Getting sick as a single parent – I’m not sure there’s anything worse, maybe there is, and I haven’t come across it yet, but I’d say getting sick is right up there.
For me, I’ve had this same virus on and off for about 2 months now. I just can’t shake it. I know why – I don’t take care of myself, there’s no time. It’s an annoying virus as well because it involves losing my voice for a few days. Parenting 4 kids on your own with no voice – yeah it’s not fun. I keep telling myself though, it could be worse, much worse – I could have a stomach bug *shudders*.
I started feeling this latest round of the virus coming on a few days ago with a scratchy throat. But I also suffer from allergies and had been cleaning earlier, so I hoped it was just the dust around the house that caused my allergies to flare up.
Nope, a few hours later, in the middle of the night, shivering, bone aches, throat on fire, cough – it was all there. Damn it, the virus is back – but hey, at least it’s not a stomach bug *shudders again*.
When you’re in a relationship, you kind of take for granted that there’s someone else there who can get you some paracetamol or a cup of tea because you’re feeling so blah you can’t get out of bed.
I laid in bed for a while, awake, feeling blah, hoping that somehow paracetamol would find its way to me.
Finally, I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed my first aid kit – ah, no paracetamol. I used them last time I was sick and hadn’t replaced them yet. That’s the other thing as a single parent, funds are tight, things you need get pushed further and further down the list. Then I remembered that my bank account is also overdrawn for a few more days until I get paid so this time I’d fight this without paracetamol.
Shower it is then to try and warm up. It worked, and I finally went to sleep for about an hour before B4 (who is also sick) woke up and my day started. Unfortunately, the kids don’t care if you’re sick, they still have needs that must be met regardless of how you feel.
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The next day I was talking to a friend, the last time I spoke to her I was sick as well – “oh you need to take care of yourself more” she said. Taking care of myself is something I’ve never been good at. Sure, parenting with no voice is frustrating. Parenting when all you want to do is lay in bed and sleep is tough, trying to run a household, keep children entertained, study and run a business when you’re unwell is virtually impossible and I always say in my head – “I need to rest more and take care of myself”.
That’s the thing with single parents, we keep going – because we have to. Because there’s no one else to step in and do things while we rest. Because we learn to juggle so many balls all at once, we learn to go without, we learn to put everyone else before us, and we learn just to put ourselves last.
Here we are now, day 4, the chills and pain are now gone, but there is an annoying cough and a raspy voice- 8.41pm, housework has just been finished and soon to start 6 or 7 hours work on my business.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll take care of myself, in the meantime, someone get me some paracetamol …. no???? Ok, I’ll get it myself.
Kirsty is the founder of That Noise Is Mine.
An established blogger, writer and business owner raising 4 children independently. Kirsty is determined to succeed in this new life forced upon her.