This morning, I woke up feeling bad. Kind of awful, really. Like sea creatures were staging an epic battle in my stomach.
As the owner of an iffy gut, I'm used to the randomness of digestive roulette. Most days are perfectly normal, and then some days, it would just be better to stay in bed. There's nothing to be done but wait it out.
Of course, I don't get days off from this gig, so I got up and made breakfast as usual. I got their clothes ready for them, made sure they had everything they needed for the day and packed their backpacks. I sorted out the jumbled winter gear in the hallway to make sure everyone had the right amount of mittens.
And then I lay down on the floor.
Within moments, Kee had brought me a bucket, covered me in her blanket, and drawn me a picture to cheer me up while she's at school. Beege offered me the use of her softies. They also worked out a schedule of who would look after me when (around school attendance and bedtimes), and agreed that maybe Beege should tuck Kee in tonight if mummy's not feeling better.
In the middle of all the fights about bedtime, and wearing socks, and clearing dishes, and homework, and too much TV, and why it's not a good idea to wear a sundress today, and why cookies are NOT supper... it's easy to get bogged down thinking that I'm doing a really, really crappy job as a mum.
Luckily, they always remind me I'm not. Every time one of them pats my hand when I'm not feeling well, or tells me all they want is hundreds of hugs for their birthday, or is delighted by someone else's happiness, they remind me.
Because as I see it, the most important job I have as a mum is to help them grow into good people. And I'm obviously doing something right.
I'm feeling much better. The fresh air from the walk to school, and a cup of hot tea seem to have done wonders in settling the beasts.
So I guess the real question is this: If I milk it just a teeny bit, does that make me a terrible person?