The one word I could use to describe this week is ‘long’. On Saturday morning last week we noticed that Mads had a spot on her eye and a couple of spots on her tummy. By lunchtime they had tripled, and by the following day she was covered in them. The chicken pox had well and truly arrived. Sunday was the worst day, she wasn’t happy at all and lay on the sofa all day, complaining that she was cold but with a really high temperature. She was really clingy and all she wanted to do was be close to us. She rarely comes in our bed in the night, but we let her sleep with us which to her is a real treat. She snuggled in close in the middle of us both and cuddled us all night.
Them being poorly is a bittersweet thing. With things like the chicken pox, you know it won’t last forever and while you wouldn’t wish for them to be ill, there is a element of feeling like this is what motherhood is all about. That while the fun, games and picture perfect moments are part and parcel of life, it’s things like this that remind you what it really means to be a mother. To be the one they need. To be the one that can help soothe the pain, even though you can’t make it completely better, you can be that comfort blanket that makes them feel reassured. Feeling those little hot, feverish arms round me in the night, it makes me reassess what’s important. It makes me realise what really matters.
But inevitably when they are sick, it does play havoc with your schedule. As I work freelance, I am very used to fitting my time around my children. Indeed that’s why I do it- I snatch moments during naptime, or work most evenings, or go and sit in a hotel at the weekend when Mr E is around to look after them. They go to nursery two long mornings a week, from 9-2, so I can get the bulk of it done. But I haven’t got the balance quite right yet- I get stressed, I feel like I am behind and I have to work till late in the evening sometimes because I just haven’t got enough done. When you throw a poorly little person into the mix, I just about manage to keep on top of things.
She hasn’t been able to go to nursery at all this week obviously and as such I have struggled to get things done. I feel a little on edge as I don’t like to feel like I am behind and it will take me a lot of late nights and things to catch up. But it’s worth it. I know I am lucky to be able to be at home with them full stop, and especially when they are under the weather. As parents we all make sacrifices or have our own challenges- whether that’s working full time in an office, working until midnight because you work from home, or whether you stay at home full time. And even though I get a little stressed, like I said before, I know it’s worth it.
I have actually relished the time alone with my biggest girl. LL has still gone into nursery as normal and I have spent days snuggled up on the sofa with Mads. We have played together, cuddled constantly and had one on one lunches together. We have chatted, laughed and made up stories. I have enjoyed every single cuddle, every single ear flick and every single ‘I love you Mummy.’ She slept with us for three nights in total and as her little body moudled against mine, I yet again was reminded of exactly what it felt like to be the person that they want and need.
She’s almost better and will be back at nursery next week. The Pox will be a distant memory as she scuttles off to play with her friends that she has missed. But while this week hasn’t been completely plain sailing, I have extra special memories of a week of cuddles and contentment with my eldest daughter.
A week that has reminded me what a privilege it is to be the person they call Mummy.