Actually, she can...
(While there are many single-parenting families or reversed situations where dad takes on more of the roles mentioned below, this article refers specifically to families where mom is the driving-force behind the general, everyday routine while dad is at work.)
Read more: Pregnant with the flu
Flu shots safe for pregnant moms
It’s flu-season again, (when is it not flu-season?)
As spring approaches, allergies turn to colds, colds turn to flu and before you know it, everyone at home, at the office and at the malls is coughing and splattering with little or no consideration for those around them.
Your child comes home with a cough and within minutes he’s fast asleep for the rest of the afternoon and you worry that this will affect his night-time routine, or if you should wake him up in time for supper.
The next day is followed by a phone-call from his sibling’s school receptionist asking you to come and collect your other child who’s also not well.
Your partner comes home that night, pale, glassy-eyed and incapable of doing anything for himself, never mind for you and the kids.
Sings, " All by myself "
And there you are, standing over the kitchen-sink with a stack of dishes, a load of washing behind you, a husband who’s man-down and calling to you to bring him a med-lemon and you have no idea whether or not you’ll be getting any sleep that night, (because you’ll have to keep checking on your youngest whose temperature keeps spiking).
You know that moaning and complaining about it to everyone at home isn’t going to help the situation and instead you go into autopilot-super-mommy mode and get everything done as quickly as possible, hoping that the rest of the household is able to function in their sleep, without needing you. (Sigh, if only they knew just how much you had managed to get done, all on your own while being a full-time-nurse to your kids and husband.)
I’m aware that there are Super-dads too in some families, but let’s face it; most households can’t fully-function as per normal without mom.
Meanwhile, your immune-system is being held at gun-point by Jeremy-the-Germ. You haven’t even realised yet that your own health is being compromised and that you’re now starting to come down with something yourself. You carry on, cleaning, medicating your loved-ones, running back and forth between the kid’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and hubby’s man-flu cave, (please don’t stone me for calling it man-flu).
Mom gets sick (and refuses to admit defeat)
When you wake up the next morning feeling and looking like you’ve been dragged through a bush backwards, you can’t help but think how desperately you need a lie-in or a few more hours of rest. Not happening. Your youngest child’s temperature hasn’t come down and your eldest has come out with a rash...Dad’s man-flu has become real-flu, (please don’t stone me for suggesting that man-flu isn’t actual flu), and you have a meeting that you can’t miss after lunchtime.
This is the point at which most moms carry on, and put themselves through the torment and self-neglect that mothers seem to think they have to do in order to not lose credibility as a mom. Stop. You’re going to break out in Shingles or an early onset of menopause if you think you’re going to be able to carry on like the mom from The Incredibles.
It’s OKAY to ask for help
And also to say thank-you to those brave enough to step in and take on your underestimated and endless tasks.
For some reason, moms seem to struggle to admit that they're not coping or that they could actually really do with an extra pair of hands, or better yet, someone to come and take the kids out for a few hours while you catch up on some sleep. Don't be too proud to ask a friend, your mum or your mother-in-law (she's always wanted the spotlight) for help.
When you get the chance, pop a Corenza or whatever you need to combat your symptoms and switch off from the duties and responsibilities of motherhood for a while. It's amazing what an hour or two of rest will do for you. It might even cure you completely!
If you can't find someone to take over from you with the kids, ask someone to help out with some of your errands or things that will help free up some time so that you can have a nap instead of run around while the kids are sleeping off their colds or flu.
At what point do you call in for back-up?