Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

The Sickly Joys of Motherhood

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

The Sickly Joys of Motherhood

Article excerpt

WHEN I signed up for motherhood I knew I wasn't signing the smartest contract in the world. But somehow, with years of practice, I've been able to get my head around the fact that kids, no matter what age, need constant feeding, constant attention and constant threats of being sent to their room if they don't stop smacking each other with the barbecue tongs.

The expectation that as a mother I would remember birth dates when filling out official forms has given me the odd moment of grief and don't expect any quick answers about who's had what shots or which one's blood group is positive or negative (surely the midwives could have been more diligent and had that stuff tattooed on kids' tooshies back in the maternity ward rather than handing me a a[approximately]baby book' with vital statistics written in it that, let's face it, we all knew was going to be lost on that first drive to the Baby Health Centre).

Despite any formal qualifications, I've managed to muddle through motherhood without the fear of finding DoCS on my doorstep. That is until this week.

Clause four of the motherhood contract is the Florence Nightingale paragraph a it's the whole spiel about unconditional care for your sick child and includes schlepping up and down the hallway bringing the patient whatever they need, putting Band-Aids on boo-boos, bandages on bruised bits and putting thermometers in places only a mother could.

Well this week I've been questioning the whole a[approximately]unconditional' part of clause four and let's just say from now on, if you're a kid of mine and you are infested with a mega-mucus-producing virus, I have conditions. And condition number one is a don't give it to me.

It started last weekend when my youngest's temperature (and mood) spiked. Soon after she complained of a sore throat, developed a cough and then a the snot eruption. …

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