There's nothing glamorous about mothering a baby

NEVER is the symbiotic relationship between mother and baby so disadvantageous as during flu season.

A small cough that I got from God-knows-where was inevitably passed on to my youngest and, in return, she gave me some conjunctivitis.

Because sharing is very important in our house.

Coughing, for a post-partum mum, can have a flow-on effect of catastrophic proportions.

Are you with me? "Flow"-on effect? No? Well, spell out the letters of 'pig' backwards and say 'a lot' after it.

Right now, I'd make an excellent poster girl for contraception.

You needn't scare girls into celibacy with religious overtones. Just tell them they're going to sneeze and pee at the same time.

Our usual order of multivitamins now stands at: garlic, manuka honey, ginger, sore throat gargle, cough syrup, nasal aspirator, Vicks (bucket size), warm salty water, eye cream and children's paracetamol.

And the really beautiful thing is that my own basic needs - for say, a tissue - come second to a baby in distress.

Quick quiz: You're carrying the baby and the washing in from the line when you sneeze.

There's an almighty booger hanging from your nose.

But the jolt of your sneeze upsets the baby who throws up all down your front and is turning red from the exertion of her cries.

What do you do, hot shot? What do you do?

Well, we checked the neighbours hadn't seen, then went and stood in the shower.

When in doubt, take a shower.

It has always been my motto and it seems the next generation is warming to that idea too. It calms her down at any rate.

Throw in the sleeplessness and you start to look like you're auditioning for The Walking Dead.

When I saw my own harried visage reflected in the window, the grey pre-dawn sky making me look particularly undead, if the zombie apocalypse was based partly in fact - it would look like mothers during flu season.

I dream of a day when my body doesn't need constant absorption, my pyjamas aren't covered in sick and my eyes are not empirical evidence to a pot habit I don't have.

Peta-Jo is an author, mother of three and has used her daughter's naptime to write this when she should be resting. You can read more at or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Topics:  babies family life parenting

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