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I need seven people to do my job as mum

I'VE just spent six days in bed. Six long days and nights in my pyjamas when the furthest I made it from my bed was on to the couch with a duvet. If you think a week off work sounds like fun, it wasn't. I was too sick to enjoy any of the down time and spent much time stressing about the logistics of my kids' little lives.

It's almost impossible to be sick when you've a young family. A day or two is manageable, but when you're flattened for a week you need to call in lots of back up and favours.

My reinforcements came in many guises, not least my in-laws, my mum, good friends and a kind lady whose granddaughter attends Montessori with my son.



Entertained

My sister-in-law and her husband were the best, taking my three to their home from creche three nights in a row. There they fed them and kept them entertained until my husband could collect them. My eldest came home with his homework beautifully done, too, completed under the watchful gaze of his primary school teaching auntie.

A neighbour with an already busy life -- three kids of her own, and her niece who she currently minds -- stopped by each morning to collect my son for school. I just had to wave him off at the doorstep in my fetching night attire.

His school doesn't open its doors until 9am, the same time my husband needs to be at his desk, so she was a vital link in my chain of dependency.

On Tuesday, my mum came over and drove me to the doctor. Once I was tanked up on antibiotics I fell back into bed leaving her to cook dinner. She left a big pot of spaghetti bolognese on the stove, ready to feed my mob that night.

Normally, I don't work Fridays, so I have my two-year-old daughter at home with me. Before I'd figured out where I was going to find the energy to entertain my little lady I got a phone call from a friend. She had dropped her daughter to school and was on a day off work.

And how was she going to enjoy her child-free down time? By coming to my house, collecting my daughter and whisking her away for the day. I was ordered to get Ivy ready for a day out and instructed back to bed for more rest. All I had to do was ensure I was up at 12.45pm for my youngest son who was being dropped home by his friend's nana.



Network



It was lashing rain on Friday afternoon when my eldest son appeared at the door, dropped home by his buddy's mum. His arrival meant I had survived the week, albeit by relying on seven different people to do my parenting. Seven already busy people who willingly jumped in to ensure I could spend as long as possible under my bed covers.

Aside from being overwhelmingly grateful and appreciative all the help got me thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great network of friends and family. But it also made me realise how mums really aren't allowed get sick.

After counting up how many people it took to fill my role, is it any wonder I was sick at all? I'm no superwoman, but it seems, like most mums, I'm doing the work of at least seven people!