Family life

Mommy needs a sick day

Anchel’s caught her first cold of the season and talks about what this means for her family.

By Anchel Krishna
Mommy needs a sick day

Photo: Tatami_Skanks/

It started on Friday. That little tickle in the back of my throat. I crossed my fingers and hoped it was just a funny reaction to the fact that I got no sleep the night before (thanks to our little night owl who decided that she would be completely wide awake from 11 p.m. through to 4 a.m.). But by late afternoon, there was no denying it. I had caught my first cold of the season. Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend and the family dinner we were hosting on Sunday (fortunately it was a potluck so there wasn’t too much to do).

So I called my first line of defense: my mother-in-law. Whenever I get sick I always place a take-out or delivery order for two things: Lemon rasam (a tangy, spicy soup-like dish that helps relieve a sore throat) and lemon rice (spiced rice with peanuts, chickpeas and lemon juice). These two south Indian dishes are the only things I feel like having when I’m sick and luckily my amazing in-laws are experts at cooking these dishes.

I have a lot more in common with the ever-mocked "man cold" than the high-functioning state of supermoms when they are sick. I can barely think, let alone function. Fortunately for me, it’s easy for Dilip to step into super-dad mode to let me rest. And I mentioned my amazing in-laws, right?

Before we had a kid, it was fine for me to be completely self-centred and put everything on hold when I was sick. But now, things are a bit different. There are still appointments to attend, PT, OT and speech exercises to complete, basic parenting duties and a diva-like daughter (wonder where she gets that from?) that expects to be entertained (around the clock apparently).

On the other hand, I need to be conscious about spreading my germs. Syona’s appointments are either at centres that have lots of kiddos and families that don’t need me spreading my cold around or with adults who spend their days going from child to child, and I certainly don’t want to responsible for making any of them sick. My usual strategy is just to lay low if I can, or at least avoid physical contact with people as much as possible. Yes, I know I sound a little over-concerned. But I also know how much it sucks when any kid gets sick (heck, it sucks when anyone gets sick, not just a kid). But for a child with special needs it can also mean several days of really poor eating and drinking (which makes a difference when your kid is on the small side) and it can also mean missing therapy appointments, many of which are well over $100 a session and usually non-refundable for last minute cancellations. And if your kid has any medical issues, I would imagine that a simple cold could wreck havoc on their systems and routines.

Now I’m just hoping that our diligent hand washing and no-sharing rules help to avoid the spread to Syona and Dilip.

How do you cope when you’re sick? What are your sick-day tips?

This article was originally published on Oct 10, 2012

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