As can be expected this time of year, illness has infected our household, and I am the unlucky recipient. I might have caught this cold in a number of ways, but I am sure that working with little kids at the public library does not help me in the staying healthy department.
Any parent knows, that once you have kids, your days of staying in bed all day long and doing absolutely nothing when you are ill are over. That is, unless your child happens to go to school or daycare and you have the luxury of sick time off from work. Even then, that is not for a whole day. Stay-at-home parents, however, don’t have daycare to rely on, and must find ways to care for their child(ren) all day while also taking care of themselves. Here are some of my methods:
~Drinking hot tea, with honey for my sore throat helps me to feel relaxed and a little bit pampered while I am also sitting on the floor making play food pizzas with my son. (He likes tea too, which enables me to sneak him an echinacea boost that might help keep him healthy. )
~Speaking of the play food, sticking to calm activities like that, which we can do sitting down are best. Today we sat and made a LOT of art together, because even thinking about crawling around driving toy cars, or dancing to music made my body ache.
~It is helpful if your child is old enough to get them to play doctor. Tell them you are sick and that they can be the doctor, or the mommy/daddy and they can take care of you. This led my little guy to make me pretend tea with his tea set, and bring it to me on the couch where he also tucked me in with a blanket. All the while, I got to just lay there as he happily acted out this role reversal.
~When Simon was only an infant, if I was sick I would spread a blanket on the floor with a few toys, grab a pillow for me, and we would just lay down on the floor together in between feeding and changing.
~As for chores, I take getting sick as a sign from the universe that I am being given permission to get nothing done. If I feel up to it, I’ll do stuff around the house. If I don’t, it can wait.
~Since Jeramy and I are already very strict about tv, I don’t feel guilty at all letting Simon watch more of it when I need to rest. Today I popped in a Very Hungry Caterpillar DVD for him to watch when I wanted to just flop on the couch with my mug of tea and close my watering eyes a little.
~This is a great time to ask your child to show off. I had Simon play his musical instruments for me and put on a performance. He felt special and important, and I didn’t have to do a thing. A puppet show would be great too.
Finally, I think it is important to allow myself to take the easy route. For example, I asked Jeramy to cook dinner tonight, and instead of an elaborate meal we had a frozen pizza with a quickly thrown together salad. Asking for help and doing something simple can relieve the burden of trying to do it all when I am sick, and help me get through the day.
When you are sick and taking care of kids, what do you do to make it easier?
Also, check out my post on my favorite natural remedies for when we are sick.