I've been sick for going on three weeks now. It started as a simple cold, blossomed into bronchitis, infected the rest of the family, and is still stubbornly hanging on.
I've gone through all the prescriptions I've been given by my doctor, and am now trying to do the classic 'rest and drink plenty of fluids' thing.
But the thing is, I'm a Domestic Goddess by profession. And Domestic Goddesses don't get sick days.
We just had to hunker down for a little Frankenstorm you may have heard of called Sandy. Not knowing what to expect, my sick husband and sick me had to tag-team taking care of our sick children (who still--somehow--have disturbing levels of excess energy) and stock up on all the essentials in case we lost power for a few days. It turned out to be unnecessary as we never actually lost our power, but we couldn't have known that beforehand, so we had to scramble around.
And the kids still need help getting ready in the morning. Naomi needs a clean diaper and help getting dressed, and Spencer needs help reaching the big-boy-underwear in his top dresser drawer. Cereal doesn't put itself into bowls, nor does juice pour itself into sippies.
Peanut-butter sandwiches don't make themselves, and proud announcements of "Mom, look what I just made with my blocks!" need to be responded to. So do custody battles over those same blocks, which, apparently, aren't quite plenteous enough for two children to share.
Halloween doesn't care that I promised to make the kids' costumes back when I was feeling a lot better, so red shirts with large white circles labeled "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" needed to be sewn today.
Nobody's going to get better without a healthy diet, so the cooking had to be done. And then the dishes because, even though Mommy's sick, so is Daddy, and of the two, Mommy's actually doing a little better.
And a certain two-year-old knows she's turning three in a week, and knows that birthdays include parties, cake, and presents, and I can't bear to disappoint her with the words, "Sorry, Sweetie, Mommy doesn't feel well."
Don't get me wrong; I'm not SuperMom. I'm in my PJs right now not because I got ready for bed early but because I never bothered getting dressed this morning. My dining room floor crunches when you walk near the kids' chairs, and I expect it to continue to do so until I spit-shine the house in preparation for whatever passes for Naomi's birthday party. I called in sick to my unit of Clinical Pastoral Education last week, and I have no idea if I'll be able to make an appearance there tomorrow. Whatever is not absolutely necessary is simply not getting done right now.
But that still leaves an awful lot. The work to turn a house into a home never ends, regardless of how I feel, but that's my job. And despite the occasional minor discomforts and struggles, living in a home where everyone knows they're loved and cared-for is well worth it.