The Sick Day: Your Prescription For Relinquishing Control

This week the unthinkable happened, y’all. Wait for it… I got sick. Yep, I know it is just not supposed to happen to someone who has been rather braggy about only using her sick days for the better part of the last decade to take care of other people, but my number was up and I came crashing down. At first I did just what any self-respecting mom person would do: Everything Already Scheduled On The Calendar, of course. I schleped to meetings in the rain, read bedtime stories in a raspy voice  and drove people hither and yon. I was determined not to let any chills, fever, aches, sore throat or cough prevent me from my to-to list. But by day four, I was pretty sure I could not take another step and I waved the white flag. If only I had done this on Day One, I would probably be better already. So here is your official set of instructions for Dealing With An Unexpected Short-Term Illness:

1. Let people help you. I know, your husband does not pack lunches exactly the way you do, but just admit that your desire to supervise this process is more about control than nutrition and let the man do the lunches in peace. They are (probably) not going to end up with a handful of loose Crunch Berries and a warm can of Code Red Mountain Dew. But if they do it will be okay. Let the sitter stay late. Let your co-worker handle those meetings. Enlist the help of a neighbor or a friend. You can DO it. And you know you’d do the same for them.
2. Stop coming out of your room to Check on Everybody. You might see something you don’t want to see. Like an entire package of opened markers (no paper) spread out on your new Farmhouse table or the entire family watching Naked and Afraid. You have been kind of yatchy lately, so they probably don’t want to see you anyway…
3. Call your doctor. For the love. There comes a point when even you know that you are beyond Zicam and Airborne. Don’t be stubborn. Get a prescription. It does not make you weak.
4. Relax and sleep. Put your phone on silent or take it into another room entirely. It may return to you with a camera roll full of sassy selfies and perhaps even a few trampolines in your Amazon Prime cart but you are going to be tempted to check your email it if it is right beside your bed. Get that thing outta here.
5. You probably won’t want it anyway, but please do not attempt to eat salad. There is a time and place for salad and today is not the day. Now is the time for regular Coke and Cheeze Balls out of the can – or whatever will make you feel better. And while you are at it tell that Kayla Itsinis to take her inspirational abs and get off your newsfeed for at least three days. That incessant coughing is an ab workout in itself.
With a little rest and relaxation you will be back on your A-game in no time. I can also guarantee you your crew will be glad to see you emerge from the Black Hole. You are one-of-a-kind and no one can take your place, but even a control freak deserves to let herself heal. The table may even be scrubbed clean of all traces of marker (but do save the picture on your phone that shows the masterpiece that it once was). And rest up for having the whole neighborhood at your house when all those trampolines arrive.
Kelly Barbrey must admit that her husband did an amazing job packing lunches, going to the grocery store and doing laundry this past week. And if you know him, you know that there were absolutely no permanent markers open on the kitchen table under his supervision. 🎨


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