2 sick toddlers + 1 newborn does not a happy Mama make! I swear it’s the Universe’s way of pointing and laughing at me,
“HA. HA. HA. Supermamapreneur that.”
This is when running a business from home and mothering is a mishmash mountain of Icky, Sticky and Tricky.
#1: ICKY – When they are sick
This always happens to me. Two out of two. The 2 times I had newborns when there was already an older child around, the older child(ren) would get sick.
When Allegra was born, Kaius caught the dreaded Hand, Foot & Mouth disease (HFMD) when Allegra was barely a week old. He had the ulcers in his mouth and throat. But the most worrying thing was HFMD can be fatal for newborns. Luckily, Allegra didn’t get HFMD but she caught a mild version of the flu. The poor thing had a fever, cough and also a stuffy nose when she was not even a month old.
When Alexa was born, both Kaius and Allegra caught some bug from school which inevitably turned into bronchitis. They had to use the nebuliser for medication and were also on antibiotics. Alexa ended up with a stuffy nose.
I spent my confinement month* with all three kids at home (this was so not the plan!), and ferrying the kids to and fro from home to the paediatrician.
Somedays I brought just Alexa for her routine newborn check up, other days, 2 kids, and on really great days, all 3 kids would have to go.
Imagine the bills. And the whining (from Mama too).
#2: STICKY – When medication (& puke) ends up everywhere
I wish there was a magic formula to help young kids understand that if they scream and scream to avoid taking their medicines, they will cough and cough, and then they will puke and puke.
ALL OVER THE FLOOR.
Their bed. My bed.
Y (insert appropriate expletive) W H E R E.
Kaius is 3+, so he understands that he has to take his medicine to get better and the nebuliser is part of that process. He’s calm and takes what he needs to without drama. But to be fair he’s not a dramatic kid.
My spunky Allegra on the other hand, hated taking the powdery notsonicetasting antibiotics and using the nebuliser. She would scream and cry and shout and fight each time she had to take her medication. We’d usually have to carry her and let her watch some TV to distract her.
So many times each medicine session would last 30 minutes and end with her in a pile of sobs and covered in sticky medicine and me exhausted. And y’know what’s the most “fun” part? When you think you finally got her to swallow her medicine, but she chokes and sputters and then pukes everything out. Which means you’ll have to do it all.over.again.
But I also had to remind myself that she’s sick and not even 2 years old, so she’s allowed to be afraid and cranky and difficult.
Oh and since my office is at home, my poor gem of an assistant had to work through all the
By the way, I will gladly pay money to anyone who can make antibiotics for kids in gummy form. My kids LOVE gummies and it will save Mummies everywhere the heartache of having to force medicine down their kids’ throats.
#3: TRICKY – When EVERYONE wants Mummy
And you know it wouldn’t help even if you could clone Mummy because the clone probably wouldn’t have the same smell as Mummy.
This was the most tricky for me.
I had the newborn to attend to, and to get breastmilk production going for.
I had the aftermath of the birth to deal with – yes, painful boobs, stitches where nobody wants to have stitches (Google “episiotomy” at your own risk!), and just generally trying to bounce back quickly.
Then I had the 2 older children who just wanted to be near me because it made them feel better.
But because I couldn’t afford to get sick (cos if I do everything will fall apart), I couldn’t spend too much time with them also. They had to settle for brief cuddles instead of dozing off in the same room as me and Alexa.
The crying. The whinging.
On top of that, the Boss, I need your approval on this and that & what’s our marketing plan now? type questions. (Having the baby earlier than expected always brings about planning nightmares for work. And it doesn’t help when sometimes it is difficult to focus to get good ideas for marketing.)
There isn’t a quick fix for this. Only taking it 1 day at a time. Sometimes 1 hour or 1 minute at a time.
The general plan is usually this: When the shit hits the fan, eliminate shit maker(s), switch off the fan and then clean up the mess.
And when it is all over, we celebrate by going shopping!
*In Chinese cultures, the “confinement month” refers to post-natal care which lasts between 28 to 40 days. Usually, the mother is encouraged to stay at home to recover from the birth. During this time, a special diet is prepared and herbal medicines brewed to help her regain her strength and vitality. Everything is specially prepared including herbal and/or lemongrass baths, red date tea (that is drunk in place of plain water) and green papaya fish soup to encourage milk production. The confinement nanny is hired to do all these things for the mother and to also help look after the newborn for 28 days, typically.