Tender Loving Care

On Mother’s Day this year I was brought a cup of fresh hot peppermint tea in bed when I woke up.  Then my blood pressure was taken, along with my temperature and oxygen levels and the nurse attached a new drip of fluids and painkillers.

I was alone in hospital after suffering a severe infection of the abdomen.  Apparently it had been going on at least a few months, but three days before my body had just given up and I had dialled 999.

For a year I had put my daughter first. I ran to her bed when she called out, I fed her first, I made sure she drank enough water. I tried to make sure she ate fruit and vegetables and I took her on daily walks to get fresh air and exercise.  I read her stories, I taught her to read phonics, I played games with her and I endured hours of saccharine TV shows about groups of friends named after gem stones.

But now my body was broken and I was the one being looked after. I wasn’t responsible for making sure my daughter had enough fluids, and I wasn’t even responsible for my own.

The day before I had rung my daughter, over optimistic about my test results, and told her I might be home on Mothering Sunday after all. “Oh!” she moaned. “But Daddy and I had lots of sneaky things planned to do.  You stay and have a rest and we hope you can come home on Monday,” she told me. So much for feeling appreciated.

Child in a medical coat and hat writing on an easle
Leave it to the medical professionals (Nursery Whines)

With me gone my daughter was languishing in neglect.  Fed a diet of crisps, biscuits and takeaways and allowed to watch as much television as she wanted. No one was making her do her homework, tidy her room, brush her teeth or even get dressed if it wasn’t a school day.  I think she might have missed me a little bit. But not enough to stop her enjoying the freedom of being unmothered for a bit.

Meanwhile, I was being taken care of for a change. True, I was only allowed to eat jelly and ice cream and drink tea. But it was brought to my bedside where I could watch what I wanted on the telly for a change – all day and all night if I wanted it.

My daughter was unfazed by my absence on Mothering Sunday. She was more interested in how big my scars were and how much blood there had been. And when I did get home the world hadn’t ended because I was not there.  The sink was full of washing up, there was a sea of toys, books and clothes all over her bedroom floor and a big bunch of tulips on the table to greet me. They had remembered to take the bins out, eat, go to school.  They didn’t need me to take care of everyone and everything, all the time.

What I learned from my hospital dash and recovery was that as much as I feel a duty to always take care of my family – they can take care of themselves.  Sometimes, it’s important I take care of myself instead.


3 thoughts on “Tender Loving Care

  1. Oh my goodness! I hope you are well now and will pay attention to your body’s signs so you don”t have an emergency again (but I know it is hard to do as we parents put our kids first!) Thanks for linking up with #ParentPower

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s