I really hate it when my kids are sick. I mean, obviously no one likes it, but I have a really hard time with it. It's about a thousand times better now that I stay home with the kids...at least there is not the added stress of missing work time and not knowing how long to anticipate it lasting. I don't have to worry about when I can fit in doctors appointments and whether I'll have to take even more time off for follow up appointments. That? That was worse.
Both kids are sick right now. It's no great surprise; three weeks into a whole new batch of germs at two different schools. So far it's nothing terrible either, just snot and coughs. Brighton's been waking up 2 and 3 times a night and requiring my presence to go back to sleep. My neck is developing a permanent crick from sleeping on her stupid Cinderella pillow. Not to mention it's reinforcing her inability to put herself back to sleep alone in the middle of the night (which has been going on awhile now). I felt like a zombie this morning and wondered how in the world I made it through two infancies.
It's partly the extra whininess and neediness when they don't feel well. When I don't even have the night to myself to recharge, the day feels like one endless need for my attention. Today is the first day both kids have needed to miss school and I resigned myself to the fact that we were in the house for the day. It hasn't been terrible and I've gotten a lot of laundry done in between putting on movies and fetching cups of juice. But now, at 5:00, I'm sick of the sound of kids' shows, everyone is feeling a little ratty and cooped up and the thought of having to do this again tomorrow is seriously unappealing. One day without leaving the house is my preferred limit.
It's partly the fact that routine goes out the window. To say I thrive on routine would be an understatement. When kids are sick, though, they sleep different hours, don't feel like eating, and are less capable of entertaining themselves while I do what I need to do to keep our lives running. Without the natural framework of the day it just feels endless.
Mostly though, it's because I worry. For two straight years, every cold Pacey had turned into a waiting game to see whether or not it would send him to the hospital. It felt like every illness lasted a minimum of a week; 24-hour viruses (even the stomach ones) just didn't exist. It's hard to get away from that creeping dread when I hear him start to cough. His lungs are so much healthier now and his airways bigger and more fully functional, he can handle your average virus much better. Still though, my head goes immediately to the worst case scenarios that were a reality during that time and I have a hard time trusting that we're past it.
Thank goodness for medicine - especially now that he's old enough that I can be trusted to give him over-the-counter meds to keep him comfortable. Thank goodness for health insurance and the ability to see doctors virtually whenever we need to. Thank goodness my second child was born full-term and doesn't have to face the same issues with her immune system and lung function. I'm grateful not to be worrying about all the work I'm not getting done while I'm home with the kids and how hard it will be to catch up again. I know how lucky I am, but I still hope this illness is short-lived and that we make it through this flu season relatively unscathed.
* Note to self: get the kids in for flu shots next week!!!