I’ve been sick this week, and it feels near impossible to take the full time needed to recoup when you have kids. I really can’t say I’m surprised that I came down with something though. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over the past few weeks that I haven’t been able to catch up on. And moms out there, your suspicions are correct. Your lack of sleep does make you more prone to illness and makes it harder to recover once you come down with something.
My husband works crazy long hours, and since I’m home most of the time to watch the kids, I don’t have daycare set up anymore. So I found myself with a fever and, I’ll admit it, an ugly UTI and three kids ages 3 and under trying to lug the oldest to ECFE so I could have 2 hours of alone time (Just kidding- I meant 2 hours of me and the two thoroughly dependent ones).
An Ibuprofen fueled drop-off went fairly well, and I spent the two hours with both babes sleeping. It was short but luxurious, and then I made my way back with 15 minutes to spare. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any parking within a 2 block radius. My mind said mean things about the parents with only one child taking up the 15 minute parking directly in front of the building.
I found a spot I could hike from and unloaded the van- car seat in one arm, very large baby in the other. By the way, I had to find out how much that less than a year old weighed when I got home. It was 4 pounds shy of my almost 4 year old. That journey was a death haul. The bulk of the car seat and dead weight of the other baby was just unbalanced enough to be super irritating (The people out there that act like a human scale and try to equally balance grocery bags on each arm know what I’m talking about).
When I arrived with my clammy fever sweat beading on my forehead, I glanced at the clock that read 3:00. Ha! I was exactly on time, not a minute too early or too late. I did a hunchback trudge into the room to find my son sitting in circle time all by himself and the teacher almost finished cleaning up. Confused, I asked the teacher if I was late. She confirmed my punctuality and noted that all the other parents had been early. “Didn’t you see anyone as you were walking in?” Ummm… no. Those overachievers. I was put in the wrong group!
The trek back with one more, and his art project, backpack, and jacket he no longer wanted, was just a brutal. Still, I survived a death march, and it got me thinking about what other moms do in this situation. Here is my list of ways to beat a mom sickness And notice this post says nothing about a man cold because… well…
- Find respite or send out an S.O.S.– We have a week and a half long out of state trip coming up, so it’s hard for me to justify more respite, but respite or daycare are smart options. It’d be a real bummer if the whole house came down with something because you didn’t take care of yourself. The second day (and probably the worst) of my illness, my mom came over and watched the kids while I slept. She also entertained the tiny people while I went to the clinic to pick up antibiotics. Thanks Mom!
- Step away for 10 minutes– The baby won’t die if he’s safely in his crib for a few minutes, even crying, while you heat up a cup of tea and chug it or take a short, hot shower. If you can’t find outside care, then you might have to work it in to your schedule yourself.
- Leave that mess– This is not the time to maintain a spotless house. You’ll get to it when you’re back on your feet, so let the dishes pile up for a few days. Women love to run themselves ragged. Stop that.
- Prepare ahead of time– I wish I had stocked up on Lysol, made a few freezer meals so I didn’t have to cook, and had my medicine and tea cabinet in full supply. When I get better, I’m definitely making a pot of soup to freeze for times like these.
- Let the kids do those things you swore you’d never do as a parent– Let them watch television, a movie, or play on a tablet. Avoid germing up the babies by letting them be in the rocker or swing for a while. It’s not going to ruin them if you don’t carry them around all day long and provide endless entertainment. Fringe benefit, those activities create very little mess!
- Put on your survivor mentality– Remember this will only last a few days or week. It won’t go on forever. I always like to frame things in a “I can do anything for two weeks” kind of way. The end is in sight. You can push through and make it.