Megan on the Move: An escape plan from getting sick

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my entire family got sick. Except me. I'm immune to everything. But the rest of them got sick. Like, cookie-tossing, can't eat my Thanksgiving feast, put me to bed to cry and moan, sick.

It would not be a holiday if the Stuke clan was not spreading germy cheer around the country. Last Christmas we felled an entire small Kansas town and half of Dallas with our plague. GO STUKES!

I am used to this situation, and handle it like any mother would: I go out drinking.

Seriously, on Thanksgiving Day, my husband fell ill literally over his plate of food lovingly prepared by his mother, and we went home immediately where he spent the rest of the day locked in the bedroom in quarantine and only once texted me for a sip of Sprite, which I provided only under the conditions that he hide in the bathroom when I came in the room. I did, however, clean up the messes of my children the two days before, but that's an unavoidable fact of motherhood that I do begrudgingly. I love my kids more than a box of kittens but I still do not relish cleaning up their messes.

So, after I had everyone safely tucked in bed that evening, and the husband has his Sprite, and the towels were all laundered, at precisely 8 p.m. I walked out of the house, with a text to my husband to call me if things got dicey. I had spent the day watching kid movies on the couch with my children, which was actually quite enjoyable, all things considered. But after a good six hours of it, I needed to leave the scene.

Motherhood does not equal martyrdom, and don't let anyone tell you different. My grown husband can handle his own self and my children were mostly well and happily snoozing with snugglies in their beds. My presence was not required. What was required was a moment of sanity.

I headed to my local watering hole where one of my besties was behind the bar, chatted with a couple of old friends, felt like a new woman, and went home renewed for another day of being home-bound with two tiny tyrants.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is a holiday for many. My husband always has to work that day, so for me it is a day that many women would call their regular full-time job: that of stay-at-home mom. I am terrible at being a stay-at-home mom, and never shall I pretend that their lives are in any way easier than mine as a woman who works outside the home.

That couple of hours outside my house on Thanksgiving was medicine that allowed me to do my job the next day.

My husband later questioned me: "Did you leave at 8?" "Yes," I replied. "I told you I was going to." "You didn't even say good-bye," he said, as he shook his head. AND RISK THE PLAGUE BEFORE I WENT TO THE BAR? NO THANK YOU.

The moral of the story: Texting was made for moms who don't want to get sick.

Also, no one likes a martyr. Go out, friends. Do it well, do it often, do it because it's the right thing to do. Take a moment when you can get one. They are fleeting.

— Megan Stuke is a wife and a mother of Johnny (5) and Lily (1). By day she works to help children and families at Ballard Community Services, and by night she writes, cooks, cleans (very little) and tries her best to be part of everything Lawrence has to offer.

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