The Diary of A Really, Really Poorly Mummy


I was recently struck by illness. We had experienced a period of illness engulfing much of the household, apart from me, for some time. Just when I had reached the bottomless pit that was the laundry basket, and had finally arranged to meet with other adult human beings outside of my own four walls, I was struck with the worst kind of illness… The Mummy illness… Here is a diary chronicling how I was a really, really poorly mum, during what can only be described as the worst week ever….

Day 1: The Early hours of Monday Morning.
Wake frequently with a dark and foreboding feeling that I may be coming down with something… I don’t worry too much, as the feelings are only vague, and may well have cleared by the morning.

Monday morning:
Feelings of coming down with something confirmed, by the arrival of shivers, nausea, and what can only be described as a headache involving someone placing an industrial clamp on your head, and squeezing as tightly as possible, in an attempt to smash your head into tiny pieces. Rationalise that all is not lost, salvation can be found in an emergency SOS call to own mother, who will likely promptly drop whatever she is doing to come to the rescue. The call is made to own mother, at 7am sharp, who says that she is unable to offer help, as she has done her back in, and is thus confined to her own house. Promptly burst into tears at the thought of looking after two feral toddlers in this condition.

Monday afternoon:
Laying on the sofa having dropped as much pain relief as the packet allows, but actually thinking that only morphine or complete anaesthetisation will dull the pain from the metaphorical vice gripping at head, and relieve the pain from moving any limb the smallest millimetre. Children are slowly but surely destroying the house, and surviving on cake and anything else they ask for, as can’t deal with any crying or shouting. Wonder if I can survive until bedtime…

Day 2: Early hours of Tuesday morning.
Due to uncontrollable shivers and not being able to get warm, I go to bed with a huge knitted cardigan, granny bed socks, and furry slippers. Following several hours of terrible hallucinations, wonder if I’ve wet myself, as bed feels soaking wet. Stop hallucinating long enough to sniff test own pyjama bottoms, and realise that no urine has leaked, but temperature must be so high that I am laying in a bath of my own sweat, and there aren’t West End performers dancing at the foot of the bed, but these are in fact further high temperature hallucinations. Stumble downstairs to check temperature and attempt to bring it down. Check temperature-freak out that it’s 41 degrees. Search every cupboard for pain relief to lower temperature, but the only packet found is empty. Drink half a bottle of calpol, and return to bed, removing cardigan and slippers despite feeling like I’m naked in the Antarctic.

Tuesday Morning:
Make tearful phone call to own mother, to ask if her back is now fully recovered. Of course, her back is no better than yesterday, and despite detailed description of horrendous suffering inflicted on her own daughter, she still maintains she is confined to own house. Slam the phone down and promptly burst into tears. Beg husband not to go to work-strongly advise that there must be compassionate leave for this kind of event. He equally as strongly denies this and leaves for work anyway, with a tear stained outfit which will hopefully remind him of his callousness.

Tuesday afternoon:
Phone husband and tell him that death will be imminent unless he comes home immediately. Spend a few minutes irrationally fuming at own mother for having a bad back, while waiting for husband to confer with his boss. Husband calls back to say he has been given one hours grace to come home and relieve sick wife from feral toddler taming, and possible imminent death. Argue that this is a crappy amount of grace to be given, and demand a renegotiation. Husband says this is not happening, and hangs up. I spend a couple of hours being irrationally fuming at him, own mother, everyone who is well, and everyone with children at school who become ill, who get to be ill in peace.

Wednesday morning:
Violent joint aches seem to be subsiding, but headache is worse, if that is even humanly possible. Realise there is still no pain relief in the house, and realise that will mean a trip to the chemist. Don’t even bother calling own mother today, her back will inevitably still be selfishly hurting, and husband was sent to work with further tears on his outfit, and extra snot for good measure, also with a reminder that the next time he is ill, I will be booking myself into a spa, so he will have to deal with children all by himself-remind him that karma is a bitch. Dressing myself and the children for the trip to the chemist takes all my effort, and I roll around of the floor moaning for a few minutes while I try and recover from the exertion. The trip to the chemist is excruciating-reminding myself to put one foot in front of the other, and wondering if I can make it. Chemist wants a detailed description of my symptoms-she is greeted with yet more tears from me. I wonder if my tear ducts are faulty, and are set to default mode of constant leaking.

Wednesday afternoon:
Smallest toddler sleeps for three hours, and the relief is so complete I’m already planning the fun things I will do with him when I’m better, as a celebration of this most wonderful nap. Oldest toddler finally shows some compassion for a poorly mummy, by giving me his favourite blanket, and telling me I can sleep if he can watch the Minions film. He can watch whatever the heck he wants. I wonder what the catch is, as he never lets me rest for one second during the day. He actually sticks to his end of the deal, and watches Minions without making a peep. I sleepily decide that he can bath in chocolate milkshake, and eat ice cream for every meal, for the rest of his life. I decide that when I’m better, my body will be a temple, I will only eat organic fruit and veg, and may possibly become vegetarian-maybe even vegan. I will be so healthy, I will never become ill again…

Thursday morning:
Husband has the day off work! But is almost too little too late, as inevitably, mum flu has considerably subsided. Realise that I have been terrible daughter to own mother, and phone to apologise. Realise I have been terrible wife to husband, and mainly apologise (but leave the threat of the spa lingering in the air just for good measure.) Realise I have not eaten since Sunday, and realise I am starving. Husband makes macaroni cheese with bacon and croutons, and a side of garlic flatbread. It is the best thing I have ever tasted, and all thoughts of the organic fruit and veg are put to one side, for now…! Husband is now fully forgiven, and poorly mummy is starting to resume normal service!

NB, If you experience any symptoms of mum flu, please do not visit any mum friends until 48 hours clear of symptoms-to pass on mum flu is both dangerous and makes you a bad friend. If you have mum flu and have toddlers, no childcare, and no access to drugs-you’re screwed.




  1. July 4, 2016 / 5:42 am

    Poor you, but if laughter is the best medicine, you have already found the cure. Hope you are all better and have chosen spa ready for when the next bout of manflu hits. #bigpinklink

  2. July 4, 2016 / 8:10 am

    Poor you but still a very funny account of your illness. Yes feral toddlers are the Devil when illness strikes – I literally couldn’t think of anything worse! Gald normal service is being resumed now though.
    Potty Adventures

  3. July 4, 2016 / 8:16 am

    oh you poor poor love – why didn’t you call me – I would have brought a big bag of cookies, chocolate and magazines over for you xx Your line about the booking in to a spa when your husband is next till – too too funny but oh so bloody tempting! Oh and the bathing in chocolate milk forever! I’m so sorry you were so poorly – it really is the worst thing ever when you have smalls and the no help is just hideous. Glad you’re heaps better now lovely xx #BigPinkLink

  4. The Tale of Mummyhood
    July 4, 2016 / 8:31 am

    Oh my bless you, being poorly with little people in tow is just no fun at all. Love macaroni cheese, yum! So god you are starting to feel like your normal self!


  5. July 4, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Oh lovely – hope you feel better soon! I have been ill this week too…I’m not sure it’s flu but it’s so hard to do anything feeling like this! I totally agree with the compassionate leave for Mum Flu, we should petition for this xx Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink

  6. July 4, 2016 / 8:57 am

    It is the absolute worst when you are sick and have to keep ‘parenting’. There is a lot of screen time that goes down here. If only you could phone in sick!! #bigpinklink

  7. July 4, 2016 / 10:01 am

    There is nothing worse than mum flu! Especially when you have no child care. Hopefully that’s you done for a few years now! #bigpinklink

  8. July 4, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Hahaha!! So many hilarious moments! Sorry your were poorly, I really shouldn’t laugh, but “my body is a temple” hahaha. I always vow to never ever take my good health for granted EVER AGAIN. And then I forget. And buy a Big Mac. Nice to link up with you lovely ladies again! #bigpinklink

  9. July 4, 2016 / 10:15 am

    Ha ha ha. You poor thing! Mum flu is the worst! I remember Mother being very ill around Christmas and actually tearfully reminiscing on those times when she could actually lie in bed alone to recuperate. Glad you feel better – and enjoy your well-deserved spa x #bigpinklink

  10. July 4, 2016 / 10:22 am

    I know it makes me a really, really terrible person but this is hilarious. I honestly do hope that you are feeling better because there is nothing worse than being ill when youre looking after children, but you have made it sounds so comical! I remember when I had the Ds & Vs and Little R wanted my attention all day. I literally wanted to shoot myself, it was vile. Thankfully (wrong word maybe?!) she too became ill so we slept all day and were both recovered pretty quickly. I look forward to reading more of your posts! #bigpinklink

  11. July 4, 2016 / 10:29 am

    Hope you are now 100% back to your old self. I totally empathise. The flu is a B….
    Macaroni cheese looks so yummy! I love the way you badgered husband to get his ass back home.

  12. July 4, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Oh no! This sounds awful – you poor thing. You describe it all so clearly and I really feel for you, because you ended up feeling guilty on top of having been so poorly! There is just no back up plan when mum gets ill, is there? Suddenly, everything crumbles. It’s the most dreadful feeling. I’m glad you are better now and sorry your husband’s work were so unaccommodating. Alison x #bigpinklink

  13. July 4, 2016 / 10:51 am

    Oh no what a nightmare I hope you feel better soon. I had mum flu recently too it was a total nightmare luckily my daughter was at her dads so all I had to do was drag myself to work. I don’t know how you coped #bigpinklink

  14. July 4, 2016 / 11:26 am

    I’m sorry you were so sick – that sounds dreadful! Definitely go ahead and plan that spa day. I was ill once when I was on maternity leave, and I found trying to care for a baby while feeling dreadful VERY challenging. You just want to curl up into a ball and go to sleep, but you can’t. Why can’t babies watch themselves? #bigpinklink

  15. July 4, 2016 / 11:40 am

    oh no! this does not sound good.. Ive been ill too this week but fortunately with older children I am allowed to almost die in peace.. plus the hubby was off and managed to do ONE school run for me, before I was rescued by my own mum (I can imagine I would be slightly moody at my mum too if I was in your situation even though it was absolutely not her fault she was genuinely poorly herself lol but we all know we like to take things out on our parents every now and then anyway haha) I’m glad your over the worst of it.. spa day definitely required!! 😉 #bigpinklink

  16. July 4, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    God I dread being ill ever!!!! And above is the reason why I try to avoid hangovers at all costs! It’s the hardest thing ever with kids, that just have no concept, oh and require our help to exist, which is highly inconvenient when you feel ill.

    Hope you are all better. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  17. July 4, 2016 / 12:25 pm

    I’m glad to hear you’re over your “mom flu” That is never fun. Right now I’m dealing with the dreaded Summer Cold – but thankfully my kids aren’t toddlers anymore. That doesn’t stop them from harassing me non-stop, but they do sometimes allow me a bit of rest. Here’s hoping your mom flu days are few and far between!

  18. July 4, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I feel your pain, I started feeling poorly on Wednesday, on Thursday I felt absolutely shocking and assumed I had full blown flu. Luckily the kids were at school and preschool all day Friday so I didn’t move from the sofa, and actually felt well enough in the evening to go out with husband. Glad you’re feeling better, looking after kids when you’re ill is the worst x #bigpinklink

  19. July 4, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Oh man, I hate being ill. I’m always the same with the plans for organic fruit and veg, etc, until I get my appetite back and then it’s suddenly back to usual service! Luckily (I say this…) it’s usually man flu which hits our house… 😉 #bigpinklink

  20. July 4, 2016 / 2:06 pm

    Mum flu is the worse. Us mum’s don’t have time for illness! I’m a firm believer in paracetamol & if that doesn’t work alcohol ha ha!! #big pink link lifeinthemumslane

  21. July 4, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Mum flu is the worse. Hope you are fully recovered now. Us mum’s don’t have time for illness! I’m a firm believer in paracetamol & if that doesn’t work alcohol ha ha!! #big pink link lifeinthemumslane

  22. July 4, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    Oh I’m with ya! I have been feeling rotten since last week (last week was also our weeks holidays so the week obviously sucked balls!) this post cheered me right up though #BigPinkLink

  23. July 4, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    Oh no! I feel so bad for you, what an awful week. I would have been exactly the same about my own mum if she was unable to help me haha. I adore the bit about deciding you’ll let them bath in chocolate milk and eat ice cream forever – so funny, but it definitely feels like that. I hate being ill and I only have one baby to contend with, I can’t even imagine how you’d do it with two toddlers! Bravo Mummy. Why are chemists so harsh these days? Getting night nurse is a mission. #BigPinkLink

  24. July 4, 2016 / 3:00 pm

    I can totally relate to this lol! mum flu is the worst its like all of our colds combined throughout our life whilst battling with child/children. You are a hero for making it through! Buy some pain killers for forward planning! #bigpinklink

  25. July 4, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    So sorry you were so poorly. It really is horrible when your poorly and having to look after little ones. #bigpinklink xx

  26. July 4, 2016 / 4:49 pm

    Aww yuk! Poor you. Having to mum anything at all is a total ‘mare when you’re proper poorly. Well done that lass! x #BigPinkLink

  27. July 4, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    Awwww we are all never too old to want our mummy or a fuck off portion of macaroni cheese! Both equally great! 🙂

  28. July 4, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    That really sucks! I remember once me and my 3 kids all having the flu at the same time. Uggh the smell. I always got everything they did and my then husband had a brilliant idea to put plastic on the furniture. I wanted to do alot of harm. Be well.

  29. July 4, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    That is the worst! Being sick while needing to take care of small children and no one to help is an absolute nightmare! So glad you are feeling better! Thanks so much for hosting #bigpinklink

  30. July 4, 2016 / 6:03 pm

    Kids and being sick is hard work.. I often call in the cavalry. Anyone will do when it’s really bad! Xxx #bigpinklink

  31. July 4, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    Oh noooo! That sounds like the worst kind of Mummy Flu ever? I’m a bit like you and lacking in the childcare dept when ill and it is just the worst! I think there should be a special NHS creche set up for poorly mummies to send their offspring to so that they can lay under a duvet and watch box sets until they are better.

    Sending get well soon cake. Thank you for hosting #bigpinklink x

  32. Nige
    July 4, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Oh dear you weren’t very well at all a very funny account for all of that thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  33. July 4, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    I hate being sick!! even more so when you have to look after kids!
    I have been lucky. Ive never been super not well.
    I hope you get better soon 🙂

  34. July 4, 2016 / 7:43 pm

    This is truly brilliant! I don’t actually know how you survived! I would have been fuming at hubby and mum too, of course with feelings of guilt and humility once better but at the time nothing is worse that having to look after children whilst ill. I actually think that your OH should have taken time off to childcare and that the threat of the spa is necessary 😉 your poor mother does however have a good excuse… when I was really poorly last year I went to stay at my mums for 3 days with my son and spent most of the time in bed. It was definitely very helpful. Thanks for making me laugh with sympathy. #bigpinklink

  35. July 4, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    Oh no! You should have send, I could have fed-exed you some day and night nurse. The husband should have provided drugs as a minimum level of care. I would put him on a personal development plan for this oversight. It is perfectly acceptable to hate everyone in the world when you are ill and in charge of 2 small people. I am so glad you are a human again. #bigpinklink #justlookingatyourblogcosiloveyou

  36. July 4, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    Oh God, poor you! When mums get poorly I’m pretty sure the world stops. Hope you feel better now! That delicious sounding macaroni cheese should’ve done the trick! #bigpinklink x

  37. July 4, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Love this, mum flu is a great term! I always seem to get ill when the hubby is away and I have no back up, in fact we all seem to get ill when he is away – grr xx #bigpinklink

  38. July 4, 2016 / 8:53 pm

    The feral toddlers, the morphine, the spa, the suspected bed-wetting, the whole thing. OMG so sorry you were so ill but so glad you have the cracking sense of humour to write this about it! (Is it bad that I laughed?) #BigPinkLink

  39. July 4, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    Crikey, it’s just the worst isn’t it? I had adult Slapped Cheek the other week. Ghastly, every joint ached, even my toes and knuckles. Such fun! I wanted my mum, never mind being someone else’s! Loved this post. #BigPinkLink

  40. July 4, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    Oh no how awful 🙁 so difficult to look after kids when you are ill!! #Bigpinklink

  41. July 4, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    I felt sad and achey but was laughing almost simultaneously! I’m glad you are now better and husband finally rescued you. Thankfully you have seemed to see the funny side in this dire situation! Welldone mumma #bigpinklink

  42. July 5, 2016 / 7:54 am

    Ohhh poor, being ill and having to be responsible for children is so hard! I would have been equally upset with my husband and mum if they couldn’t help. I was ill last week too with the vice-on-head type headache, I stayed in bed and just let Leo run riot around the house, I didn’t even care about the mess. I let him eat what he wanted and watch loads of tv, sometimes you just got to do what you can to make it through the day. My husband ended up with a few tears on his top too when he came home for his lunch break and said he coudln’t skive off the afternoon! Glad to hear you are feeling better xx p.s I totally want macaroni cheese tonight now #bigpinklink

  43. July 5, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Oh no poor you, sounds awful. I am usually in the same position as I have little help in the way of family when I’m unwell. Hope you are totally on the mend now.

    I always vow to be so healthy once I have recovered and never ever stick to it. The worst times are when I get a really bad cough and I vow fervently I will do my pelvic floor exercises when recovered or when I get a really bad headache I say I will drink lots of fluids. Neither of which ever happens!

    Take care!


  44. July 5, 2016 / 9:27 am

    This made me laugh! It’s so hard being ill and looking after tiny, demanding humans. Glad you’re feeling better! #bigpinklink

  45. July 5, 2016 / 10:19 am

    Oh bless you sweetheart – sounds comically awful! I got mum flu 3 weeks post partum and it was absolutely atrocious. Damn mum flu. #bigpinklink

  46. July 5, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Oh dear, well as they say you have to laughing right?? I saw a meme recently that said ‘Mummy flu is like man flu except nobody giveya sh*t! ‘ So true! Hope you’re back to your usual self now x #bigpinklink

  47. July 5, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Oh my word. We have all been there and it is truly horrid. This reignited memories of my husband abandoning me with two toddlers when I had mum flu…I have NEVER forgiven him but then he didn’t cook me gorgeous macaroni cheese! Hope you are now fighting fit. #bigpinklink

  48. July 5, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Oh no, this made me so sad..poor you! I really felt your pain and the acute abandonment. My husband also has an inhumane non-negotiable job situation and it can be just the worst thing ever at times. I will succumb to mum flu at some point without help (the only time I’ve had it was over last Christmas, the child had it too so we hung out in bed together feeling like death but my husband was at home festively doling out care) but mostly this reminded me of morning sickness and it was NOT fun. When your Wednesday afternoon sounds like a win day it’s a bad week. Glad things are on the up xx

  49. July 5, 2016 / 8:05 pm

    Oh bless you, that is the worst week ever! It’s the worst thing to have to look after kids when you’re ill. I hope you are recovering well now x #bigpinklink

  50. July 6, 2016 / 10:49 am

    OMG this sounds absolutely revolting and I hope you are now fully recovered. Being sick and trying to take care of children just doesn’t work! Takes twice as long to recover if you can’t rest properly. Sending virtual hugs!

  51. July 6, 2016 / 12:31 pm

    Oh poor you! I’ve only been that ill once and know how hard and not fun it is trying to look after feral children. I’m so glad you managed to survive and hope you’re feeling much better now. #BigPinkLink xx

  52. July 6, 2016 / 7:10 pm

    Oh my god that is horrendous, but I so feel your pain, I have been there and equally have threatened other half with all kinds of bad luck karma next time he is ill… There is very little worse than mum flu, I would have come round dropped off drugs and picked up kiddies to exhaust at the soft play for you – as a fellow mum it would be the humane thing to do after all. Glad you are better now though, and OMG how amaze does that Mac and cheese sound. Drool. #bigpinklink xx

  53. July 6, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    This account of your illness is brilliantly written, but I still really feel for you! It’s such a shame you didn’t have anyone to call on to help. even to just run to the shops for you. Glad you’re feeling better now. #BigPinkLink

  54. July 7, 2016 / 7:30 am

    Humour is the best way to get through most crappy situations in life and you surely have it nailed. Great post, sorry to hear you were so ill, but you really have made what is normally a fairly pedesterain topic very funny and a great read and that is not the easiest thing to do – excellent stuff. #BigPinkLink

  55. July 7, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Oh lovely, that is not good. Laughter is the best medicine. Although I do swear by a good hot toddy, for those over 18. Hope you are all better. Hugs x #bigpinklink

  56. July 7, 2016 / 6:01 pm

    Hi Lucy, oh no! Poor you! It’s always best to plan illness in advance, just to ensure that you have backup, failing that wallowing helps. I can’t believe how selfish your Mum was getting a bad back like that… Hope she’s better now too.


  57. July 9, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Oh no….Poor thing! Luckily you’re all recovered now. It is terrible when you’re ill and have two small children. I usually let my kids watch TV all day when I am ill. I do hope you do check into a Spa when Husband is ill. Mine never seems to get it as well. I am sorry you were so ill but only you can make that funny. #bigpinklink high five!

  58. July 9, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Awww gosh poor you. I hate those illnesses with those horrible shivers where you can’t get warm whatever you do. At least it gave you excellent material for a very amusing blog post though! No kidding though, soldiering on completely alone with the kids when you are really ill is so tough. I hope you have good health for the forseeable future! #bigpinklink