Calling in sick is common practice when you have a job. Whilst I rarely did it, I did call in sick a couple of times in my previous incarnation as a working woman. I stayed at home, sat on the sofa and recovered before returning to the office refreshed and ready to work.
Then I became a stay at home mum. There is no calling in sick when you’re a stay at home mum because toddlers do not comprehend the idea of “don’t climb on mummy” or “sit quietly and do something without mummy’s help” or even “seriously, I will vom on you if you touch me again.” When you’re at home with a toddler there is no such thing as sick, only slightly less capable than your ordinary semi-capable of adulting state.
Today I called in sick from motherhood. I was supposed to be accompanying Miss Rose to the German Christmas Market in Birmingham to celebrate my mother’s birthday and I haven’t. Instead Miss Rose is having a day out with Nanny whilst I am currently sat on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket and watching a Christmas movie. I have had a bubble bath alone for the first time in years, and I have been alone in this house for the longest time ever since I moved in. And I feel GUILTY.
The Boy told me to rest. My mother told me to rest. When I try and do anything too strenuous I either think I’ll faint or throw up. Yet, the guilt.
I’ve done some chores, the washing up, tidying up the toy havoc, some laundry, and Miss Rose is having an absolutely wonderful time riding on a carousel, eating delicious food and exploring Birmingham with her grandparents. Still, the guilt.
Taking time off the mothering and housekeeping is something I struggle with. I feel like I’m letting my family down even when I’m told consistently that I’m not. If anyone else said to me they felt ill and had an opporunity for some quiet alone time I would not even consider that they’re doing something wrong.
I think it’s because I feel the need to earn my place. The Boy constantly reassures me that I’m loved and wanted for me not for what I do, and yet I don’t allow myself to feel the same for myself. I feel like if I don’t achieve the maximum I can achieve in a day then I’m not worth loving, and that is something I’ve struggled with for a long time.
So today I am confronting it. I am sitting with my feet up. I am relaxing. I am letting the sickness and dizziness have it’s dues and not carrying on like they’re not there. In essence, I’m being lazy, and I’m letting myself get away with it. And it’s quite splendid.
Cut yourself some slack sometimes. Work hard sure, but sometimes it’s okay to just stop and acknowledge that you need a break, and that you’re still worth loving if you take it.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!