Monday night my husband came home sick. He went directly to bed, while I made dinner, took out the cans, emptied the trash, recycling and compost into the cans, did bedtimes, washed dishes and prepped for the next morning.
And then I woke up and did everything that needed to be done again.
I found myself being kind of snippy with my husband, which I didn’t like. He clearly wasn’t feeling well, and I wanted him to have the time he needed to get better. But I was also deeply envious of his ability to just climb into bed and know that everything would get done, and to simply call into work the next morning and explain that he wouldn’t be there.
As a teacher, taking a day off is the biggest pain in the ass. I can’t just call in one morning and say I’m not going to be there. Missing a day requires hours of writing sub plans, and many times I actually need to go to work to set things up. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dragged my sick-as-a-dog ass to school in the wee hours of the morning to get ready for a sub, a sub I wasn’t even sure would show. I had to write a week’s worth of sub plans while I was in labor, when my daughter came two weeks before she was due (which was supposed to be a week after the school year ended).
It’s similarly impossible to really take time off as a mother. My kids have crashed almost every sick day I’ve taken since they were born, meaning they wake up sick when I’m staying home sick and I end up spending the time I should be recuperating taking care of them. If I am so sick that I really can’t do everything I usually do, the vast majority of the work is waiting for me when I feel better. The idea of taking a day off to rest and recuperate is a foreign concept for me — the work I have to do before and after makes it end up in a wash.
I’m definitely hitting a wall right now, and am desperate for a little time to rest and catch up. It’s not going to come for a while, probably not until the winter break, and until then I have to keep on moving forward. For me there just isn’t another option. And that’s why I seethe with envy as I watch my husband take the time he needs. I wish it were that easy for me.
What do you do when rest feels out of reach?