Everyone can attest to the fact that being sick sucks. It just does. Yeah, okay, sometimes you can look at the bright side and say well, at least i get to stay in bed and binge watch Friends or catch up on the novel you haven’t been able to finish for the last 6 months, but when you are super under the weather, fighting illness tooth and nail and feeling like death-warmed-over, it is the worst.
Know what is even worse than being sick yourself? Having a sick kid. Oh man, does that suck. Like, REALLY sucks. I swear, I would take being sick myself over having a sick kid to look after, any day of the week. Why you ask? Because when you have a sick child, you inevitably fall sick yourself, and then that’s not one but two sickies in the house that you have to take care of. Add your husband/boyfriend onto that (man cold and all) and now you’ve got 3 sick people who are reliant on you keeping your shit together while feeling like crap.
At least when you are the only one who is sick, you can take necessary steps to help prevent anyone else falling ill. You also have head start on the road to recovery if the sickness starts with you before knocking anyone else in your household on their ass.
Having spent basically the last three months of my life taking care of my sick toddler, I have discovered a few things that are necessary in order to survive.
How To Survive Life With A Sick Kid
1. Let Go Of Your Expectations
Laundry may not get done for a week. Dinner may consist of a can of soup and a box of crackers. Your dishwasher will likely be overflowing with plates. Let it go. You can’t do it all. A healthy family trumps a messy house. Spend your energy where it is needed: taking care of yourself and your family. If you really can’t handle the mess any longer, hire someone to come clean, or as a family member to lend a hand. Which leads me to my next point…
2. Ask For Help!
Despite what some may lead you to believe, you are not superhuman. You are not expected to do it all all the time. You likely judge yourself harder than anyone else, so let me assure you that you will not be judge if you as
k for help when you need it. The faster you are recovered, the easier taking care of you sick child will be. Ask your mom/dad/sister/friend to come bring you dinner or drop off groceries. Call up your neighbour and ask them to shovel your driveway while they are shovelling theirs. You are allowed to ask for help, especially when you are sick.
3. Ignore The Guilt.
If you are like me and suffer from “mommy guilt” regularly, let me tell you right now, it is not your fault that your child is sick. Unless he/she has come down with scurvy or you have intentionally poisoned him/her, you are not to blame. Letting him/her eat macaroni and cheese for dinner 6 days straight, or counting the apple sauce pouches they live off of as their fruit intake for the day, is not what caused them to come down with a cold. Kids are germ factories and cold/flu magnets. Cut yourself some slack and vow to try and add some fruits and vegetables to their diet once they are feeling better. If that means throwing a handful of peas and carrots into their bowl of kraft dinner and then watching them pick every one of them out, well, that’s life – you are doing the best you can, mama!
4. Time Does Heal…
It may not feel like it but things will get better. The sickness is not forever. Life will revert back to normal eventually. It is okay to admit defeat and let things slide for a few weeks. Family illness can derail a lot of things. You are allowed to take some time to get back into your regular routine. You are allowed to cancel plans, even if you think your kid is well enough to attend that birthday party but you really would rather spend that Saturday staying in and catching up on dishes and laundry and everything else that got shoved aside while you nursed your poorly wee one back to health.
I would like to think that we are over our bout of illnesses but given that the cold and flu season has only just begun, I think that may be wishful thinking. But at least I am now armed with Lysol, gummy vitamins and all the elderberry syrup I can find. Stay strong, mamas and don’t let the season of sickness get you down.