I’m sick. Technically, a doctor would announce that a germ of some description has entered my body and that my immune system is in full response mode. I’m pretty sure it’s your common garden variety cold or flu-type bug, that inhabited my 2 year old the week before.
She got lots of mummy & daddy cuddles and one day off childcare. Today, I ran errands, braved the school uniform shop, did the school run, tamed my Inbox, visited my parents & wrangled the kids into bed by myself. Then I happily collapsed on the couch to watch some recorded TV. That 40mins was as still as I’d been the whole day and I was quite happy to not be washing, tidying or even ‘social mediaing’. Until this blog post started to fester and here I am now in my study at 9:30pm to get it out of my head.
You see, this isn’t a post about the brave warrior mum who soldiers on regardless and pushes aside her own needs. It’s more an observation of that warrior spirit in some people, mother or not.
Even before children, I put progress before rest. I can’t count the number of days I’ve battled through a day at work with tissues & watery eyes. Yes, completely selfish I know, spreading around all those germs. But at some point in my life, maybe once I started working, a switch flipped in me that said a day in bed or a day watching TV on the couch was a waste of a day, even if I was surrounded by tissues. There’s no progress in that, only things to miss out on and more things to catch up with the next day.
Now, I’m not asking for a medal. This is not a bleeding heart story about how selfless us mothers are, or how there’s no such thing as ‘womanflu’. In a spare moment I throw my arms around my husband and say “I’m sick, I’m achy and I’m tired and this is no fun.” So he tells me to go to bed. And I think of all the things I won’t be able to do. And I get back on my computer.
I’m debating whether this attitude is a weakness or a strength. I’m the first to command others to stop and rest when they are feeling run down, yet I hardly ever take my own advice. The funny thing is that the world won’t stop if I do, for a minute or even a few hours. This is demonstrated perfectly when a migraine renders me useless and I do retreat into sleep. But I just seem to have this thing about not letting colds and flus beat me. It’s an attitude. And my husband is the only person that I’ll admit to how I’m really feeling.
He himself is the polar opposite of the manflu sufferer. He hardly ever gets sick and has an amazing ability to push through when he does. He does have the weight of our business on his shoulders which is a powerful motivator.
I’ve known some people who take to their bed at the slightest sniffle or sore tummy. Are they missing the warrior spirit or are the actually way more sensible than me? In this ‘busy busy’ society, do they actually have it right in terms of stopping and looking after themselves? Probably, yes.
But I just don’t know that I could relax into days of bed rest. How about you?