FAIRY TALE, life isn’t a

Once upon a time there was a mother who was so adored by her family that they dropped everything they were doing to attend to her every need any time she asked … and even when she didn’t!

(Insert hysterical laughter here.)

OK. End of fairy tale and on to real life. Here is the true story. Once upon a time there was a mother who took care of everyone else when they were sick but when she was down for the count she became invisible. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.

I strapped my nurse’s hat on last week to take care of my sick family while pumping out stories for The Big Paper, a magazine, and taking care of a rather large house. My daughter was trying to take final exams with a fever and head cold; my husband was coming down with a cold and cough; my son ended up with a stomach bug; and even the dog was looking a little green around the gills.

I figured out the assembly line to get everyone what they needed. I ran upstairs with cough syrup. Downstairs with dirty dishes. Upstairs with Tylenol. Downstairs with requests for soup and ice cream. Upstairs. Downstairs. Upstairs. Downstairs. Until I finally collapsed.

On Sunday I could hardly move and I waited gratefully for someone to come up and help me. When the tables are turned I’m right there with the empathy patrol. Oh, you poor thing! I say as I fuss around. You look terrible! Here’s some tea. You just rest. How about toast?

Needless to say, even as I sneezed 20 times in a row at some points, I got squat. In fact, I could have gotten more response from the dust bunnies under the bed then I did from my nearest and dearest. I’m so thirsty! I croaked. Silence. Anyone there? Nothing. Finally, at 2 p.m. after being ignored all morning I dragged myself downstairs to get myself something to eat.

Did anyone even NOTICE that I’m sick, I asked to a sea of blank faces. Oh, said one family member who will remain nameless. Really? I don’t feel good, either. What do you think it is?

The truth is, a person could die before they get any attention around here. At least if it’s me. But there’d be hell to pay if I didn’t offer the medical services that everyone has come to expect. That’s a bum deal.

Earlier, I was really feeling sorry for myself after having to get up and get back to work. Then the dog wandered over and dropped a half-eaten, slobbery milk bone at my feet. I guess that’s something.



About Michele

I am a freelance writer with three kids, two cats, and a dog with thyroid disease. I'm bouncing back from a divorce and making the most of every day. There is so much beauty around me. I am grateful!
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9 Responses to FAIRY TALE, life isn’t a

  1. cmoonmaura says:

    did venting help you feel any better? i hope so =)

  2. mmm61 says:

    Once when I was bedridden I asked my husband for some chicken soup – not the homemade kind – that would have been unthinkable. I told him there was a can on the shelf. He brought me the concentrate heated – no water added. I was so ravenous i ate it anyway.

  3. Michele says:

    hahahahahaha … that’d hilarious, mmm61. and yes, cmoonmaura, i feel better after purging!! but i still have a cold. i wonder if anyone will care later??

  4. mmm61 says:

    Is it our fault that our family’s get so self-absorbed that they don’t see us? What could we do differently to ensure that we get taken care of too?

  5. Kat Szmit says:

    This is my life! I have only one child, and am a single parent, but this is still so very familiar to me. When I’m sick, either due to the flu, a cold, or my Crohn’s disease acting up, I am met more often than not with a dumbfounded expression when I express a need for assistance around the house since I’m not feeling well… But when the tables are turned? God forbid I don’t hop off my comfy chair to fetch a drink, a snack, or an extra blanket for the miserable one.
    I think all invisible moms need to form a cool club with some kind of social networking tree that alerts us when another is sick. That way we can send encouraging messages, and maybe even flowers, or better yet, a day of maid service!
    I do hope you’re feeling better!!

    • Michele says:

      Kat, welcome! I’m with you. This has to change. I feel better and it’s all thanks to … me!

    • cmoonmaura says:

      in my case my son (also singe mother) was my young knight in shining armor and was an incredible help … but when i lost my health i lost my ability to work and earn and have a car and my entire family and closest friends (church friends, i might add) who i had bent over backwards for with money, time, rides, lending of my car, housing them with me when they were in need– all gone … a few new friends stepped to the plate and helped me obtain food and make sure i made it to doctor’s appointments … and when the time came to leave my home (against my will) and relocate my son even came with me … and while i moved strictly because of finances i have stayed gone because i’d rather be alone where i know i’m alone than alone in the midst of supposed loved ones

      wow, michele, i hijacked you, but it really does feel good to vent!

      • Michele says:

        no worries, cmoonmaura, you make some good points. maybe we all need to be a little less forthcoming with our good works until those we love wake up a little. it’s not in my nature, but neither is being a door mat!

  6. Michele says:

    of course it is!! we treat them like we want to be treated (is there a biblical reference in that?) and then they take advantage of it. the only solution is to go on strike or run away from home until they get it. i vote for the caymen islands.

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