He’ll remember that when he was sick, Mummy was there to try and make it better.
Okay, I am the first to admit I’ve had a pretty clear run. Little C was born with low sugars and a few other issues, but he was only in the Special Infant Care Unit (SICU) for four hours and then I had him with me. He’s been healthy and thriving ever since, so I’ve had it relatively easy in that regard.
He is now 22 weeks old and I’ve been sick with the flu for the past few days. Unfortunately, Little C caught it from me despite all the precautions, and so I find myself looking after a sick little boy for the first time in his life. Here are 8 thoughts I've kept in mind:
1. It’s not my fault I did everything I could to stop him from becoming sick. The fact that he is now sick was beyond my control. It happens, and feeling bad about it is not going to help him.
2. It’s not the end of the world Okay, he’s a bit miserable tonight and he’s congested and he won’t settle, but there are worse things. He is alive, he has no fever, and he’s not in any real danger. There are mothers facing far worse and I am grateful that this is all I am dealing with.
3. I’ve gone without sleep before Yes, sleep would be nice, especially since I’m still sick myself. You know what? It’s not the first time I’ve gone without sleep, and it won’t be the last. At least I have a few weeks of good sleep under my belt; imagine if I was one of those mothers who has dealt with an unwell baby from the start? How would I feel in their shoes? My baby is basically healthy and I am glad about that.
4. It’s normal to be worried I’m hyper-attentive to his breathing right now, but that’s okay. He’s my little boy and I’m his mother and I’m hard-wired to worry when all is not well. It’s just the flu, but that doesn’t matter; it hurts to see your child suffering and it’s normal to want to make it better for them.
5. Serenading him is not weird Hey, he likes it. It makes him smile. What’s wrong with that?
6. He’s worth it What’s worse than a night spent worrying about whether his breathing is getting worse? Not having him in the first place, that’s what. It’s times like this that I get to really feel like a mother because I’m looking after him.
7. It will get better Not only will it get better, he’ll remember this. He’ll remember that when he was sick, Mummy was there to try and make it better. He’ll remember that I held his hand and sang to him and rocked him and tried to take his discomfort away. That’s where bonds come from.
8. Welcome to motherhood Yep, this is the real deal, and it’s going to happen again and again and again and it happens to all of us at some point. Our little ones get sick, and we look after them even if we don’t feel great ourselves.
That’s what being a mother is. Now be a dear and pass me that lemon tea now he’s asleep, please?