Friday, March 4, 2011

The House of Germs

By Mary Alford-Carman

It seems we can’t escape it no matter how we try. February saw our household down with the flu and I foolishly breathed a sigh of relief that the month was over. No germs would dare strike us again. Well, we’ve been hit by a stomach bug, and all of us are wishing for a break from reality.

When I wrote ‘Unmommyish,’  a short essay about recharging the MOM battery, I didn’t realize I’d need a recharge as bad as I feel I do now, but you know I’m not going anywhere. It’s part of the fine print in being a MOM, and this is where the stay-at-home-mom gig becomes a bonus. After being up more than half the night with sick children, who wants to wake up long enough to call into work and ask permission to take care of your family and cart them to the doctor?
I’ve been there, done that, and no one knows better than a Mom when her children need her at home.

As much as I’d like to hop a plane to Rio (okay, I’d settle for a hotel down the street with room service), I’ll hang out with the kids, the soiled sheets, and the Gatorade, content that I don’t have to ask “permission” to take care of my own child. Have you ever experienced adverse reactions to your staying out of work to care for a child? What did you do? How did you handle it, and tell me honestly, did you ever get a break?


  1. First I have to say, I heart "Unmommyish" - the term and the article. I never intended to be a stay at home Mommy, but mine were so sick all the freakin' time and with only 18 months between the two, it was impossible to keep them apart so the ping pong of germs was a constant. I so appreciated (sarcasm dripping) the man who told me his wife was a nurse and had assured him that strep throat really was dangerous, or the one who asked why can't you just leave them with someone. Misdiagnoses of one child along the way never helped. But now they are healthy and I've learned that there is no right answer, you're just hoping not to make the worst one. The ability to change to staying at home helped me breathe. But when do you want to fly to Rio??

  2. Thank you Evelyn! I don't know how I came up with Unmommyish...I just didn't want to feel like a Mommy on that particular day. Staying home is easier and harder. You deal with isolation and the lack of adult conversation, but you gain in that you KNOW what's going on 24/7 with your, I'm still working on learning to breathe!


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