By Taryn Dryfhout
It’s become apparent to me in the last few days that mum’s don’t get sick days. I’ve been in fairly moderate pain and discomfort this week. No, I wasn’t watching The Bachelor. I actually, broke my foot. It’s an interesting story – I was rock climbing in Nicaragua, when suddenly a jaguar and… okay, that didn’t happen. I wish I had an adventurous story to accompany this injury but the reality is, I tripped, in an awkward, un-ladylike series of events.
Trying to keep up with the routine of my life in a moon boot has been a struggle, but it’s not just the fracture. Health and I haven’t seen eye to eye for quite some time. This week it’s a broken foot, and with winter coming, who knows what next week will bring.
Colds, flus, and gastro bugs invade the house all winter when you have little people. In the past two years, our house has seen more germs than the hospital beds in Contagion. The challenge is trying not to get sick yourself while you are looking after sick kids. The children are the first to get it (because they brought it home), so when the two-year-old vomits up everything he’s ever eaten in his short time on this planet, you just mop it up, knowing that your fate is sealed. Once you have contracted the dreaded lurgy, you will also pass it onto your partner and then nobody is well enough to care for the kids who are now over it and jumping around like they have ants in their pants. The solution? Taking shifts. One parent doses themselves up and attends to the kids. The paracetamol will wear off after two hours, at which point, you trade off, flopping into bed and making your partner assume the child care duties. Shampoo, rinse and repeat this scene from The Walking Dead until the virus has passed.
Of course, any medical professional will tell you that prevention is the key. Eating well is one of the key ways to stay healthy, but getting children to understand this is a whole other ball game. I have tried in vain to broaden the rather uncultured palates of my children. I have offered a range of different colours and textures, and have even resorted to zucchini chocolate cakes in an attempt to hoodwink them. The Dryfhout children, are not fooled. My children have been programmed to identify anything green with a light sniff, and have a default setting which only recognises dishes that are centred around pasta or hot chips.
Self-care is one of those Oprah-isms that come up whenever there is discussion about busy mums. Apparently, we mothers are supposed to look after ourselves and take ‘me time’ (I didn’t get the memo). I am a busy woman, so I don’t have ‘me time’ but today I managed to engage in a few small acts of self-care – which I think is worthy of much praise and adoration.
- Washed my face
- Drank my coffee while it was still warm
- Went to the bathroom without anyone talking to me from outside the door
I know, right? Not to brag, but I nailed all of it.
For that five minutes, I didn’t read anyone a Dr. Seuss book, play Lego, or allow my face to be made up like the clown from IT.
For five minutes, I didn’t kiss a boo-boo, tuck ‘Mr. Snoodle’ the plush Kiwi into bed or wipe anyone’s bum.
For five minutes, I did a few little things that were just for me.
Health is all about doing what you can to keep well, so I must take my victories where I can. Although I am hobbling around in a moon boot, I am otherwise well, and so are the kids. For now, I’m going to call that ‘health’.