By Imma Dearest
Wouldn’t it be great if there were such a thing? I know something was mentioned about Family Leave in the State of the Union, but I haven’t watched it or read about it so I can’t comment. Presently, FMLA is quite a heap of compromise speak which doesn’t help much on any end of the spectrum. The bottom line is we are a capitalist society where people for the most part get paid to work. It would take a socialist society to pay people to raise children. Yet admittedly, our current system punishes working mothers for having children, forcing them back to work before they are ready and not paying them for any non-working time. I don’t have the answers. I’m just here to write a blog post for mostly stay at home moms who get sick. The whole situation is much harder for working moms, but I can’t even begin to get into that.
It begins with a sneeze. Or perhaps an extra trip to the bathroom. Uh oh, you think. Not now. Is there ever a good time? No, but rationality plays little part here. Survival mode has taken over; thinking mode has been put to sleep. All hands on deck to fight these invading germs. Time for orange juice or tea. Never mind that it’s like stopping a dam with a thumbtack. Desperation reigns supreme. Perhaps an earlier bedtime will help. For a change, you let the crumbs live on the floor rent free for a night while you go to bed the same time as the children…
No such luck. Coughs or multiple bathroom trips break up the night. Morning does not look promising….
You drag yourself up with the alarm to get as many children off to school as possible. If you have some home with you, the real dilemma comes to play. How to feed and entertain children using minimal energy. Cheerios for breakfast? Fine. In front of the TV? Even better. Cheerios for lunch? Iffy. In front of the TV? Getting a little boring. Cheerios for dinner? Nope, not having it. In front of the TV? Nope, still not having it. Jumping on the couch? Not so important anymore. Grabbing chocolate for a snack and eating it in their rooms? You hope for the best and try to remember to correct the situation when you can. Skipped baths? You grit your teeth and accept it. Not doing homework for the night? Par for the course.
Perhaps you have called in reserves: grandparents, spouses, neighbors, to help. Good for you. If only everyone could do this. If you haven’t, you just have to chalk it up to “one of those days”. Hashem, you ask, Please give me strength to care for Your children!
And you try to repeat the same steps as the night before, hoping for a different outcome: basic, healthy foods, early bedtime, etc. Two days in a row can be catastrophic. Resources are running low. You are out of Cheerios. Letting them spill it all on the floor wasn’t the best of ideas. Now it’s time for Facebook groups, supermarket delivery. Time to pull out an activity from your magical mom stash–most likely coloring, maybe playdough–to entertain the troops. Some outdoor time would be nice if you can drag yourself somewhere to sit and watch. Hopefully, naptime will follow for everyone followed by dinner of make your own sandwiches.
Wishing a refuah sheleimah to all the moms and other cholim.