What do you do when you need to take care of the kids, but you are sick?
My second tip should be as obvious as the first. Go see your doctor. Find out what is really wrong. Our self-diagnosis may be right, but a doctor is more likely to know for sure. The sooner you know what is ailing you, the sooner you know if the cure is chicken soup or antihistamines. Chicken soup tastes better and you can still eat it even if you are taking antihistamines. My mother-in-law made some chicken soup for me this week. I need to send her a thank-you note for that. It helped me feel better.
If you have moments during your illness where you feel the need to stretch your legs or make sure your replacement caregiver is taking care of things just the way you would, take one of these moments to assess the food situation. Take a quick inventory of food you have on hand and make a list of quick meals your spouse or caregiver can throw together for the kids. It’s a good idea to keep certain things on hand for quick meals for this type of situation or whenever you are short on time or when you simply don’t feel like cooking. If your spouse is the family cook, you’ve got it made. I love my husband, but he’s definitely not the cook around here. Don’t spend too much time on this activity. Remember that your primary objective is to rest so you can feel better faster.
Did I mention resting? Kids are not very good at resting. If you have the kids and you don’t have any help, getting rest may not be the easiest thing to do. Older kids can definitely help keep younger kids occupied. This depends on their ages of course, but let them know that the more rest you get, the sooner things will be back to normal. This might encourage everyone to be quieter and more helpful. If you are like me and have a couple of toddlers, this could be a frustrating time for all. You may need to allow for things that are usually taboo. If you don’t usually let your kids get in bed with you, they might enjoy some snuggle time. Have them pick out some books to read quietly with you or some toys. Let them climb into your bed with you or if you are resting on the sofa, have them sit on the floor in front of you and play or read to you. You could even have them bring some dolls or stuffed animals with them. Have the kids pretend their pets or babies are sick too. Let the kids take care of you along with their pretend patients. Hopefully, this care will inspire the children to be quiet while they put YOU down for a nap. You may not be able to sleep while you are the only adult present, but resting quietly with the kids is the next best thing. You may be worried about your kids getting sick, but if they do, you need to be healthy to take care of them. So, take care of yourself right now.
When the mommy is sick, the housework may suffer. If you are the sick mommy, try not to worry about it. Assign the most important tasks to specific people. Make a list if you must, but you will need to lower your standards for the duration of your illness. No matter how detailed you are in your instructions, you will be disappointed when something isn’t done the way you would do it. Try to be gracious and thankful even when you think a job is only done halfway. All of your helpers are trying to help the best they can on top of their own concerns. Keep in mind that they are probably worried about you and may not be focusing as well as they should on each individual task.
In closing I just want to remind you to take care of yourself. Everything will fall into place most of the time and your health is more important than the dirty dishes in the sink. Remind everyone around you to wash their hands with soap and water often. Tell everyone you love them, but reserve the kisses for when you aren’t likely to cough in the middle of them. Take your vitamins, stay hydrated, follow your doctor’s orders, and get some rest when you can.
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Music – “Golly Gee” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 2.0" http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/"