My not so triumphant return to work


The  rhinovirus is the scourge of human kind. Whilst we can mask the symptoms with paracetamol or (my particular favorite) codeine until we’re as high as kites, science isn’t anywhere close to curing the world of the common cold. Gosh darn science – its time to lift your game.

This week was meant to be triumphant for me. Instead I was laid low, reduced to a shivering, sniveling mess by you guessed it – the f%&king rhinovirus. On Monday I was primed to make my glorious return to the paid workforce (with an employer other than my husband). I had purchased a swag of stylish threads (including my first Leona Edmiston daahlingand was ready to rock into my new office like I owned the joint. I was very excited about the prospect of being in a workplace where I wasn’t expected to sleep with the boss.*  This is going to sound kinky ( way kinkier than Fifty Shades of Grey, not quite as kinky as Game of Thrones) but I was eager to make this new company’s accounts my bitch.  To my eyes there’s nothing more elegant than a set of reconciled bank accounts and a balanced ledger. (Wait a minute – there’s Tom Hiddleston in slim fitting dacks…..)

Oh my. Adam Scott is welcome to run his ruler over my ledger.

Oh my. Adam Scott is welcome to run his ruler over my ledger.

In the preceding week I’d enjoyed my last few days of freedom. I’d sent my kids to school despite their sniffles and protestations that they had sore throats. I whiled away the hours in typical Eastern Beaches Housewives fashion – lunching, shopping and watching the remaining episodes of Mad Men. It was wonderful but on the weekend karmic retribution hit hard. The fatigue, the aches and pains, the constant tickle in the throat, the wheezing and the alternate fevers and chills. By Sunday my delicate condition had worsened. Yet as a parent I could not afford the luxury of retiring to my bed. Instead I suffered the indignity of swimming lessons and a trip to the library. At that stage there was only a slurp of sauvignon blanc left and opening a new bottle on school night not an option. Unable to launch an alcoholic blitzkrieg upon my lurgy, evening was spent huddled under a doona on the couch watching Poldark drinking herbal tea. Sadly not even the sight of Aiden Turner in britches could cure my malaise. I turned in at an absurdly early hour hoping I could sleep it off.

Unfortunately the intense gaze of Aiden Turner can not cure the common cold.

Unfortunately the intense gaze of Aiden Turner can not cure the common cold.

No cigar! I awoke on Monday morning, my first day at work, feeling like pure and utter shite. There was nothing for it but to soldier on with a good dose of codeine. Getting kids out of the door is exhausting at the best of times. When you are sick and they are sick its a killer. The whole thing descends into an orgy of self-pity and hypochondria. Apart from the usual shenanigans like forgetting to get dressed because they are too busy whacking one another, the kids gave me a hearty serving of Mummy guilt. “But why do you need to go to work Mum? I don’t want to go to after school care. Can you make sure you pick me up early? I really need to get home early to do my homework”. Cripes! They’ve had it far too good for too long.

I had a taste of Mummy guilt pie.

I had a taste of Mummy guilt pie.

Somehow I managed to dress myself and everyone else and dump them at the school gate by 8.30am before staggering onto the bus. Of course seats were at a premium and I was forced to perch my butt next to an overweight gentleman who was also suffering from the f*&cking rhinovirus. In fact the whole bus coughed, sputtered and wheezed its way into town. I lurched into the office like a drunk pretending to act straight, doing my best to be appropriately perky and enthusiastic on my first day. The ironic thing was that everyone else in the office had the f*#king rhinovirus. The place was littered with boxes of tissues and we collectively swilled endless cups of tea. At lunch I gulped down a laksa hoping the chilli and garlic would provide a miracle cure.

This is how I think I look when I am sick at work.

This is how I think I look when I am sick at work.

That evening I collapsed. Dadabs couldn’t even rouse me at 8.30pm to watch a pirated episode of Game of Thrones.  The rest of the week was a case of wash, rinse and repeat. I’ve been slurping down chilli fuelled Asian soups, drinking tea like its going out of style and chomping on Soothers by the packetful. I still feel like crappola. Balancing work and family is hard. Balancing work and family when you have a cold is nigh impossible? I repeat – science you need to stop sending probes into inter galactic space and focus on the blight of mankind – the f$&king common cold.

After one day on the job

After one day on the job

How are you coping with the juggle. Can something as simple as a cold throw you completely off balance.











* I should clarify that for the past 18 months I have been doing the books for Dadabulous’ software business.

19 thoughts on “My not so triumphant return to work

  1. What an unsuitable start to your new job! Boo to the sniffles and snuffles. But I bet you’re so happy it’s Friday and that wine will taste oh so much better. xx

  2. We had our turn last week Mumabs. All except Bearhands who, judging from his complaining, has something far more dire. Hope next week is an easier one. x

  3. I was wondering why you’ve been quiet lately! Good luck with the new job. You’ll smash it x

  4. Always the way. The flu feeds off change. Go on holiday, flu. New job, flu. Best of luck for next week. All this talk of laksa is making me hungry.

  5. A true sign of really being sick, not rousing yourself from bed for Game of Thrones!!! I know exactly how you feel and it is shit. I hope you actually get some rest this weekend so next week isn’t shit too. #FYBF

  6. That’s an awful start. My heart goes out to you. You do realise they’re talking about making codeine script only, the bastards. I love Leona. She makes the best frocks ever. I could just swan around in Leona every day. Charlie Brown, Wayne Cooper (I think that’s who I mean) and Stella are great too. They make clothes for women who’ve had kids not hipless teenagers. Hope you feel better soon my lovely x

  7. Oh you poor thing, what a terrible way to feel on your return to the workplace. I hope you get better soon. And I agree, Leona frocks are the BOMB

  8. It’s awful being sick at work when you’ve got the kids and home and everything else to think about. When I was due to go back to work after my second baby I was struck down with god-awful gastro. It was so bad I had to get my mum to call in sick for me. Then, when I was ready to go in at the end of the week, the baby had fever. A bad start!

  9. Omg yes! I can so relate, darn colds running rampant here too and had to take time off for it and it threw us all out of whack! Hope you feel better soon, mine is still hanging around two weeks later! Grr.

  10. Oh poor Mumabs! There is nothing worse. Nothing.

  11. Oh you are so right. Being sick with sick kids is the worst. Well done on getting to work on your first day. And yes, I agree, they should have something to cure the common cold. How relaxed are these scientists anyway? Taking their bloody time!!

  12. What a soldier. New job, sick, kids and time management. Look back on the week and if you can get through that, you can get through anything. While I feel for you, the way you frame it makes me want your chaos more often, because you are hilarious.

  13. I hate looking after the kids when I feel like shit, it just makes the whole experience 10 times worse than it would normally be. I don’t even care about a cure for the common cold, sick leave for parent’s is what I want!

    On another note, I read a book or saw a film where they found a cure for the common cold. However the cure ended up creating some kind of apocalypse and so I’ve always had an appreciation for the common cold after reading that. I think it could have been a Margaret Atwood book but I really can’t remember!

  14. Oh dear – so typical! That is what would happen with me and it has! We’ve had a crappy virus sweep through our household lately and it hasn’t been pretty – especially the man flu version of it! haha Hope you are well and enjoying the return to work now! 🙂

  15. I don’t relate to that first photo at all *coughs*
    Anyhoo…yes! I was sick for so long with whatever freaking cold went around and I’m still congested from it even though I’m not sick anymore.

  16. Oh that totally sucks!!! Good on you for soldiering on though. I had a parasite recently and was throwing up off and on for 3.5 weeks. That sucked big time. The little one occasionally told me she wasn’t feeling well and I was all like jesus wept give me strength. Hope you have an easy weekend and your next week is better.

  17. Hope you are fully recovered, and I apologise that your recounting made me smile with recognition! I can relate, I’m currently under the weather, but soldiering on…someone has to right?

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