Do you remember when you were young and you used to cry to your Mom when you were sick? In all of the ways that make a Mom so special, this is one that is way high up on the list. She has the ability to comfort us in times of need. This whining, I mean crying, to Mom when you were sick probably continued through adolescence and possibly even college.

Personally, I remember having to call my mom at least a couple of times when I was in college. Mom was 90 minutes away or just a phone call away to provide comfort and advice. There’s something about a Mom that makes everything better. She takes your temperature, calls the doctor, gives you meds and a cold bath. She keeps your medication schedule, makes you a bed on the couch and feeds you soup, crackers, and Gatorade. Moms make it all better. 

So, Mommy friends, tell me, what is it like when you are sick? Do you get to lay on the couch, take yourself to the doctor, give yourself a bath, relax and eat soup? Do you even get to put your feet up, read under a warm blanket, feel sorry for your self or even sleep in? While I think self-care is super important, likely you are sick because everyone else in your house is sick, and you (at this time) are the low man on the totem pole. Likely, those carrier monkeys that you call your sons or daughters brought it home from their cesspool and while it caused a cough or fever for them, it extrapolated to the full-on flu for you. Sweet. 

But a sick day for Mom? Likely it looks like trips to the pediatrician followed with $140 spent at CVS. Or your sick day looks like your 1, 2 or 3 kids on their “couch beds” and endless demands of water and Gatorade, “No, I said water MIXED with Gatorade, Mom. Where’s my straw? Do you have more popsicles? I want purple. Now can you put it on the table? I need a tissue. Where’s my blankey? Tuck me in up to my shoulders. No, not like that. I have to poop now.”

Your shirt is definitely a snot rag and everyone hates you for putting a cool washcloth on their head. Do they even notice that you are just as sick too? Of course, not. And you don’t bother telling them because what does it really matter anyway? 

If you are lucky, you are home on your sick day. You take medicine for body aches, forget to take your own temperature, and take a dose of DayQuil, have your coffee and press on. 

You, Mama, are stronger than you know and it is times like this where you prove it loud and clear. Funny though, when you are young, immature and sick, you never once think about how Mom feels. Mom is so selfless taking care of you, it doesn’t even cross your mind how she is doing or if she has caught it from you yet. Or all of the things she isn’t getting done in her life because she is picking up your prescription, getting you a popsicle and washing your sheets and disinfecting all of the toilets in the house.

I admit it, when I was 8 or even 12-years-old, and home sick from school I am sure I was never thinking about how my Mom was feeling. I was too busy, probably feeling bad for myself. Most times really, it is a thankless job. (Thank you for always taking such good care of me, Mom.) But as a Mom, and a wiser person, I now understand that there is nothing else we would rather be doing than sucking it up and just taking care of our sick little children and babies the very best that we possibly can.  While it would be a luxury to lay in bed and have a sick day, we put our boys and girls first.

You go ahead, change your own snotty shirt, spend $80 on their in-haler and keep going. You are a great parent and you are their comfort in life and you are doing an amazing job even if they are forgetting to tell you that right now. 

This post originally appeared on Life, Love & Little Boys.