When Mommy’s Sick


flu shotHi, Romance Bandits and Buddies.  This is Megan, writing her mom’s blog for her  because she’s really sick with the flu.  And she got her flu shot too!  Life just isn’t fair.  Luckily, she has two wonderful daughters who live close and can help her out.  She has four wonderful sons who live near her, but they’re not so good with helping out.  JK!!

The flu has wiped out my family this year.  My sister Shannon’s kids have been sick several times (of course, they’re always sick :-)) but I got the flu really bad this year.  Last year too.  I admit it was my own fault and the doctor nagged me about it because I work with little, snotty-nosed kids every day.  And you all know they’re a giant pool of germs.Flu-Shot-logo

Shannon and I own a pre-school (check it out at http://www.lmnopreschool.com) and I always forget to get my flu shot.  The flu season just sneaks up on me!  Since I’m the only blond in a family of seven kids, everyone tells me I’m the not so smart one.  I don’t care.  Sometimes being the dumbest person in the room is the smart thing to be. Anyway, I’m cute and funny and Daddy’s favorite.

So when I got the flu several weeks ago, everyone pitched in to help.  Shannon ran the school all by herself, which isn’t easy because we have 12 three and four year old kids and put them in 3 different activity stations and rotate stations.  My husband is a respiratory therapist who works 12 hour shifts, so he wasn’t around much. 

The women in my church brought in casseroles (which none of the kids eat).  Why do church people always bring food when someone is sick or dies?  And if they do, why don’t they just bring McDonalds?  Don’t they know that’s all kids eat?


from NJ Journal, Jan 2013

from NJ Journal, Jan 2013

Back to the subject: I loved being sick when I was little.  My mom always treated the sick kid extra nice, which wasn’t easy because there were 7 of us trying to get her attention.  To be fair, she only allowed us 2 days of sickness, three at the most.  After that we were on our own!  I didn’t appreciate how lucky I was to get those days of pampering from my mom, though.  When MY kids are sick and I’m sick too, I wonder how she managed. 

We had chicken pox when I was about 5 and all 7 kids got it two weeks apart.  Mom ran around like a crazy person, dabbing the spots on our faces and arms with calamine lotion and screaming, “Don’t scratch!” 

I think I saw her packing a suitcase towards the end, planning her escape.  Poor mommy.  I only have two children and I can’t imagine how my mother got through illnesses like that. 

I have a great husband who helps when I’m sick, but many mothers don’t.  Their husbands act like the mom’s the only one who can handle illness or disease.  What jerks!

But when I’m sick, I still want my mom to sit on the edge of my bed and put a cool washcloth to my head, check on me every few minutes, and give me popsicles to eat.  So that’s what I’m doing for my mommy.one bad bug

Have a good thought for my mom who’s still really sick.  Plus her hair color now has 2 weeks outgrowth and she looks like the wicked witch.  Five days without a shower or shampoo will do that to you.  

And don’t forget your flu shot!

Here’s a question for you.  Who takes care of you when you’re sick?  Do you have any memories of your mother tending you when you were little?  Do you want to get sick sometimes just so you can get a break from life?


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  • Jane says:

    HI Megan,
    I hope Jo feels better soon. I got my flu shot early and hopefully I won’t get sick. If I were really sick, I’ll have family or friends come over with food and other necessities. The only I was sick and missed school was when I had the chicken pox. My mom stayed home from work to take care of me. It was definitely nice to be pampered and she let me eat a lot of candy.

  • flchen1 says:

    Oh dear–hope Jo’s better soon, Megan! Thanks for filling in for her! When I’m really sick, DH steps in. And fortunately the kids are a little older now and can at least manage basics by themselves 😉 Whew!

  • ki pha says:

    Awww Hi Megan. I do hope Jo gets better soon. And thank you for filling in.
    To answer the question….
    My mother would be the one to care for me, otherwise I’ll have to fend for myself! LOL She used to make me warm rice porridge when I was a kid and it totally loved it. Even when I’m not sick I’ll ask for it. But now….she just gives us the old metal spoon and a liquid of syrup.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hmm, I don’t think I’ve ever had rice porridge, Ki Pha. Is that like rice pudding we eat here in the states? Warm bread pudding sounds delicious to me now. I’ve hardly eaten the last week, so you’d think I’d lose weight, wouldn’t you?

  • Michele L. says:

    Oh no, I sure hope Jo is feeling better really soon! Poor thing! My hubby takes care of me when I am sick. As a kid my mom took care of me. I don’t remember to much what she did. I just remember that I got sick with colds a lot! I have bad allergies and when I catch a cold it always turns into an infection. I have to go to the doctor and get an antibiotic to knock it out. Very irritating!

  • Mary Preston says:

    I take care of myself when I am sick. Basically just crawl into bed & emerge once I feel less like death warmed up.

    My Mother has NO tolerance for anyone sick or hurt. Never has & yet she is the queen when it comes to acting like a “dying swan”.

    • LOL – Love the “dying swan” reference. It is pretty easy to get dramatic when one feels like death, isn’t it. 🙂

      • Jo Robertson says:

        It’s really weird how a fever can just level a person, Donna. My temp never went over 102 degrees so it wasn’t even that high, but I felt like someone had put me in a pillow case and pummeled me with stones.

        Is that dramatic enough?

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Poor Mary! Everyone should be able to get a sympathetic nod when she’s sick. I’m a very low-maintenance patience; just cover me up and let me be and keep a glass of water by my bedside.

      It’s nice to know someone’s looking out for you even if you don’t need it.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Megan

    I do hope that Jo is feeling better soon and what a great family she has to help out you all are the best.

    If I get sick these days I have a Hubby who helps and I have 3 daughters and a son and daughter in law that will all pitch in but I am pretty independant person and really rather do what I can myself 🙂 and my Mum used to look after me when I was sick not that we got sick much so that was good. I have only had one flu shot but I do intend to make sure I have them more often but it is summer just about here in Oz so it will be a while before I need it 🙂

    Hugs to you all get better soon Jo

    Have Fun

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks for the virtual hugs, Helen. Yes, I’m very proud of my family. I try not to bother them because they’re so very busy with their own little family and my oldest son is a single father now.

      I raised them to look for help to family first, then church, then neighbors, so they’re very mindful of that.

  • Hi Megan! Lovely to see you here. Sorry about Jo being sick, though! Hope she feels better soon.

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Hi Megan! Thanks for stepping in for your mum. Sorry she’s sick – send her hugs and love from all of us! Hope she feels better soon.

    I remember when I was poorly – but not sick sick 😉 – I used to get a treat of mashed bananas and ‘top of the milk’ (the cream on the top of a pint of milk). Yum. Almost worth being ill for!

  • Caren Crane says:

    Oh, Megan, thank you for coming to Jo’s rescue! First, I LOVE the name of your and Shannon’s daycare. LMNOPreschool? Perfect! I would totally have sent all three of my kids there. 🙂

    There were 5 of us kids, so it took some doing to get Mama’s attention (as you well know). But whoever was sick got to stay in bed with either cool cloths or a heating pad (depending on the illness). We also got chicken noodle soup and crackers, which for some reason was the Greatest. Treat. Ever. I think because it was Campbell’s from a can, rather than homemade soup which we got all the time. Kids, so perverse! 😛

    I do recall that Mama had a standing prescription at the pharmacy for the delicious pink Amoxicillin liquid. Though we were generally pretty healthy, when something went around, it went AROUND our house. We thought taking “the pink medicine” was the best! Kids! And my mother just shakes her head at the “standing prescription” thing. But our pediatrician knew my parents (my Dad was a veterinarian and a damn fine diagnostician), so he just had Dr. Brush (our pharmacist) fill the ‘script whenever one of us had bronchitis or an ear infection or whatever Daddy said it was. Can you imagine that happening today??

    I got my ‘flu shot and harassed several family members into getting theirs. I do hope dear Jo feels better soon. ‘Flu ain’t for sissies! Love to you both!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Thanks so much, Caren. I love hearing your family stories. How wonderful your dad could diagnose for you kids! Never happen today.

      If anyone had said big pink medicine to me, I would’ve thought Peptobismal (sp?) and gagged because it always made me throw up!

  • Kat Sheridan says:

    Aren’t you a terrific daughter for stepping in like this! And get your flu shot. Hubs and I make it an “old married people’s date” every year to get our flu shots together then go out to lunch. I have chronic asthma and he’s had a triple bypass, so we take no chances. When we DO get sick, we take care of each other, although both of us are of the “leave me alone and let me die in peace” variety. When I was a kid, which parent took care of us depended on what kind of sickness it was. Standard colds, measles, etc. were handled by Mom and a big jar of Vicks Vapo-Rub. If it was a throw-uppy kind of sick, Dad had to handle it, because Mom (like me) can’t even handle the sound of somebody throwing up (or as my nephew calls it, “throwing down” which actually makes more sense.) Plenty of rest, liquids, and a helpful daughter like you should have your mom back on her feet in no time.

    And go get your flu shot.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Hi, Kat, yes, my Megan’s pretty special. She also edits my books for me, so she’s a handy person all around.

      I think it’s hilarious that your mom and dad split up the “jobs” when it came to illnesses. That throw-up stuff is downright nasty and poor little kids hardly EVER hit the paper sack, bowl, basin, whatever you put by the bed for them.

  • Deb says:

    I don’t get the flu shot any longer; it’s been about 5 years or more. I have not noticed any difference with or without it. I usually get upper-respiratory illnesses every winter anyway since I no longer have a spleen and my immune system tends to “catch” all those things.

    My husband is really good about taking care of me when I’m sick. He seems to know when to leave me alone and when to check on me.

    My mother was a stay-at-home mom, so she always offered LTC. Shoot, even when I had strep throat really, really bad when I was 25, she came down to my place and stayed with me.

  • Shannon says:

    Hope your mom is well soon. Giving care is a special gift.

    I had tonsillitis in the 2nd grade and was out more than I was in school, with Mom taking care of me with plugged ears and sore throat. Lots of ice cream. She also encouraged me to read, and by the time I was back at school I read way faster than everyone. I attribute my love of reading to Mom and that one year “out” of school.

    My Mom just turned 80, and she has been sick on and off since then. I’ve flown out to be with her, and while she’s better, she has developed a new problem which they’ll look at with an MRI on Saturday. She’s fallen twice since her foot problem manifested so I cannot leave her alone for long. She’s been and independent lady all of her life, and is “kicking and screaming” her way against the ravages of time as one occupational therapist put it. This next week is filled with home care assessments, visits to assisted living, and doctor’s visits.

    MY SIL and my niece have the flu/cold so they cannot come and visit or have us over to dinner. Right now, I’d welcome a casserole from the church, but it is all adults here. McDonalds does sound good after all the healthy cooking I’ve been doing. Or Red Robim–the one at home is a 30 minute drive away and the one here is a 10 minute journey.

    Hope your mom gets well soon.

    • Shannon – Hope the results for your mom turn out for the best. What a good daughter you are for flying out to be with her. I know she appreciates you being there. Hugs.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I’m so sorry about your mother, Shannon. It’s very hard not to be able to depend on your body any more. In my mind I’m 30, but my body checks me at the door.

      Good luck with your mother’s MRI and assessment.

  • Hi Megan! Thanks for filling in for your mom and please give her a hug from me, and some extra fluids to drink, and tell her I said to take her antibiotics until they’re all gone (if she’s on them) and to get plenty of rest! Nurse’s orders!!

    I’m the every-cold-turns-into-bronchitis girl and since I was a nurse for many years who got assigned the pregnant-woman-with-respiratory-infection-symptoms, I’ve had it almost twice a year for thirty years. (Had pneumonia 5 times).

    I am also the crankiest patient. Yep. True. I want to be left alone to sleep, take my medicine, and READ for the few hours I’m awake. Unfortunately, hubby loves to hover when I’m sick. Poor man. You’d think he’d know better.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      ROTFLOL, Suzanne. Only another book lover would understand that sick time means quiet time to read unless you have a splitting migraine!

      I can’t believe you’ve had pneumonia 5 times, girl! That’s crazy.

  • Cassondra says:

    Hi Megan,

    I don’t get flu shots but have never had actual flu. My husband gets them because he’s forced to–he works in a hospital and it’s required. But he reacts really badly to it and it always makes him very sick and feel rotten for a couple of weeks after he has it. So we’re not big fans of the flu shot here I’m afraid.

    I did have pneumonia last year (didn’t know it until it was about over) and I hae to say that’s about as sick as I’ve ever been. It was awful. Thought I was going to die and was in bed for days. We don’t have kids, so it’s just the two of us to take care of each other. I HATE to be sick!


    Thanks so much for taking care of our Jo! And hope you don’t get sick too!

    • Jo Robertson says:

      I think you are generally very healthy, Cassondra. You’re fit and eat right (right?) and take care of yourself. Still avoiding the flu all these years is pretty remarkable.

  • catslady says:

    Oh, I hope she gets better soon!! We got sent to our rooms when sick but back then there were no TV’s or much of anything else – it was so boring. My mom would serve our meals in bed but I was so bored I wanted human company lol. Now I would die to have my meals served in bed lol. When my children were young I still had to do most of everything. When they got a lot older they would at least get me water and aspirin and if I was really sick my husband is great at take-out! Luckily I really don’t get sick too often. One of my older daughter’s was sick last year and she’s the helpless one and luckily we live close by and I was able to go over and baby her – I was glad to be able to help out.

  • Megan –

    What a sweetheart you are for helping out your mom. Big hugs for the both of you.

    I don’t get sick very often, but when I do the dh and my daughter tend to hover – when they’re home to do so. During the day – I’m on my own, which is fine. I remember being sick when I was little. My bother and I both had measles or chicken pox – forget which. Mom moved me into my brother’s room because he had twin beds. It was neat having company as this was before the days of a TV in every bedroom. I remember he had a lamp that had a picture of a locomotive on the lamp shade. The heat from the lightbulb rotated an “inner shade” of scenery – thus the train looked like it was moving. That was out visual entertainment 🙂 d- so yeah – company was good.

    Had my flu shot although without little kids around bringing home those potent germs I’m not sure I need one – but what the heck. No flu is a good thing.

    Feed Jo chicken soup and tell her to feel better soon. We miss her.

    • Jo Robertson says:

      Oh, Donna, your story reminded me of when my little brother and I had chicken pox together. He’s 17 months younger than I and got them first. Mom said, “No going in Ken’s bedroom,” with great threat in her voice.

      We didn’t, but we played catch with our pillows. I stood at the bedroom door and tossed to pillow to him bouncing on the bed. Sure enough, I HADN’T broken the rule, but DID get the pox. We had very mild cases and were bored bonkers!

  • CateS says:

    My hubby has my back when I’m sick… But I must say that we hit up CVS for our flu shot early on!! But yes, kids are a terrible germ pool… even older ones… gave my hubby MERSA twice when he was a jr high principal.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Hi, everyone! Sorry to bail today. I finally dragged my flu-ridden butt to the doctor where I learned that yes, I do have the flu (already knew that), yes, it’ll last about two weeks (already knew that) and no, there’s nothing I can do that I’m not already doing (already knew that)!

    Thanks to everyone for picking up the slack today.

  • Pat Cochran says:

    “Get Well Soon” wishes to to your Mommy, Megan! Hope
    she is feeling better soon!

    Honey will keep an eye on me and bring in anything I need
    and take me to the doctor, but I usually do the directing of
    any care for me. I really don’t have any memories of being
    ill and under Mother’s care. I do remember being Mother’s
    Helper in caring for my younger sibs during illnesses. No
    wonder I can;t remember, it’s been more than 70 years
    since I was a child! LOL

    Pat C.

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Thanks, Pat! You must’ve been a healthy child, and probably the oldest, right?

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hey Megan! Hey Jo! Oh, honey, I SO hope you feel better soon. UGH. It’s such a feeling of being ripped off when you get the shot and STILL get the flu.

    My DH has asthma, so he’s the first in line for a flu shot when the season rolls around. Me? Every damn time I get the shot, I get the flu. Like clockwork, so no flu shot for me. Bleeeeeech. My boys seem to take after me, since the only year we got flu shots for them, they too go the flu. ONly time (praise GOD) that they were sick at the same time.

    I do remember the chicken pox, though. In my family it went through all four of us kids one after the other. My brothers got over it fairly quickly but my sister and I had it at the same time. We nearly killed one another, and Mama nearly killed US over our squablling and complaining. Grins. I cannot even imagine 7 kids with it. (Jo, I’d pack my bags too!)

    Feel better fast, Jo! :>

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    And Megan, bless you for doing your daycare! We working mothers bow in your general direction. Grins. Thanks!!

    My boys are past day-care age now, but I remember how grateful I was for the respite and how happy they were to play with other kids rather than boring old mom. Ha!