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I always get headaches from new glasses, ugh. And something new is blooming here that is making me a little sore-throat-y and headache-y when I wake up, so maybe it's that?

As far as illness goes, if it's your standard cold/flu thing, I have to power through it. If it's a really bad migraine and it's during daytime hours (like on the weekend), I have had to call a friend once or twice to come over and help out. Otherwise, I've put DD in her crib with some toys and books where I know she's safe and ok for a little while, and lain down on the floor. It's scary to think about, but you totally do what you have to. You don't have a choice!

I love your blog. The list of what-ifs cracked me up. I was thinking about writing to you and checking off the ones that have happened to me since I had kids (many!). BUT, it is fabulous to love them. I used to worry all the time about what I would do if I got really sick or injured and my husband was out of town and there was no one to help. I have. And you will. When my husband was traveling our garage door slammed down with my finger in the fold of the metal door ... I had to open it back up with the free hand while holding my 1 year old daughter on my hip and then head to the ER. We all survived (with less pain meds than I would have taken had hubble been in town). I've been challenged in ways I never would have without kids, but the joy is immense. My blog is the way I keep the good stuff at the top and the fears and what ifs in the realm of the underworld :)

Hi Sarah,

It’s not when YOU’RE sick that you have to worry about, it’s more when your back-up caretaker (your nanny, babysitter, etc.) is sick or unavailable that really gets you. Because you can always call for back-up when you’re feeling yucky and need to hide under the covers. But when the Ghostbusters in your life need an exorcism, you’re really in trouble. There’s NO ONE to call! I think the moral here is to have three cushiony layers of support – like a really terrific mattress of mommyness.

For example, my daughter recently fell ill while we were away for the night at a wedding. When we came home, she was pretty terrifyingly pale in her grandma’s arms. But after wheedling and pleading for a while, we got her to eat half a popsicle and a cup of juice, and then we were able to calm down and be grateful that my mom had taken her to the doctor’s office and the pharmacy for antibiotics, and generally held down the fort until we could come home and do our parenting magic. (It took all of our skills, too – our girl was so tired and feverish that we had to make up a popsicle song with a little dance. As our pale little daughter chewed on the melty, dripping red confection, she made a very convincing baby vampire. If I’d been about 50% less worried, I could have taken some great pictures.)

Unfortunately, my mom was scheduled to have surgery that week and needed to get TLC instead of giving it. So, my husband and I embarked on a hamster wheel of dodged work, punctured sleep, snatched minutes of emailing clients, and many, many readings of our daughter’s favorite board books. Toddlers can’t exactly stay in bed and amuse themselves with a copy of The Princess Bride, but they don’t sleep all day, either. Our normally fearless baby cried when we moved more than two feet away from her and insisted on sleeping – even napping – directly on top of us (unless it was 3 a.m., in which case she wanted to climb onto our chests and stare spookily into our startled eyes until we returned her to her crib. You heard it here first: Kids can be creepy. There’s a reason it’s not Doggies of the Corn.).

Eventually, one morning, after many nights of 104 temperatures and ill-timed calls to our reassuring, patient pediatrician, our daughter was suddenly better. Within five minutes of waking, she’d picked out ten books to “read” in her bedroom and brought me four more to read to her (there’s some kind of magical logic about which ones she deigns to let us read to her). She was feeling better – and my husband and I were finally allowed to fall sick ourselves! Of course, having just used up all my excuses to clients and his sick days, we had to be working sick (and “working” includes parenting). But that’s how it goes when you’re a parent…

By the way, I was so glad to read yesterday’s post and hear that you’re feeling empowered. After all, how much ridiculous pressure does it put on every first date when you’re already worrying about whether he’s marriage and child-rearing material? You should just be dating guys whose company you enjoy as much or more as your other friends’ – and enough to make room for them in your busy life. That means they have to be pretty awesome for you to give them second date clearance, right?

First of all, your dog's are adorable. :) Second, didn't read the other replies, but what I've found, (and this is from a bystander's view w/my sisters), but, it can be a little bit of both. I think 80-90% of the time they just plow through. But, there are those times when they'll break down and let us help them out. Well, I use "us" a little liberally. I'm pretty busy myself and can't always babysit, but, grandma & grandpa's door is always open. :) I'm sure you'll make it work.

Jen, the garage door thing made me queasy. There must be truth to the super-human mom thing, because I think I would have passed out.

Kate, thanks! I like 'em. A lot.

Rebecca, the crazy high fever must be one of the most terrifying things in the world. (Still your description of your daughter staring at you made me laugh.)

Cathi-- That's the secret, isn't it? "You do what you have to do." It's that simple and that hard...

Reading these comments makes me feel very reassured. Thanks, ladies!

You power through. You have no choice.

There was one day I had some weird thing where I suddenly couldn't breathe and was about to pass out. Alone with the kids. Here's what I did WHILE dialing 911: Put baby in the crib. Unlocked and opened front door. Called 2 year-old upstairs to sit with me. Told dispatcher I was alone with my children. Called husband. Called nearby friend. Ambulance arrived. 2 year-old came into the ambulance with me while baby cried in her room, then friend arrived. Husband came to take me to hospital. Everything fine in the end.

You get all the phone numbers of everyone you know and you put them next to the phone. You also hide a house key somewhere. I had a lot more problems getting help when I locked myself and my toddler out of the house in 40-degree weather and the cell phone was in the (locked) car.

P.S. - You won't freak out because you don't want your kids to freak out. "Look at the ambulance, honey. Isn't it GREAT? Real firemen!"

I know that scary feeling, but I also think how in our jobs even when we're sick we go and shoot. I don't remember ever calling in sick during a shoot or production.

I remember during a 2 week shoot half of the crew getting a stomach thingy and laying in the camera room with a bucket. Flying for a production,a arriving with a bad toothache, going to the dentist after one hour of arrival and then having a pre pre production meeting while on drugs. So I figure if we do it for work, we could do it for the kids.

But I do get scared with the what if i get a migraine? or get sick? or blah, blah...

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    • L.A. 2009. I’m stuck in traffic on the 101 freeway, listening to Isabella Rosselini on NPR. Isabella, for some reason, mentions that starfish are one of those rare species that can reproduce asexually, and I realize that if I could do that, I wouldn't have to worry about finding a boyfriend/husband. I wouldn’t have to internet date! I wouldn't have to figure out if I want to/can/should have a baby/adopt a baby/child on my own. I wouldn't have to stress about things like FSH levels, or weigh my feelings on in vitro versus adoption. I would just have a baby. Thus began my starfish envy.
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