How to Survive When Mom is Sick
A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how to avoid getting sick, so I should have realized that a virus would find me and pay me back for asking thousands of moms to wash their hands more thoroughly. Last weekend I took my family on a surprise weekend getaway, which meant traveling on an airplane and through busy airports during cold and flu season. Sure enough, I've come down with a cold that has developed into a sinus infection that has left me feeling tired, grumpy, and yet still completely in charge of my home and family.
When mom gets sick, it can feel like no one is going to make it out of there in one piece. As every mom knows, we don't get "sick days," and unlike my days of teaching, there's no substitute hotline to call for assistance. While my husband can certainly use his sick leave to take care of the kids when I'm terribly ill, a sinus infection contains just enough fury to bring me to my knees...while still being able to pour the bowl of cereal and get the kids to the bus stop and pre-school.
So what do you do? How do you keep from resorting to five to seven days of movie time when you aren't feeling well?
Here are a few mom-to-mom tips to survive the mom-is-sick dog days of winter:
1. Get Plenty of Rest When You Can - If you are sick enough to keep you awake during the night, be sure that you enforce napping/resting rules during the day and use that time to rest as well. Do not spend their nap time running through the house and cleaning. You’re sick – no one is going to come see your messy house anway!
2. Clean Efficiently - The one area of cleaning that should not be ignored when your household is ill is the disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces, but you don't want to tap into your precious energy to wipe down the entire house. Focus instead on the main offenders - doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, the tops of chairs, toilet flushers (ewwwww, but yes!!!). You don’t want your entire house to join you in the land of the sick because you know who will have to take care of them…you. And don't be tempted to follow after your disinfecting wipe with a dry paper towel. The moisture from the wipe must be left on the surface for a couple of minutes in order to effectively kill germs.
3. Find an Activity - While rest and getting plenty of fluids are the two things that we all know a sick mom needs, we also need to keep the kids from beginning to atrophy in front of a television for hours on end. Find a quiet, peaceful activity for them to engage in, including calm physical activity. One suggestion might be kid-friendly yoga, which is not strenuous but serves to burn that pent-up energy of a child kept home from school and away from friends. Assuring that your children spend that energy also will help them sleep better at night - which is something you will enjoy as much as them.