When a Mother is Sick

When a Mother is Sick

I LOVE my mornings. A few kid-free hours to run an errand or two, make some phone calls, get a little exercise, and JewishMOM (in the blogging rather than the real-life sense).

Yesterday was an especially fun morning, spent at a neighborhood get-together for mothers. I sat across from a young mother with a really friendly smile who held her 2-year-old daughter on her lap. Our conversation progressed as ice-breaker conversations between mothers usually do…

“Oh what a cutie! How old is your daughter?”
“She’s 2, her name is Tehila.*”
“She’s home with you?”
“No, she goes to a daycare center every day until 4 PM. But she was sick, so I’m keeping her home today. And it’s like a dream! To have her home the whole day with me, to play with her and be with her…”

A dream? I would use a very different noun to describe how I feel when a child crashes my kid-free mornings. Wave of guilt. Change of topic.

“You send to daycare? Where do you work?”
“I don’t work. I’m recuperating.”
“Oh, refuah shlema…speedy recovery!” Don’t want to be nosy. Change of topic.

Some Jewish geography. Turns out I know her mother. We talk about where she lived before, where she went to school…

“Have you heard of Multiple Sclerosis?” she asks suddenly.
“Yes, I have. My mother has had MS for almost 30 years.”
“Well, I have it too. I was diagnosed 7 months ago, 2 months after my baby was born. That’s why I moved back here, to be near my mother. For a while I got so sick I wasn’t even able to take care of my children on my own.”

And I looked at this beautiful young mother with such a kind and gentle smile, and the bright-eyed daughter on her lap coloring a picture.
And I understood that this ordinary mother-daughter morning was anything but.

A dream come true. Truly.


  1. You are one talented JewishMom!
    This article is so well written. I love the way you easily express yourself. You dont try to hide any of the shortcomings that are very common in most people that suffer from the term called “human being”. Like; kids being home is not being the dream come true; or; being curious yet trying not to be nosy etc… I suffer from this term ‘human being’, severly… I am a plain mentch. Nop! Not a malach. I feel very in place on these articles. Keep feeding us with human being stuff! I appreciate it! Thanks.

  2. My husband always says that not asking questions but being a good listener will get you more information than if you probed and were nosy.
    We all have to navigate our route through life and find our blessings along the way. Sometimes we take a wrong turn and have to re-calculate the route….Seeing people cope with severe challenges makes our ‘crises’ pale in comparison.

  3. Thank you for this story! One important related health recommendation: Vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for MS, and the orthodox community as a whole is at risk for Vitamin D deficiency because of a lack of sun exposure (sun exposure is our primary source of Vitamin D, though fortified milk and fish are lesser sources). Everybody should include Vitamin D supplementation (1000 IU per day) in their diet. If dose(s) are missed, the dose can be doubled or tripled as needed on other days.

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