It’s a Damn Good Thing I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

Contrary to popular belief, I did not go into motherhood blindly.


I’d had some experience with child-rearing.  I’d done way more than my fair share of looking after my younger siblings as a kid.  I’d watched friends of mine raise their own babies.  I knew I’d be tired.  (I had no way of knowing about the post-traumatic stress disorder-ish state that extreme lack of sleep can put you into, but I knew I’d be tired.)  I knew there’d be frustration.  I even knew there’d be sacrifice.


But what I really, really couldn’t imagine, the thing that would cause absolute horror to creep into my heart?


When I get sick, no one cares.


I am not stating it in a martyrish way.  I can’t fault anyone for it.  I’ve come to accept it as fact.


But when I get sick, I’m on my own.


No relatives to swoop in and take my kids away.  A self-employed husband, and if he’s not working, I’m not eating (Although as I sit here trying not to vomit into a wastebasket, I really don’t give a flying fence post whether I ever eat again.  But I have to believe that will change, soon).  Volunteer commitments that don’t run if I don’t show up.  And children who need me.


Man, do they need me.


They’re not inhuman little monsters, or anything.  They’re not completely without compassion.  But when I try to explain that Mommy is sick, they get an expression on their face, as if I’ve just told them that the GDP of Uruguay last year was $32 billion.


They’ve heard what I’ve said.  They’re not disputing that what I’ve told them is a fact.  They just don’t see how it’s germaine to their little lives, or how it accounts for the fact that the peanut butter sandwich they requested 2 WHOLE MINUTES AGO has not materialized.


So while I’m busy shifting paradigms to get me through this (I can leave the house a mess, I can screen my calls, and I can eat nothing but carbs because they’re the only thing that doesn’t make me want to hurl, because god dammit I am sick), maybe you should read someone else’s blog.


Because in the last little while, some people I know have written some stuff that will knock your mother lovin’ socks off (provided you’re in a part of the world experiencing sock-necessitating weather).


Kitty at The Show Must Go On wrote Patience SVP.


Mongoliangirl at The Cusp wrote The Seventeen Acres:  “Yes, but not forever.”


Rassles at Sometimes I Make Lists wrote Self-Diagnosis is Never a Good Idea.


Sulya at i am the octopus wrote this and this and this and this.  (She’s been dizzyingly proficient, lately.)


And Blues at Blues of a Waxwing rendered me speechless with The souls of everyday objects.


So while I’m having my pity party over here, go.  Go read and enjoy and comment.  I’ll be fine. 


Don’t worry about me. 



37 responses to “It’s a Damn Good Thing I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

  1. Aw, I’m sorry you’re sick! My hubs is sick too & he’s been throwing himself a pitty party for the last 3 days. This is not good news for me because I do not sympathize well.

    I try though. Anyhoo, hope you feel better real soon!

  2. I remember that stage. It does get better. Not until they are older and can fend for themselves, but it does get better. And at that point, you can do what I do and blockade yourself in the bedroom with whatever will help calm your tummy, the remote, chick flicks you can recite from memory so that you aren’t lost as you doze in and out of consciousness, comfy jammies and a soft blanket and make gagging noises anytime you hear someone getting close to the bedroom door who might think of knocking.

    Hope you are feeling much better soon.

  3. I wish you well soon, and hope the stress of going back to your apparent normal routines don’t make you wish to be sick again.

  4. cool…i’m off, then…later!

    awww, i’m kidding. sorry you’re sick. it sucks. the suckest part about it is, that, indeed, your family doesn’t give a flying f***!! and, in all honesty…no one really does. they only care because you are not rendering the services that you would normally render.

    i do hope you feel better soon. i mean, for your families sake. those peanut butter sandwiches aren’t gonna make themselves!!

    seriously…feel better soon!!

  5. reinforcing Sue’s comment, yes… it gets better when they are older. in fact, i think this is how my children learned empathy… like a little lightbulb over their heads that says “mom’s puking. i hate it when i puke.” but in the meantime, lose any guilt you may feel about not servicing their needs in a timely manner. they’ll be fine.

  6. One dose of nyquil for you.

    And one for them.

    Then another for you.

    Then another for them.

    Problem solved.

  7. Feel better, friend. Lovin lovin lovin.

  8. Not only did I read this, I loved it and stumbled it. I felt that same way for the first three years post divorce. I literally dreaded getting sick

    • Oh Jessica, thanks so much.

      I can never, ever compare my situation to a single mother. I have far too much respect. But that one tiny aspect? That, I think I might understand.

  9. Damn, Ginny, I just read your tweet about the robber and now this.
    That’s damn good stuff you’re made of. Hope you get better soon.

    Thanks for linking, I’m blushing to be on your list amongst such fine writers.

  10. You are right. No one cares. It’s horrible. (I care, but I’m not looking after your kids.) I am still horrified and shocked each time.

    I read your tweet, too. Hope you’re ok. That must have been AWFUL.

  11. hope you feel better soon darlin’

  12. Get well soon.
    Shall we send over the singing nurse?

  13. Awww, Ginny. That really sucks. I hope you feel better soon and that your little ones take it easy on you!

  14. Feel better Ginny! We need you to make us smile. And a p. b. and j. would be awesome, too! 🙂

  15. I can’t believe that even when you are sick you looked up the GDP of Uruguay before you posted. I adore you!

  16. Hey Honey – just caught up on all of this. SO sorry you’ve been sick. I hope you are feeling a bit better and please let me know if there is anything I can do.

    Thank you for including me in this list. I’m honoured and grateful.

  17. Thanks for the mention, Ginny.

    I hope you´re feeling better. If I were there, I´d make your kids enough PB&J to keep them occupied til you´re fully recovered.

    • Blues, that post was easily one of the top 5 things I’ve ever read since I’ve been reading blogs.

      And do you think, next time, if I asked nice, you could maybe fed-ex some PBJ? Because that would really help 😉

  18. I know it’s been a while and you are all better now, but just wanted to point out how I sympathize even though I have no kids – I have family who always behaved as if me being ill is some type of personal vendetta I was perpetrating on them. Weirdos.

    On the plus side, having cats instead of kids is brilliant. If I’m sick or just too tired to get out of bed, I tell them to go eat dry food or catch their own and they DO. And they NEVER ask me for money. Or expensive shoes.
    Just saying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s