Life as Lou

I May Be Lacking In Compassion, But I Seem To Have Taught My Son That Principle.

  • November 14, 2009 7:00 pm

While, I too, feel badly for my children when they become ill, I draw the line at wishing I could barf for them. This may have something to do with the fact that I spent the whole time I was expecting them vomiting several times a day, but mostly it boils down to how much it just stinks for Mom to be sick.

In my experiences before today, no one takes care of Mom when Mom falls ill. The children run amok, and mother's attention is still needed. The way things seem to play out at my house is that I will only get extremely sick if Chris is working a 12 hour shift that day. Suffice it to say that by the time I recover from whatever ails me, the house will be trashed. There will be mysterious sticky stuff all over my kitchen. There will be toothpaste in the carpet. Entire packages of Oreo's will be consumed, and the crumbs will be everywhere. My floor will have mysteriously gone missing, and it will take a week to pull everything back to order.

I would rather do 500 loads of barf laundry, administer medicine, walk the halls with a miserable baby, get puked on, and buy new toys and movies out of sheer pity for my sickly brood than do it for them. There. I said it. I'm a bad mom. Those little kid stomach bugs are extreme, and I've had my share since having children.

I got sick last night at 11pm. I woke up and began an 8 hour exercise in dehydration as I experienced violently classic stomach virus symptoms on top of breastfeeding. I was so thoroughly expunged of bodily fluids, I thought I was going to calcify and wither like an ancient mummy. I managed to call Chris at about four am and beg him to spend his break buying me Gatorade, which he did.

My children were up by 6, chipper and ready to start the day. I heard their happy little voices and wanted to cry. And then I learned something.

Jonas is a big kid now. I can't tell you how much I love that boy and his willingness to be helpful. I explained that I had vomited six times since he last saw me, and he immediately took Gabe downstairs and played with him for an hour until Gabe needed me. He cooked his signature meals for him and his sister, breakfast lunch and dinner: cereal, top ramen, and cheese quesadillas. He got me my book out of the car. He got my mail. He watched Gabe over and over again. He cleaned up spills, checked on me regularly, and even used the old, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit" line on his sister when he served dinner. My son rocks.

(*In the case of life threatening illness, I would totally take it- but a run of the mill flu- no way).


  1. Chris Weiss says:

    Leah – you go girl! LOVE your blog….your kids are amazing….and I totally understand your point of view, and totally agree that no one usually takes care of “mom” when mom is sick…I didn’t get sick much when I carried my girl….and when she’s sick, yes, I’m one of those mom’s who wishes I could take it from her….but knock on wood, she’s only been sick a handful of time in her 7 years of life. Good job, Jonas! What a great big brother and son you are!

  2. Helen says:

    I’m with you on this one! I can’t stand throwing up and would rather do anything else so I am definitely not one who would take it for the kids. However, like you, I was pleasantly surprised to see their compassion when my boys were about 3 and 5 years old. I had surgery on my feet and, upon returning home, they met me at the door with the rolling office chair, my “wheelchair”. They happily rolled me wherever I wanted to go (which was only the couch and occasionally the bathroom) and they retrieved whatever I asked of them. Alas this did not last long. My boys had learned how to open the window in the second floor bedroom and my mother found them gleefully leaping across the roof of the house. Their response was “Daddy did it”. Yes, Daddy did do that, as he was hanging christmas lights!!! My two boys have grown into very helfpul and compassionate preteens and I have some great stories to tell but I really would rather have them laying on the couch than me!

  3. Melissa says:

    What a sweet boy you have, Leah! You are one lucky mama! I hope you’re feeling better, moms being sick… blehh! Especially while breastfeeding, I hate to take anything and rarely do. This of course makes me feel more miserable, lol. :-P Good job Jonas! You rock, your mama is lucky to have such an awesome son like you! :)

  4. Crystal Maus says:

    Boys do love their mommas. Hope you get better soon. Go Jonas!

  5. Emily says:

    You are raising a wonderful husband and dad for some lucky woman and their children! Hope you are on the mend!

  6. Nina D says:

    Emily is right! You have done a great job with Jonas! I am sorry to hear you are sick, but just like that moment when Chris proved what a great man he is, Jonas got the chance to show he is growing up in his fathers footsteps. Silver lining to a dark cloud. Hope you feel better soon!

  7. Ami D says:

    I am so thankful for my kids. And they do surprise us with their responsibility. My 12yo girl is a God-send and my 8yo is moving right up to help out. Hope that you are feeling better!

  8. sherri says:

    Way to go Jonas! You are doing a wonderful job with them Leah, this type of behavior doesn’t happen by itself. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  9. Casey Lu says:

    I too would NOT choose to be sick for my kids as I HATE vomiting! So impressed that Jonas helped man the house while you were sick! What a sweetie!!! Way to go for him!!! I hope you mend soon!!!!

  10. Es says:

    SO sorry you were sick, but BIG hugs to Jonas for saving the day. What a sweet boy you have:)

  11. Laurence says:

    Wow that’s so right ! Hope you’ll be better when you read these lines !

  12. Chandler says:

    Hooray for Jonas! See, you can’t use the old “I’m a bad mom” line when your son does something like that! I think it definitely reflects on what a good mom you are!

  13. Tere says:

    < ![CDATA[Leah, I totally agree with you, I;m glad I'm not the only worst mom of the whole wide world!!! =)
    I hope you get better soon; just think about th great son you are raisin, if I had a girl, I'll be offering YOU the cows and more than 8!!!!!!;)]]>

  14. Sanisi says:

    Sorry you’ve been ill. Jonas is a star! I love your kids so much.

  15. Good job Jonas!!! I hope you are feeling better.

  16. Becky says:

    Not wanting to be sick doesn’t in any way make you a bad mom, in fact, you need to be healthy to take care of the kiddos. I have been there so many times where I’ve been the one who’s sick and life can’t really slow down at all because of it. The kids need you, hubby needs you, the well-being of the house needs you, lol. What a sweet boy Jonas was to help out so you could get a little bit of rest.

  17. Sarah says:

    Wow, what a star he was!

  18. Ellie says:

    So grateful he was so willing to help. You taught him how to be compassionate. He followed your example. You’re an AWESOME MAMA!

  19. Nenne says:

    What a wonderful son you’ve got – that story brought tears to my eyes, I’m speechless..and I’m so with you on the not taking being sick instead of them – I rather stay healthy and take care of them, you’re definitly NOT a bad mother!

  20. amie says:

    that’s aweseome!

  21. Mo says:

    Loved this post! Yes, your son DOES rock! You are sooo right! Not a bad momma…just a smart one!

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