Being Super Mommy...
...I had a friend recently post on one of the boards asking about all the Super Mom Secrets that she needed to know because her little one was sick at the same time she was.
She commented that she really feels for her little guy because he's sniffly, and stuffed up, and she's not handling it well because she's tired too, but can only nap when he naps. A bunch of us have commented some tips back, and after giving mine, I sat back and thought about it a little more.
Oh boy, do I know that feeling of helplessness and frustration. Your heart is just about liable to rip out of your chest when you can't make your littlest baby all better by snapping your fingers, and they're too young for decongestants. I still feel that way when my kids are sick, and the oldest recently turned 9!
So what is a new mommy to do? Crying is perfectly normal, but it doesn't help the stuffy nose you've got. Sleeping when the baby sleeps works too, but not if every little sniffle wakes you up. When we were both sick, I'd snuggle in with the little one and keep them warm and we'd snooze, usually after a feeding. Of course, when you're a baby that's all stuffed up, it's hard to eat because you've not quite coordinated that breathing/eating thing and it gets frustrating. For both mommy and baby.
So, what do you do?
Well... you just... do. The first couple of colds are tough, but they are also your trial and error periods for figuring out what works best for you and the baby. Sitting in a steamy room (run the shower with hot water for a few minutes) works to clear some congestion, and that makes feeding more pleasant. Get a nice slightly overfull tummy, and then snoozing is a little longer and a little more pleasant (your results may vary - it's what worked for me though).
I would use a warm washcloth that was slightly damp for running over A or B's faces when they were sick. It was comforting to them, and kept their faces clean. I still set up with them on the couch to cuddle when they're sick (because I don't tend to give them any drugs for any of it unless they're crying in complete frustration). Keeping yourself hydrated is very important - you're sick *and* you're a breastfeeding mommy? No wonder you feel awful. Keep a pot of warm tea or broth nearby and that can add to the comfort feeling that *you* need (and deserve).
There's no handbook or lightbulb inspiration for being a Super Mommy. Especially when you're not feeling so super yourself. In the end, though, you *are* a good mommy (even a Super Mommy) simply because you cared enough to do whatever you needed to in order for your child to get through the day (and night) without feeling so gosh darn awful.
Then again... maybe that *is* the trick to being a Super Mommy - you may feel a little run down, but your child is back on the mend (or all better) and you can look back and be satisfied that they're better so that you can go on with your own healing. You've done what you can to keep yourself going, but that child's well being comes up first simply because you love them and care for them....
...*That* is a Super Mommy (at least in my book).