Thursday, December 2, 2010

I Think They Call It a Phobia

Well, I think it’s pretty clear from yesterday’s post that I am no candidate for Mother of the Year.

I guess I wouldn’t be up for Nursemaid of the Year, either. Yesterday my family let me know, in no uncertain terms, that when someone is sick around here, I’m not . . . how shall we put it? . . . the most compassionate person in the house.

B was sick yesterday. He probably takes one sick day a year, and yesterday was it. He has had a terrible cold for well over a week (and does he go to the doctor as his loving wife would suggest? Hmmmmm? No. But I digress.), but the worst part was that he put his back out on Monday. So he not only was dealing with a pretty nasty, hacking cough, but also experiencing back pain every time he coughed up a lung, which is how it sounded.

Let’s just say the guy was a mess.

So I did what every good nursemaid should do. I went upstairs to check on him. A couple of times. I patted his leg and asked if he needed anything. I administered ibuprofin. I brought lunch.

But did I hang around? No sirree. I have a thing about being around sick people. Let’s just say it’s hard for me.

B does not understand this, though, because later in the evening he and the girls ganged up on me. They all stood around the kitchen telling “Mom” stories about how I’ve let them down MORE THAN ONCE when they’ve been sick.

Apparently B needed a little more nurturing.

And Maggie just had to bring up that time last year when she woke up not feeling well, but I made her go to school anyway. (My sister was visiting and we had places to go. Don’t judge.) But before I could make my escape, the school nurse called to inform me that Maggie had a 103 degree fever and could I please come pick her up.

Oh all right, if I have to.

Oh sure, they all got such a kick out of pointing out how I basically dumped poor Maggie in the basement in front of the T.V. and told her we’d be back later. Her little 103 fever was not going to stop me from having fun with my sister.

Looking back on it now, I do kind of wonder what I was thinking. As, apparently, my family was even on that day because they just laughed and laughed about how I’m not very good at taking care of my family when they’re sick.

But really? What do they want me to do? Hang out with them? Hold their hand? Sit there and watch T.V. while they sleep? I mean, being with sick people can be dangerous. I could get sick myself. . .

. . . and then who would take care of everyone?

So I want to know . . . what kind of nursemaid are you? How do you handle things when your kids (or your husband) get sick? Please tell me I'm normal!



  1. My kids are little, so I tend to hover over them when they're sick enough to actually be still, which, you know, means they're VERY SICK INDEED. They will likely grow up expecting that kind of treatment every time they are sick. (Sorry future spouses of the FriedOkra kids!) My husband would HATE it if I hung around him while he felt awful. He prefers to be left alone mostly, so he can sleep through his misery. I stop in occasionally for drink refills and such, but not much other than that!

  2. I'm sort of in the middle. I used to nurture my husband and kids like crazy, but my husband gets sick somewhat easily, and I finally decided if he wasn't going to take care of himself and take my advice on taking vitamins and eating a little bit better, than I wasn't going to feel quite so sorry for him. My kids have gotten to the point where they know how to fake it, so sometimes I'm not quite as sympathetic until I KNOW they are being honest.

  3. So it's kind of half and half so far. Take care of the kids, but not the husbands, huh? Interesting.

    Glad to see you two commenting here!

  4. I am not a hoverer (is that a word?) when my family is sick because my mother was a hoverer and it drove me crazy. I tend to take the 'glass is half full and could be overflowing' approach to most complaints. My daughter knows that she must be on her deathbed to get away with staying home sick. She used to think that staying home meant camping out in front of the tv and playing games but not with this mom - no siree - you stay in bed and rest. So, staying home is not so fun. My husband is like most men - complain, cough loudly, moan and groan...ugh! Thankfully, we're rarely sick (knock on wood) so I don't have to worry.

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  6. I would like the record to reflect that hubby neither expected nor desired any more nurturing than was shown.


  7. Shelly...I am in your camp. Florence Nightengale I am NOT. I have (more than once) had my kids go to school ("you will feel better once you are up and moving") only to have the school call me an hour later.

  8. It's fair to say that you came by this approach honestly.
    BTW, I want to see B's first post.

  9. I am SO like you. And I get it from my mom also whose motto to this day is "it will either get worse or it will get better". In the meantime, suck it up!

  10. These comments are really cracking me up! You're all so entertaining today. :)

    I forgot to mention in my post that my catch phrase when it comes to sickness of any kind (poison ivy, vomiting, nails in arms) is, "You're FINE!" Everyone gets a kick out of that one.

  11. Very timely since I just got off the phone with the school nurse. My daughter has a stress-related illness that has made her miss way too much school this year. In the spirit of tough love, I told the nurse that she needed to stay until she had taken two exams. She might leave class to throw up, but she wasn't actually contagious.

    I am actually good with sick kids, husband and other people, although I know that today's actions may not demonstrate that. My compassion starts to dwindle during the period when they are starting to feel better yet are still whiny.

    I am picking my daughter up in half an hour when her last test is done.

  12. Oh Tracy, I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's issues. Tough love is just so . . . tough, isn't it?!

  13. I'm horrible. I hover and pamper and worry and well, I over-care (if that is even a word). I think it's only because it's the opposite of how my own mother was.

  14. I'm terrible at the whole sensitive mothering deal, sick or no. Glad to know I'm not alone in my lack of sensitive pampering! :)

  15. I am an AWFUL nurse! When my husband gets sick, I immediately get MAD. I know. It's ridiculous! I've gotten a little more empathetic as the years have gone on/worn me down. But I'm still not great.

    As for my daughter, I'm VERY lucky that she hasn't been sick that often. (Quick! Knock on wood!) Hopefully I will be a kinder, gentler nurse with her than I've been with my husband!

  16. Your post made me very thankful! My husband has been laid up with his back since Friday (gotta love the snow shovel!) but at least he has no other illness to complicate matters. BUT - I've not had any downtime for 2 weeks (various reasons) and now I want everyone out of the house. Especially the husband (the energetic kind) who has been forced to lie down for 3 days straight - too much energy contained in one place! Typically I fall into the middle of the caretaking type.