job, really. My first job is here, at night and on the weekends (and sick and vacation days, too). Not exactly what I dreamt about as a new mom all those years ago!