I never used to be ill.
I was one of those people for whom making it through a school year without taking a day off was both a source of pride, and a regular occurrence.
Then I had a baby.
I don’t know what has happened to me. Me, who was never ill; me, of the iron constitution. Suddenly, I am perpetually unwell. It’s like the lifeblood is being slowly drained from me through my breastmilk.
I have become known in our house as “Poor Mummy,” the name my own mother-in her sixties and yet apparently far more invincible than I-persistently uses to refer to me in front of Piglet.
“Don’t climb on your Poor Mummy’s head. She’s got a cold.”
“Granny will read you a story tonight. Poor Mummy needs to recuperate from FEEDING YOU ALL THE TIME.”
“YOU’RE WEARING YOUR POOR MUMMY OUT! It’s about time you stopped breastfeeding like a tiny baby. Here, have a biscuit.”
It is of course laudable that my mother, like a warrior protecting her young (even if the “young” concerned is actually in her mid-thirties), quickly jumps to my defence if I am being battered over the head by a toddler while he laughs hysterically and picks up a toy car, mobile phone, TV remote or other useful projectile and aims it at my face, but I don’t want to be Poor Mummy. I want to be Invincible Mummy; Mummy of Great Strength and Power, Mummy in Rude Health.
Except that I’m not. I am yet again pathetically ill with a ridiculous toddler ailment. This time it is hand, foot and mouth disease.
Apparently this is different to the one that afflicted farmyards up and down the country a few years back and led to vast swathes of the countryside being cordoned off while the carcasses of sheep and cows burned in huge great funeral pyres all over the television.*
Although if the local population find out that I inadvertently attended a toddler group yesterday whilst symptomatic (I DIDN’T REALISE UNTIL HALFWAY THROUGH I SWEAR, and then I saw the spots popping up all over my hands, and was like I am dying, I might have some terrible hand disease and my hands might go all gnarly and fall off, and oh my God what is happening to me, and WHAT’S WITH THIS SORE THROAT I CAN’T SPEAK, and argh, argh, argh. And by that time it was too late to turn back, and I had already been socialising with small children for thirty minutes and HAD TOUCHED A PUZZLE TOY AND EVERYTHING) then they may well decide that I need to be put down, as I am INFECTIOUS. And to cap it all off, I spent over two minutes of that toddler group on my phone, googling symptoms, and now they probably all think I am a terrible mother who sits around having conversations on Whatsapp with her airhead friends about Kim Kardashian’s latest beef with Taylor Swift or whatever, while her child runs riot and goes around hitting other children for attention because his Poor Mummy won’t give him any, because PHONE.
Eventually, on the insistence of my mother, I went to the doctor, my mother being convinced that I had some terrible chronic condition like anaemia, M.E or some Other Mysterious Illness that also last week caused me to throw up once on holiday after eating a slightly too-large dose of cream tea. Reluctant to waste any more of the National Health Service’s precious time and resources, I resisted for as long as I could, before conceding that it might be a good idea to check that I wasn’t going to accidentally kill off all the local old and vulnerables with my virulent pestilence. Obviously the safest way to ensure this was by sitting in the GP surgery’s waiting room for forty minutes flicking through a magazine on English Country Interiors, trying not to cough or sneeze on all the local old and vulnerables as they sat around me waiting for their appointments. Luckily, the doctor assured me that no one was likely to be harmed by catching hand, foot and mouth disease, and although I may be a walking biohazard, I am at least one that doesn’t pose an immediate danger to the elderly, pregnant or newborn.
And so I returned home, relieved that I didn’t have anything too serious, ready to spend the next week at least having my mother whisk Piglet away from every kiss, cough or attempt to eat my breakfast. Poor Mummy better not give you what she’s got.
*This probably happened in the Real Life Countryside too, but I wouldn’t know as I didn’t venture out there. You never know what you might catch.
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24 Comments Add yours
I think it’s just a fact that after having children our bodies are never the same. I have aches and pains that I wouldn’t think I’d have until well into my 60’s and 70’s. Hope you are better! I’m visiting from #coolmumclub.
Oh dear! No, still suffering with the spots, but they are pretty mild so I can’t really complain.
I am exactly the same – I used to have just coughs and colds but could soldier through and hardly ever took a day off sick at school. Since having Georgia it’s like lurgy central. I seem to have the immunity of a girl who’s lived in a bubble all my life. Anyway, I hope you feel better soon x #triballove
Yes, what is it about having a baby that suddenly makes us susceptible to everything? I can understand the kids getting ill, but most of the time Piglet is fine and it’s me who’s ill! Hopefully the pestilence is on its way out. Put it this way, I feel well enough to have a little glass of wine tonight so that’s a good sign.
I sometimes wonder if I’m ill all the time or just REALLY REALLY knackered. What if I’m actually very sick and I’m just so rock hard I don’t even stop to notice? In reality I think I probably need to sit down more, eat more, drink more water (less coffee) and accept my case of knackered-Mum is terminal 😉
Great to have you at #coolmumclub – get well soon! (Until the next ailment!).
This is exactly how I feel. My mum is convinced that there is something seriously wrong with me and I am in denial. I think I just need more sleep, and possibly less coffee! See you again soon at #coolmumclub
This is so true – I used to be so much stronger pre-baby too and would have to be lying on the bathroom floor unable to get up before I called in sick at work. And now it’s eyes streaming, sniffly nose and sore throat pretty much all year round! Hope you feel better soon xx #coolmumclub
Thanks. It’s been one thing after another, so just hoping Piglet doesn’t catch it now!
Sick days are the worst when you have kids – no fun at all…
They certainly are! Thanks for commenting.
Haha this is so me! I seem to be forever battling against some mysterious nursery virus every other month. Still it does make you realise just how crap they must feel when they are ill! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely xx
Thanks for hosting and commenting! Yes it’s definitely the nursery that does it-they just catch everything going, and then pass it on to me!
I went through this for the first 18 months after both my kids were born. Caught everything going. Then just when you start to feel like yourself they bring home all the bugs from school and you get them too. Hope you feel better soon. x Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics
Thanks-I am better now thank goodness. Until the next one strikes! Thanks for hosting and commenting.
Oh dear! My sister got hand, foot & mouth a couple of years back too. It seems to be one of those illnesses having a revival! I hear about it all the time now, but until about 3 years ago had never heard of anyone having it (who wasn’t a sheep!)
Thanks so much for linking up with #FridayFrolics. Hope to see you next time!
Same-my mother’s view on it was “well I haven’t heard of that and neither have our relatives so it must not be a real thing!”
Argh it’s so rubbish being ill Min, and feeling unwell. I really feel for you. I think once we have kids our immune systems are completely battered with lack of sleep, and their germs constantly being around you all the time. I’m glad that it’s nothing serious. Since my little girl started nursery 4 weeks ago, I have had tonsilitis and a stomach bug. On my first week in work I was only in the office for 2.5 hours. How terrible is that, but it can’t be helped! It just goes to show that we need to make to most of the time when we feel better. Thanks so much for sharing a second post at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x
Yes, I definitely felt for you too when you were ill recently. It sounds like you’ve had a very similar experience to me. I haven’t had loads of time off work this year, but I’ve definitely had noticeably more than I had before having a baby, and I’m sure sleep deprivation has a lot to do with it because my immune system is shot to pieces. Oh well, this too shall pass! And foot and mouth wasn’t too awful-at least there was no throwing up involved and I could still eat!
Since having kids I think I’m actually I’ll less often…although my state of “well” these days is at a much lower level. I now function in a state of “a bit meh” all the time. Sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for!
Thanks for linking up with #chucklemums x
It certainly does. Motherhood makes you power through a lot of the time when otherwise you would be lying in bed clutching your head!
If I could just sleep – i’d never succumb to any horrible lurgy illnesses. I seem to forever be on the cusp of getting something, constantly just “a bit run down”. I miss my robust immune system of youth! Glad you’re not tooooooooo sickly, thank you for linking to #Chucklemums xx
Yep that’s pretty much how I feel. It’s definitely the sleep deprivation that’s responsible! Thanks for hosting and commenting.