Heíll remember that when he was sick, Mummy was there to try and make it better.
Okay, I am the first to admit Iíve 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. Heís been healthy and thriving ever since, so Iíve had it relatively easy in that regard.
He is now 22 weeks old and Iíve 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. Itís 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. Itís not the end of the world Okay, heís a bit miserable tonight and heís congested and he wonít settle, but there are worse things. He is alive, he has no fever, and heís not in any real danger. There are mothers facing far worse and I am grateful that this is all I am dealing with.
3. Iíve gone without sleep before Yes, sleep would be nice, especially since Iím still sick myself. You know what? Itís not the first time Iíve gone without sleep, and it wonít 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. Itís normal to be worried Iím hyper-attentive to his breathing right now, but thatís okay. Heís my little boy and Iím his mother and Iím hard-wired to worry when all is not well. Itís just the flu, but that doesnít matter; it hurts to see your child suffering and itís normal to want to make it better for them.
5. Serenading him is not weird Hey, he likes it. It makes him smile. Whatís wrong with that?
6. Heís worth it Whatís worse than a night spent worrying about whether his breathing is getting worse? Not having him in the first place, thatís what. Itís times like this that I get to really feel like a mother because Iím looking after him.
7. It will get better Not only will it get better, heíll remember this. Heíll remember that when he was sick, Mummy was there to try and make it better. Heíll remember that I held his hand and sang to him and rocked him and tried to take his discomfort away. Thatís where bonds come from.
8. Welcome to motherhood Yep, this is the real deal, and itís 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 donít feel great ourselves.
Thatís what being a mother is. Now be a dear and pass me that lemon tea now heís asleep, please?
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.