Health greatest blessing of all
FIRST came the sneezes. Then the fever, sleeplessness, and inconsolable crying jags. My Master Three was miserable with his first cold of the winter season.
And that was just the beginning of my family’s sickness woes.
On the second day of my son’s cold, my Miss Six and Miss Seven were gifted their brother’s germs.
On the fourth day I caught my children’s cold.
‘‘ Great,’’ I thought. ‘‘ Just what I need. I thought mums were immune to getting sick when their children are sick.’’
This has not been the first time I’ve acknowledged that the only thing worse than taking care of sick children is taking care of sick children when I’m sick myself.
Having a husband away from home for work just makes it more of a challenge.
It was hard enough to see my children so miserable, but the constant whimpering and lack of sleep took its toll on my sick body more than I could ever have imagined.
All I wanted to do was to bury myself in bed. But I couldn’t. My children needed me. I felt absolutely miserable. Knowing my children were feeling similar pain to me made me even more miserable.
Of course I have learnt from hardearned mothering experience that to care for sick children when I’m also sick, three things must occur. Firstly, my strict control over children TV viewing is thrown out the window. When all the family is down with an il ness bring on binge TV viewing. Secondly, when I’m in the troughs of a family sick fest I prioritise. Yes, that’s right. Dishes are left in the sink, floors unvacuumed and laundry basket overflowing. And then there’s asking for help. Al though this is the one I find the most dif ficult, when everyone is sick in the family it’s the time to call a relative or friend When my sister dropped off a home baked chicken and vegetable bake for the family when cooking dinnner was the last thing I could muster, I felt the most blessed of women. For when you’re sick, and your child ren are sick, the smallest of kind gestures mean the grandest of kind gestures. And within a week, my nightmare was over.
What would I ever do if one of my children, or me, really had some chronic illness? I can’t imagine, nor do I ever want to. Now that everyone is back to health I feel like I have a new lease on life.
What I have acknowledged is how it’s oh- so- easy to take my family’s good health for granted when we have it.
It’s when someone is sick, or in the most recent case when we’re all sick, that I can fully appreciate what a blessing good health really is.
When I was soothing my children, and myself, during our multiple family illness bout, I thought of the many incredibly brave and resilient parents who care for their chronically ill children, or are chronically ill themselves, and couldn’t help but wonder how they cope.
So, as I send my best wishes to those families who live with chronic illness as a long term day- to- day reality, I also embrace my family’s good health and the magnificent freedom it gives to us.
Leesa Renehan and son Marson Moore, 2, are all smiles at The Strand. Proud mum Tenneal Bourke with sixmonth- old son Xavier from Pimlico. Troy Greenwood and daughter Maddison, 1, from Bushland Beach travel in style at The Strand. Cat Lemech and daughter Heidi Stone, 1, from Annandale enjoy the sights. Melinda Brady happily has her hands full with twins Samantha and Clare, 2, from Mysterton. Kimberly Howes and Brienna, 1, from Mt Louisa are well prepared.