Home It's All About Me Are You The Modern Day Wonder Woman?

Are You The Modern Day Wonder Woman?

18th June 2017
Modern Day Wonder Woman

Us girls are pretty tough when it comes to all things pain-related (periods, giving birth, even breastfeeding!), but isn’t it just the worst thing ever when we get really ill?

Without the risk of sounding like someone craving sympathy (stick with me as I have a good point here), I think it’s fair to say that the worst thing about getting ill is that life goes on as normal of course BUT we’re expected to roll with it.

Poorly? What’s that?

It’s okay for kids (and dare I say it, the other half) to get ill; if they get so much as a sniffle off they trot to bed, whining and expecting plenty of sympathy, coupled with round-the-clock drinks, meals, snacks, tissues…..

And who is doing all of this? Yes, it’s us lovely mummies who wait on our nearest and dearest hand and foot, clearing up snotty tissues, changing bedsheets, making wholesome food, supplying endless rounds of Beechams – and sympathy.

And then one day, seemingly out of the blue, illness hits you like a 3-ton lorry. You feel absolutely awful, you have no energy and your body is screaming out for rest.

But life just doesn’t stop – you have to summon all your strength to get up out of bed, feed the kids, make sure they are dressed, their book bags are packed, they’ve been tested on their spellings, taken to school, picked up from school, made their tea, made sure homework is done, bath them, read to them…the list seems endless.

You can’t think straight and every little task you do feels like you’ve run a marathon.

What’s more, we also do all of the above – and more – without complaint or even a little groan passing our lips.

The Mummy Trap

I call this scenario the Mummy Trap. We’re trapped into being ill, but as mothers we are also trapped into continuing with day-to-day chores and life because….well, there’s no one else to do it frankly. Or if there is, they somehow don’t seem to do it as well or cope as well as we do.

Apparently, a new study has found that the average mum falls ill 324 times over their kids’ childhood, with an endless cycle of sore throats, runny noses, migraines and sickness bugs meaning that we will be left feeling under the weather 18 times a year.

Unfortunately, I think I get my fair share of this – and someone else’s as well. Ever since I’ve been 12 years old I’ve suffered from god-awful migraines.
migraines
No, not the silly aura kind with the flashing lights – those seem like a walk in the park compared to the excruciating throbbing pains in my head that I regularly endure. It’s so violent that it makes physically sick.

Sometimes the pain is so bad that I have to make myself physically sick rather than wait to be sick just to release the pressure – and fleetingly take my mind off the worst pain ever.

When I’m having a migraine attack, I am literally useless. Nowadays, with the kids a bit older this isn’t so bad. They know I have regular attacks and that I cannot be relied upon to do tasks (without hurting myself – or others!), so they just get on with it.

But when they were younger…well, let’s just say I have absolutely no idea how I got through some of the attacks while looking after a crying baby or needy toddler.

Fortunately, in most cases I had my parents to turn to for help. If it wasn’t for them I honestly don’t know how I would have got through some of the tougher migraines.

Permanently guilty

And yet when we’re ill why do we feel guilty about it? It’s not like we make ourselves poorly on purpose.

We really give ourselves a hard time over every single decision we make. We question ourselves over and over….How does it affect the kids? Am I doing the right thing? How can I improve this…? But the guiltiness just never goes.

Is it just a mother’s instinct to feel guilty? I remember saying this to someone at a work conference I attended once. I think my exact words were “As soon as we give birth us mothers start to feel guilty.”

The person I spoke to at the conference was fascinated that I had made this statement; he couldn’t understand it – and he possibly thought I was exaggerating. But I told him to go home after the conference and ask his wife if she feels guilty about…well, everything.

Three days later I got an email from him saying that I could read his wife’s mind better than he could and asked if we could swap brains.

Anyway, without digressing too much, my point is this: As mothers we are expected to be Wonder Woman.

We are multi-taskers, all the household members depend on us and we are constant comforters and carers.

At some point or another, we will get ill; sometimes quite severely ill. And we will want to be left alone to recover. But life goes on and we won’t be left alone.

Modern Day Wonder Woman

But if we can’t change the situation then remember this as you’re battling through with a ‘keep calm and carry on’ attitude: you are depended on for a reason; your kids, your partner, your family…they all love you and are lost without you.

Maybe that will offer some condolence to you when you next have to drag yourself out of bed to clean up spilt milk or fetch a plaster for a finger that shows no signs of being hurt.

In the big scheme of things, we all just want to be loved don’t we? Even when we’ve just been sick and we haven’t quite summoned up the energy to wash in three days.

Just me? Okaaaay….just off for that shower now then. Oh hang on, the kids are calling…

This post first appeared on MeetOtherMums.com

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83 comments

Kara 30th June 2017 at 7:20 am

I feel like this too. I am very lucky that I am rarely ill but when I am, I’m still expected to get everything done as usual, yet if it is hubby he is like a dying swan LOL

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LaurettaCWright 30th June 2017 at 7:52 am

Ah yes … I think it’s the same in many households ?

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Kristina 27th June 2017 at 2:14 pm

I am not a mum as I’m too young but I do believe mums these days are just amazing. I’ve seen mine being an absolute trooper through anything and I do believe she’s wonder woman.

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LaurettaCWright 27th June 2017 at 4:01 pm

Sounds like she’s definitely a modern day Wonder Woman!

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Caroline 26th June 2017 at 3:11 pm

Very true! Oh yes, the dreaded mummy guilt – there is no getting away from it unfortunately. I seem to spend most winters permanently ill these days, but you just have to keep going.

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LaurettaCWright 26th June 2017 at 7:52 pm

Thanks Caroline! 🙂 x

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Sarah - let them be small 26th June 2017 at 2:54 pm

It can be hard juggling things sometimes, but I think you just learn to adapt and get on with it. Sometimes I’m doing the bulk of stuff, other times it’s my husband x

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LaurettaCWright 26th June 2017 at 7:53 pm

It’s great you have a good team effort going Sarah!

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Lindsey 26th June 2017 at 9:39 am

I think all the 21st mum are wonder women, we’ve had to adapt to society and some are left as single parents, therefore leading us to be super mums.

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Tamsin 23rd June 2017 at 8:35 pm

We definitely are expected to carry on when ill. It’s frustrating when you’re so ill you can barely move without almost passing out, and yet we still have to muster on somehow as parents.

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 9:56 pm

We do – and it’s tough. I wish we had a magic genie around to help when we got ill!

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Rachel 23rd June 2017 at 8:08 pm

All Mum’s are definitly Wonder Women! My Mum is an absolute star and continusly looks after me even though I’m 22! xo

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Evelina 23rd June 2017 at 5:58 pm

I have no children so all mums are wonder women to me! Seriously, I have no idea how you do it.

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 9:56 pm

Ah that’s a nice thing to say – thanks Evelina!

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Deborah Nicholas 22nd June 2017 at 8:30 pm

I think every momma is a little bit wonder woman and more often than not i have my underpants on the outside too – more through rushing to get everything else done though 😉

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 4:54 am

Ha ha! Very good Deborah! 🙂

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes 22nd June 2017 at 8:40 am

This is so true, we just have to power through! Of course our illness is never as bad as the children/daddy’s! 😉

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:57 am

No of course not! 😉

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Kerry norris 22nd June 2017 at 5:55 am

I can defo relate to this and always think of myself as Wonder Woman

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LaurettaCWright 22nd June 2017 at 6:11 am

Wonder Woman Kerry!

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WhatLauraLoves 22nd June 2017 at 4:50 am

I definitely know a lot of wonder woman mothers and its so inspiring to me! xxx

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LaurettaCWright 22nd June 2017 at 5:59 am

They are inspiring indeed!

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LaurettaCWright 22nd June 2017 at 4:16 pm

I’ll agree with Inspiring!

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Tanya 21st June 2017 at 10:19 pm

I’ve had some really horrible bouts of sickness which has completely struck me down before, I couldn’t imagine handling with kids too. Hats off to all the mums who battle through

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:42 am

Hats off indeed Tanya – I don’t know how some people cope though…better than me I imagine!

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Lilinha 21st June 2017 at 10:07 pm

We do so much as mums, we are always multi-tasking and making sure everyone is ok around us!
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Louise Smith 21st June 2017 at 8:09 pm

I’m one of those mums who plod on no matter how rubbish I’m feeling. I can honestly say I never feel like a modern day Wonder Woman though. More like a modern day failure! LOL

Louise x
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John Milnes 21st June 2017 at 7:49 pm

I wouldn’t say I was a Wonder Woman, nor a Wonder Dad either. The one thing I keep mentioning to my wife, is the fact that she feels rubbish as a Mum, when she is sick all the time. I keep reminding her to think of the positives and reassure her she is doing what she can, given the circumstances. We can all do more to improve, but there is NO need to beat yourself up about it. It’s natural to do so, its part of being parent. We are our own harshest critics when it comes to be being a parent. I am sure our parents my have gone through something at some point.

Great post. Thanks for Sharing.

John M

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:55 am

Wise words John – thanks for commenting – and yes, we are our own worst critics.

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Laura - Dear Bear and Beany 21st June 2017 at 4:40 pm

Before I became a parent one of the things I never thought about was when I got sick. There really is no chance of lying in bed and watching Friends on repeat x

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:58 am

Oh if only I could do things like that these days…!

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Sophie's Nursery 21st June 2017 at 4:36 pm

Urgh nothing worse than being ill and having children!! We are certainly expected to be wonder women!

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francesca 21st June 2017 at 3:34 pm

Oh God I know this feeling all too well!! Its hard being ill when you’re a mum its awful BUT we just have to shut up about it and get stuff done!

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Dannii 21st June 2017 at 7:52 am

I have a 7 month old and I haven’t been ill yet since she was born, but I am dreading it. Will just have to carry on as normal.

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:56 am

Just try not to get ill Dannii – and when you do, sleep when baby sleeps!

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Gareth Torrance 21st June 2017 at 6:44 am

I always do my best to make sure my wife is able to rest, guilt-free, when she is ill. It’s not fair that everything be put on one person’s shoulders all the time.

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:56 am

So true – and you’re obviously a very considerate husband!

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Sally Akins 21st June 2017 at 5:38 am

I’m lucky that I rarely seem to get properly ill, but every year I get floored by a flu-like virus on Boxing Day. It’s like my immune system realises that I’ve got a few days off and decides that it’s going to take a few days off as well

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LaurettaCWright 22nd June 2017 at 3:09 pm

My husband teacher gets ill every time they have half term or summer – it’s the body’s way of saying ‘thank god for that’ I think!

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shannon ritchie 20th June 2017 at 10:28 pm

I get migraines too, they really can make it hard to carry out day to day tasks! x

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LaurettaCWright 21st June 2017 at 2:04 am

I totally sympathise Shannon.

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Samantha Bye 20th June 2017 at 9:25 pm

I haven’t had kids yet, but putting it into perspective like this furthers my belief that I’m not ready yet! I think this is a general gripe of women, mothers or not. The dreaded ‘man flu’ knocks out our partners in unfathomable ways, and I’ve generally been in jobs where being ill and taking time off to recover (or to stop the spread through the office) is frowned upon. Migraines are terrible, good for you for being able to push through and raise children while you’ve suffered with them!

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 9:27 pm

Thanks Samantha – that’s lovely.

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melissa major 20th June 2017 at 7:02 pm

totally agree with the being ill one, I just have to carry on as usual, so used to it now haha

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 7:40 pm

It’s certainly something we get used to! 🙂

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Baby Isabella 20th June 2017 at 4:12 pm

My mummy can empathise with this as she used to suffer from migraines and now is only four weeks post lung surgery and expected to carry on as normal. Thankfully daddy has taken the helm for a little while but it doesn’t stop when you have kids does it. Long gone are the days spent in bed for the whole day!

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 9:08 pm

I had completely forgotten about the days of spending all day in bed – or having a lie-in past 10am! If I get up at 8am, that’s classed as my lie-in!

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Anosa 20th June 2017 at 3:41 pm

I can not even begin to imagine what you mums go through and still have to maintain a brave and plough through.
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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 9:09 pm

Thanks Anosa – sometimes it’s bloody hard work…and I haven’t even got it as bad as some people….

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Stephanie Merry 20th June 2017 at 12:55 pm

I’m sure most mothers can relate to this – can’t image how tough it must be to be ill but still have to look after kids x

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LaurettaCWright 23rd June 2017 at 6:55 am

Thanks Stephanie – I thought most people would relate to this topic!

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Emily Leary 20th June 2017 at 11:23 am

It’s amazing what you can push through when you need to! The statistic about mothers falling ill 324 times over their kids’ childhood was surprising and not surprising to me at the same time!

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 11:56 am

Absolutely – thanks Emily!

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Ana De- Jesus 20th June 2017 at 10:34 am

I get terrible migranes as well and sometimes like you, even when I try and push through it I can’t function. You really are a modern day wonder woman x

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 11:59 am

Hats off to you too Ana – us migraine sufferers are a tough lot aren’t we?!

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Rhian Westbury 20th June 2017 at 8:22 am

I can’t imagine how tough it must be being ill when you’re a parent as you can’t just call in sick and lay in bed all day x

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LaurettaCWright 20th June 2017 at 8:38 am

Thanks Rhian!

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Sarah Ann 19th June 2017 at 9:37 pm

I’m not a mum, but reading your post reminded me of my mum who – no matter how ill she was feeling – always got of bed and treated it like any other day getting us ready for school, doing the school run, putting a load in the machine etc. When I was a kid I just thought my mum was invincible and never got ill!

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 9:49 pm

Ah sounds like your mum was Wonder Woman!

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Elizabeth 19th June 2017 at 7:32 pm

I feel so incredibly fortunate that when I’m ill my husband steps in and takes over everything so I can recuperate, and vice versa. I used to get terrible migraines as a teenager, but (knock on wood) those stopped after having children!
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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 7:50 pm

You’re very lucky Elizabeth – I wish mine had gone after I had the kids!

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Becca Talbot 19th June 2017 at 7:09 pm

I’m not a mum, but I can definitely sympathise with this to a degree. I think it’s a female thing to always put the needs of those around us first before looking after ourselves, and we constantly apologise for things that actually we should be apologising for… x

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 7:49 pm

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there Becca!

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Donna 19th June 2017 at 5:37 pm

Yes, yes and yes again!! I hear ya. This is us modern mums to a t!

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 5:47 pm

You get it Donna… 😉

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MELANIE EDJOURIAN 19th June 2017 at 5:26 pm

It’s not fun being ill as a mum especially when the rest of the family is ill too as you still need to push through to look after everyone else.

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 5:44 pm

True, true Melanie!

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Natasha Mairs 19th June 2017 at 1:58 pm

I hate it when I get ill, not because I feel like crap but because I still have to get on with things. Normally if I do deiced I need to go to bed, I will come down to find the whole house in chaos.

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 3:07 pm

Ha ha! Yes you and me both – or certain things that only you take care of need attending to…!

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Elodie 19th June 2017 at 12:43 pm

I’m not a mum, nor do I want to become one, but I can relate to all of the above. Whenever my housemates get sick, I feel the need to look after them, take on their chores and feel guilty if I start feeling ill myself. Although since they’re all grown-ups, they usually then look after me so it’s all good. Ha!

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 3:06 pm

That’s good you have others to depend on Elodie – thanks for commenting!

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Joanna 19th June 2017 at 8:57 am

I’m rubbish when I’m ill I’m definitely no wonder woman. I’ve been lucky to have family nearby for help when I was ill. Last year i had labrinthitis which was horrendous so hubby took one day off work and then my mother in law helped the following day.

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LaurettaCWright 19th June 2017 at 3:05 pm

We’re lucky if we’ve got family around to help aren’t we? Must be a mare if you don’t!

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Jenny 18th June 2017 at 9:18 pm

I’m no Wonder Woman but I know no-one looks after my family better than me!

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LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 9:36 pm

That’s great Jenny!

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Sarah Bailey 18th June 2017 at 3:11 pm

I think everyone woman has a little bit of wonder woman inside them, keeping going even when they really just want to curl up.

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LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 4:23 pm

Ha ha – yes that’s true Sarah!

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Sarah 18th June 2017 at 10:41 am

I definitely agree with you. Last time I was really ill I felt so sorry for myself, because I still had to do everything! Sorry you suffer with migraines, they’re awful. I tend to have them when I’m pregnant and it’s so painful and I often temporarily lose my eyesight!

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LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 11:17 am

We’re a tough bunch aren’t we?! Thanks Sarah! x

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Naomi 18th June 2017 at 9:25 am

Omg yes!
I’m ill at the moment- i never get ill, not enough to keep me in bed ever. My son is 20 months and I’ve ever been in bed ill, but I currently have whiplash and the last 3 days can’t walk. I tell my OH- even if this was him, he still wouldn’t have to struggle looking after our son because if he was off work I would still look after him. I know it’s not a competition and I’m not trying to make it seem so- but mums really do have it hard when they are ill!

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LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 9:57 am

Yes – that’s the way sometimes isn’t it? I’m sorry to hear you’re ill – and I really hope you make a speedy recovery!

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Whitney Abigail 18th June 2017 at 8:33 am

Haha love this post, it really is true that mother’s just keep calm and carry one through whatever sickness 🙂

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LaurettaCWright 18th June 2017 at 8:45 am

Thanks Whitney! 🙂

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