5 Reasons Being Sick Sucks When You’re a Stay at Home Parent

I’m sick. I’ve got some kind of head/stomach cold. Luckily, this is my first time with a semi-serious sickness as a stay at home mom. The worst part of being sick is feeling awful, of course. But, as a stay at home parent, there are some other things that make being sick extra special.

1) There’s no such thing as rest.

My husband came home from work early once I started throwing up to take care of the baby and terrible dogs so that I could rest. But even when I laid down, there was still a lot of baby/pet related action going on. Nick is a great dad and is completely capable of taking care of Zo and the dogs without any intervention on my part. But I think that our dependents must be romantics at heart because if we’re both home, separate activities are not acceptable.

Between someone playing and two dogs cavorting, there was no rest for me.

2) The neighbors get to see me at my best.

I feel like poo, so there’s no way I’m getting dressed.  I’ve been lurking around the house in gross pajama bottoms and a robe for the past three days. Every time the dogs go out, I like to stare down any one walking by. Why, yes, that is me yelling at my dog to hurry up and pee. Yes, it’s 2:30. No, I won’t be wearing real pants any time soon.

I’m sure this will cement our reputation in the neighborhood in a positive way.

My mouth is open so I can breathe.

My mouth is open so I can breathe.

3) Everyone else still needs to be taken care of.

Zoey doesn’t stop needing attention, love, and to have her bum wiped because I’m sick. The dogs still want to play, the house still gets dirty, and Nick still deserves to talk to an adult human being when he comes home at night.

All of that takes energy that I just don’t have when I’m not feeling my best.

4) Feverish determination

I bought Zoey a kitchen play set for Christmas this year (a post for another week) and I chose my sickest days to start putting it together. Stymied by IKEA-esk directions under the best of circumstances, I sat on the guest room floor staring at the directions for Step One for about two hours before I sadly announced to Nick that there was no way we could put the kitchen set together.

Turns out fever and building just don’t mix.

5) The sense of foreboding.

Almost worse than being sick myself is the sense of foreboding I have about who will get sick next. After working in schools for years, I’ve gotten used to the idea that sickness will travel through the household. Right now it’s only me, but I’m sure the terrible illness is germinating in someone else right now. As soon as I feel better, someone else will be struck down.

I’m on the mend, but it’s taking way longer than it used to take before I had Zoey. I just hope she’s not next on the sickness list.

Becky Duquette

About Becky Duquette

Becky is a stay at home mom to Zoey, her family's pack of dogs, and several cats who is rediscovering what it means to be a Mainer.