Some reflections on parenting through illness:
Being laid out flat on your back has advantages over being only mildly ill and carrying on with ordinary life. Truly succumbing forces rest and focuses the healing more sharply than when I try to soldier on. It also requires I cut all the extraneous parts of life until the sickness releases its grip: school, work, fun, other plans...we were at home and with one another and that was it. I missed a couple days of news, which is really rare. You know that feeling you have upon returning from vacation? Suddenly you see your life with new eyes. Being so ill was like a departure from everyday life, like a really shitty vacation.
I recognize it is a blessing for both Hubs and me to be able to stay home from work when family demands require it. If I had to care for the kids in my sick state, it would have been traumatic for all of us.
Going into the illness, I'd been feeling deathly bored of my small life with these children, their messes, the intensity of their needs, you know - lucky first world mom laments. See here for examples.
When Noah first became unwell, I felt annoyed by his bellows to, "Come lay with me. Tickle my arm. Read to me. Bring me a drink." If you have kids, you know that this is the lighter stage of illness, when they still have enough energy to be grumpy. I would sit and watch "Cat in the Hat" with him for the requisite 15 minutes at a time, but would find reason to escape - to get dinner going, brother needs a diaper change, Mama can't handle one second more of this overly-loud cartoon....
After I felt so sick I couldn't be vertical for more than 3 minutes, I had so much more empathy for my little one. I knew exactly why he wanted me to sit near and distract his pain sensors with tickles and murmurs, to doze in my arms and wake with me near, just waiting to offer cold water and a rub. And I was the only one who could do that for him. I was the Mama.