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Moms Need Sick Days, Too


As a full time mother, I am constantly complaining about my lack of alone time. When I quit my job as the Director of a childcare center, I gave up working 50+ hours a week outside the home to take on 24/7 motherly duties. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any personal days or vacation time built in when you accept the position of mother. It’s a round-the-clock gig. Peeing alone, showering alone, driving in the car alone – doing absolutely anything alone becomes a novelty. I’m usually content with the fact that son my has become my baby sidekick, but after several weeks without any time to myself, I begin a slow progression towards insanity. When I reach that point, I will do almost anything just to get a few hours to myself.

Remember that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for?” Yup – I hate cheesy sayings and clichés, but this one totally sums up the last four days. Saturday was an amazing day. The weather was gorgeous and we spent tons of time with Grey playing in the backyard. I’m slowly getting back into running and I logged 5K Saturday afternoon, which I was totally stoked about. Saturday night, we spent the evening celebrating at our friends’ engagement party at an awesome restaurant overlooking the river. It was a good day, but exhausting none-the-less.  I was looking forward to Sunday and was planning on asking my husband for some time to myself since he’d be traveling for work Monday-Thursday this week. Unfortunately, when I woke up Sunday morning, I was in for a lot more time alone than just an hour or two.

Have you ever heard of Torticollis? If you are a mother, you’ve probably heard the term since it’s common for infants to have Toricollis due to their position in the womb or a difficult birth. It’s random and totally ridiculous, but somehow, I came down with this during the night. I knew right away when I woke up, since I’ve had it twice before (which is also so bizarre). When I was trying to describe to my husband the first time he witnessed this many years ago, I believe he said something like, “So you have to stay in bed for a few days because you have a stiff neck??” Let me tell you, Torticollis is seriously like a stiff neck on steroids. The very first time I had it in high school, I thought I was dying. It’s so severe that when it happens, I literally cannot lift myself out of bed to use the bathroom. It’s that bad. At 5:30am on Sunday, I laid there as motionless as possible, trying not to cause any more pain than necessary, and had a minor freak out over the fact that my husband was going to be leaving for a work trip the next day. How the hell was I going to take care of a baby when I couldn’t even turn my head more than one centimeter in either direction???

After the initial shock, I called my doctor at the ass crack of dawn begging for drugs. There was absolutely no way I was physically able to get in the car to be seen at the doctor’s office, so I was hoping that if I woke up her up early enough, she might just sense the severity of the situation and order me something over the phone. She prescribed a muscle relaxer and some pain meds, cautioning me not to drive while taking such heavy drugs. Are you for real, lady?? I can’t even swallow without crying – you think I’m going to try to get in a car and drive??? Clearly, you’ve never had Torticollis.

I spent the majority of Sunday and Monday banned to my bedroom. I couldn’t let the baby see me otherwise he’d want me to pick him up and hold him, which was definitely out of the question for a few days. On Tuesday, I ventured downstairs and spent the day on the couch. I even sat outside for a little bit. Thank god, my husband was able to cancel his work trip and spent a few days working from home to take care of me and the baby. I have to say, I got a kick out of watching him try to manage full time daddy duty – both during the day and at night. Hopefully he’s got a greater appreciation for the insane workload involved in trying to care for kids all day.

As for me, I got my wish. Not only did I get just a few hours alone, I spent three days in solitary confinement in my bedroom. If I wasn’t so strung out on muscle relaxers, I would have totally used this time to catch up on some reading or to write a few blogs. Unfortunately, I was barely even able to position myself comfortably enough to watch TV.

Being at home full time can be exhausting and preparing for my husband to leave for his next trip was overwhelming. Maybe the Torticollis was a way for my body to tell me to slow down, forcing me into an extremely painful mommy vacation. All in all, two good things came out of this: my husband now understands why I need a break when he gets home from a trip and I got to spend three days doing absolutely nothing… Although the next time I get the chance to do absolutely nothing, I’m hoping it doesn’t involve sipping coffee through a straw, hugging my heating pad, and popping pain meds every six hours.


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