In this scenario you are well and the kids are sick. I’m not talking worse case scenario here where both mom and kids are sick. That’s a nightmare where survival really is the correct word to use! I’m referring to surviving the hardship, exhaustion, boredom and isolation that comes from caring for multiple sick children. Thankfully we went most of the winter healthy but this spring has been one thing after another.
I generally make it through the tough parts of motherhood by planning and enjoying outings with my kids. When one of them gets sick and suddenly we are isolated from the rest of the world it’s easy to get down right depressed! Since I have spent so many isolated days over the last several weeks as my kids have caught one bug after another, here are my best survival tips for making it through!
1.take a shower and get dressed. You will feel so much more refreshed and productive then if your hair is greasy and you’re still in your pajamas. Even if it’s noon before you do, it will really improve your mood!
2. eat something healthy and stay hydrated. While putting the many needs of our children before our needs, it’s easy as moms to neglect our bodies entirely and get burnt out. You will be a happier mom with some good fuel in your belly and enough water to counteract some of that caffeine you’re probably drinking!
3. create some order in your home. Your normal cleaning routine is probably going to be too much if you have a sick child needing you. Some picking up will help your sanity though. Aim for something doable like three 15 minute tidy ups before each meal. At the end of the day 45 minutes of cleaning is not enough to have a ‘clean’ house but it’s enough for basic sanitation and you won’t be that far behind when your child gets better.
4. do a small something during the day that makes you happy. For me that’s reading. I worked to find a calm(er) moment during the day and set the timer for 20 minutes and allowed myself to read my book for 20 minutes. Yes I was interrupted several times but it allowed me at the end of the day to point to something I did other than wipe boogers and treat pink eye.
5. If it is warm enough and depending on the type of sickness your child has, get outside. The fresh air will do you all good. Of course it may depend where you live, we don’t have any neighbors nearby so we don’t have to worry about contaminating anyone when we go outside. If your child doesn’t feel like playing they may enjoy being pushed in a stroller. When my 18 month old is teething or has been sick in the past sometimes the only thing that will calm him down is being pushed in the stroller. I put in a lot of walking on those days!
6. Call somebody. The feeling of isolation that comes when you are stuck at home some times for days on end while your children recover can be overwhelming. Calling people on the phone helps with that a lot. Not just texting or sending a message but actually hearing somebody’s voice will help remind you that there is still a world out there and you are not alone. It will also make someone’s day as well for you to call just to say hi.
7. Rotate toys. Kid’s play better with toys and it is more fun for them if they have a limited number of toys in front of them. Instead of letting the kids have access to everything at once have them clean up one activity before moving on to the next. They enjoy the doll house more if the train tracks are cleaned up first instead of having a free for all and not having room to play. Your house will stay cleaner as well.
8. weather permitting, open the windows, spray some disinfectant around, if you’re into essential oils use them. This may or may not kill the germs but at least your house will smell a little fresher and boy can sick kids stink up a house!
9. Try and see this as an opportunity to do things with your kids that you normally wouldn’t have time to do if you were on the go. Snuggle up and read the pile of books, play a board game, do the activity you saw on pinterest.
10. Remember if you are a follower of Jesus to pray and ask Him to help you. He is faithful.