Opinion & Debate

Published on December 21st, 2013 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


So what do you do when you are ill?

What do you do when you are ill? Obviously for ‘ill’ read feeling slightly peaky, unwell, seedy. I am not hospital grade ill, just feeling pretty rubbish. And looking it, too.

What I want to do is what other people do when they are ‘unwell’ – fester in bed for the day demanding hot drinks and cold flannels.

But ‘thou shalt not be ill’ is probably the boldest typefaced entry on the ten commandments of lone parenting, isn’t it?

Not for us three days in bed with ‘the flu’, or sleeping off a hangover, or having a duvet day because of a headache.

I suppose I should be grateful that my child is old enough to more or less sort himself out for snacks and provisions for the day, but I honestly do not know how single parents with babies and toddlers manage – particularly if PROPER illness occurs.

Today, I have woken (well, been awake for much of the night) with one of those unspecific episodes of malaise. Various symptoms which a doctor  would no doubt stick under an umbrella diagnosis of ‘virus’ and order much fluid and ‘bed rest’.  If I had time to see a doctor, that is. In fact, my doctor retired five years ago – around about the last time I last had a window of opportunity to see him.

Bed rest though. Ho ho ho. I tried a lie in this morning. It was accompanied by the dog, the child, the child’s computer and a clutch of his friends on Skype – all simultaneously shouting something about creepers and a bloke called Steve. I eventually realised I was not hallucinating, just privvy to their Minecraft game. It soon became apparent that whatever was wrong with me was most definitely not going to be improved by lying in bed listening to a bunch of 10-year-old boys screeching over a computer game.

So my bout of poorliness will have to be dealt with in exactly the same way as every other single parenting woe: by just getting on with it. And making my own hot drinks and mopping my own brow. All the while carrying on with the parenting and shopping and cleaning… oh, and did someone mention Christmas is happening quite soon? *swigs Benylin*.

Same for you, too?


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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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