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Strep Throat vs. The Single Mom

by | February 1, 2019

Strep throat is the worst. Dealing with it on your own is even harder than I thought possible. Let me explain my recent experience.

Being a single parent is great, most of the time. You can make your own rules, have your apartment decorated how you want, you can even stay in your pj’s all day and not have to “panic-change” ten minutes before your partner gets home. As amazing as all of that sounds, it does, in fact, have some negatives.

strep throat
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One of those negatives: who the f**k looks after you when you’re sick? Who looks after the kids when you physically can’t? Who holds your hair back while you vomit over the side of the couch into a pot. I know what you’re thinking, why aren’t you in bed instead of hanging out on the couch? You can’t go to bed because the kids still need to be fed/entertained/kept alive etc.

Strep throat f***ing SUCKS.

I was very recently floored by a savage dose of strep throat. My kid was still at her dad’s when I woke up with what felt like glass in my throat and a banging headache. My uvula was so swollen, it was touching the sides. I cried like a baby. My first thought was, how am I going to take care of my kid when she gets home, then I was like “oh f**k, how am I going to work?”

While the only thing I had the energy for was to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself, I managed to crawl out of bed and somehow get myself to urgent care. (Thank you to my good girlfriend for talking that little bit of sense into me) The doctor took one look at my throat and said I had strep. He did a rapid strep test just to be sure, but he could tell from all the pus and probably the tears too. Off I went, home with my antibiotics, just in time for my kid to get home from school. F**k.

She was going to be hungry. How in the Hell was I going to feed her while I was laying lethargically across my bed? I had no choice but to get up and shuffle around the house through sobs and swollen eyes. The poor kid, I’m pretty sure I just threw some crackers, a juice box, and the tv remote at her and then I took up a spot on the couch so I could at least fling the phone at her in case of an emergency.

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My lovely friend and probably lifesaver stopped in on her way home from work with all kinds of supplies for me, without being asked might I add. I have never been more grateful for friendship than at that moment. Good supportive friends are a godsend to a single parent.

The next day just happened to be my kid’s birthday, and I’ve never felt like more of an a**hole in my life. There was no cake, no celebrations, I hadn’t even wrapped her presents. She was fine about it though, I mean she was a big five years old now. I made up for it the next day when I started to feel a little bit better.

I’ve felt lonely many times since I became a single parent, but this might be the first time I’d felt completely helpless and abandoned. As with everything, it was a learning experience. We got through it, like we get through everything. Now the only thing I’d like to know now is, who the f**k is going to clean the mess of my neglected apartment? Oh yeah, that’d be… ME! Ugh.

Have you ever had strep throat? Isn’t it the absolute worst? Let’s whine together in the comments.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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