That dreaded cough-sneeze-“I’m going to throw up!” Not pleasant and not fun.
Some moms get sick first. Some get sick last. A lucky few escape unscathed. Me? I get sick alongside my kids.
August has been unkind to my family. It started badly and is now ending with us falling one by one to a dreaded cold. It’s been an interesting week as we now have to decide whether to keep our 4 year old at home or go ahead and send him to his playschool program. All I can say is, I’m not looking forward to having to make that decision when he starts Kindergarten next year!
Now, I don’t want anyone thinking he caught something from his classmates, which is possible, but not the only possibility. All month, he went to hospitals, funeral homes, cemetaries, his cousins’ house, his grandparents’ house, and restaurants. The fact is, whenever kids are around other people, it’s always possible for them to get sick.
Then, of course, I fall a couple of days later.
One thing I wish I had done during my pre-mom days is spend more time on the couch while sick instead of pushing through school, studying, and working. Oh, how I’d love to be lying down with a book, a nice cup of tea, and snuggly blankets and pillows! Instead, I have sick kids sleeping on me and a rapidly dwindling supply of tissues. There are toys underfoot because my kids have yet to discover the joys of lying down and resting while under the weather.
So, how do I survive being sick when I’m a toddler mom?
Really, by taking it slowly!
- Tylenol. But not too much. Some does get into breast milk, if you’re a breastfeeding mom, so this is more of a last resort, when I am so miserable I have to take something just so I can continue to care for my kids. It’ll at least give me a few hours of relief so I can spend time caring for and playing with my kids, while trying to get them to rest.
- Getting help when possible. My husband works a lot, but he tries to help when he can. Whether it’s doing the dishes or bringing home dinner, it’s always helpful to have someone else doing something. That way you get a little more time to rest.
- Tissue. I don’t know what I would do without a permanent stash of tissue boxes. I never know when someone will get sick, so I buy in bulk when it’s on sale, otherwise I get a box a week. When people are sick, stuff comes out of noses and tissue is my lifesaver. When I’m sick, I like to try to wear something with pockets so I can stash some in them and have them close by when necessary.
- Rest, whenever there is a second. Literally every time the kids nap, my eyes close as well. I need rest and sleep. It’s okay to set them up with some screen time or box of favorite toys. Sometimes I just have my son bring some toys to the couch so I can play with him and still lie down. But whenever both kids are fully occupied, I take a moment to just lie down.
- Plenty of fluids. I’m a water fiend. When I’m sick it’s kind of nice to challenge myself and see just how many times I can fill my cup in a day. A high score is a good score, and I try to outdo myself the next day. Hydration is important, especially when you’re sick!
Being sick is no fun, but this has helped me survive over the past 4 years, from the colds that last a day or two to the ones that never seem to go away.