The time is midnight, I’ve got work in the morning, I’ve got the worst back pain of my life and a stinking cold, and I’ve also got a sick baby glued to me. She’s been sick for the last hour and I’ve changed her pyjamas three times. She’s desperate for more milk but I’m trying to hold off as more than likely she’ll throw it up.
Up until the age of five months, Jasmine had never been sick, I was happy about this and would share my delight with others… ‘Jasmine is just not a sickly baby’ But my, oh my she’s made up for it. Especially the last few weeks there’s been an epidemic of bugs and grim germs going around. So now I’m ill, exhausted, in pain and walking around rocking a baby who’s sleeping in my arms. Sleeping beautifully until I dare to sit down, then boom – she’s awake!
I can smell sick on myself, the bedding is soaked through and I’ve not gone to sleep yet. Pacing around wondering if I may die from back pain, exhaustion and bracing myself for another unexpected puke volcano. It’s grim, but if you know, you know!
In spite of all that, my concern is for Jasmine. Is it something she ate? Something I ate? An allergy? A bug? Will she be exhausted in the morning?
Motherhood tests us in ways we can’t imagine and our lives and priorities are never the same again. People often say to me ‘I don’t know how you do it’ regarding Jasmines lack of sleep and the answer is – you have to. There’s no option so you go in to ‘mum mode’ and carry on as every mum would.
As a mum you’re a nurse, a teacher, a cleaner, a chamber maid, a chef….the list goes on.
I know it won’t last forever, one day she’ll be all grown, I will sleep then. For now I’ll be whoever she needs me to be.
Top tips for self care for a poorly mum.
1. Drinks 5 times the amount of water you normally do, drink drink drink.
2. Let the baby sleep on you safely and enjoy the rest.
3. Grab a shower or share a bath with the baby if needed.
4. Make sure you take pain killers and vitamins (then hide them from the baby).
5. Cancel plans, don’t push yourself, if you’re unwell you need to rest or it will take longer to go. Plus no one wants your germs.