No sick days for mom!

Katie Dupuis had a sciatica attack this week but was surprised to find she powered through where Sophie was concerned.

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Sophie goes for a spin. Photo: Katie Dupuis

Today’s Parent managing editor Katie Dupuis likes structure and organization. A lot. Now, imagine this Type A editor with a baby. Funny, right? We’re sure you’ll love Katie’s musings on life with Sophie and husband Blaine.

Not to jinx myself, but I don’t get sick very often. I usually get a doozy of a cold once a winter, but that’s it; I only get the flu every three or four years; and I almost never throw up (sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s true). But here’s the trade-off: When I get really tired, I spike a fever and need sleep pretty much immediately. It’s been the same since I was a little kid; those were the times I actually remember having meltdowns (sorry, Mom and Dad). Combine the day-to-day of magazine life with a busy toddler and a brand spanking new house in need of a lot of painting (and baseboards, new flooring, etc, etc), a girl is bound to get a little worn out.

This week I could tell I was heading down Exhaustion Road. Last Saturday my softball team played a double-header in our league playoffs (and came out victorious gold medal winners, I might add) and then Sunday was spent trying to cram two weekend days into one. By Tuesday, I was smack in the middle of a sciatica attack (which hasn’t happened since I was pregnant with Sophie, but I imagine catching seven innings of baseball will do that to you) that didn’t really subside until Thursday. Needless to say, I dragged myself through Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt like total garbage.

In the past, when I didn’t have a 22-month-old hurricane to care for, I would have tucked myself into bed at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. But dinner and bath time can’t take a backseat when Mama’s tired. You figure out a way to power through. I underestimated my ability to do that — to ignore my own fatigue and sore legs to get the little girl settled for the night (Blaine could totally have dealt with her on his own, but Soph’s getting to be a handful and it’s always easier with both of us). It’s an amazing thing, really. I thought I put other people first before Sophie but not fully, not like that. No matter what my mindset, I can still sing silly songs, make (terrible) dolphin noises during Soph’s bath and read Mortimer at least three times in a row without breaking a sweat.

It sort of makes me feel like a superhero — albeit a tired one — and I give buckets of credit to anyone who is parenting with a physical or emotional challenge on a regular basis: I’m just tired and spent too much time on the ball field; I can’t imagine trying to balance a family with a more serious illness or a debilitating mental health issue. I’m sure, in these situations, it’s difficult to get up in the morning, let alone put on a brave face for the brood.

I’m taking myself to bed shortly (it’s 10:07 p.m. on Thursday) and hope to sleep soundly now that the sciatic pain has subsided, but I’ve also planned to get more exercise in next week. I figure taking care of myself will see me in this situation even less. My immune system gets props for keeping me healthy, but I can’t take advantage, you know?

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