Warm weather may be here, but there are still a lot of illnesses going around at this time of year.
It’s hard seeing your kids ill with the Cold of The Month … and even more difficult when you’ve succumbed to the same illness. Everyone is sneezing or coughing or vomiting or otherwise miserable, including yourself, and yet you have to rally and take care of them.
Unfortunately I’ve had some experience in this department over the years; I’m happy to share my five tips for caring for sick children when you’re sick yourself.
Feed yourself first.
You know how airline safety instructions tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself and then on your children? That’s because you need to be conscious in order to take care of your little ones. Same goes for when you’re both sick at home … if you aren’t nourished and hydrated you can’t be alert for them.
Don’t stress about screen time.
We don’t want our kids watching TV all day long; but when the family is down with an illness that’s not a battle I want to wage. Movie marathon? Sure thing! Binge watching a favorite show? Have at it! That goes for me, too. If I feel the need to put aside my work and rest my brain for an hour or so, I allow myself that rest.
Reach out for help.
This is not time for pride. That neighbor who goes to the grocery store every day? Ask them to grab some chicken noodle soup and orange juice for you (they can leave on porch if you’re contagious). The parent you normally carpool with? See if they would be willing to get your children’s homework. If you’re lucky enough to have family close by, see if they come by and take care of you and the kids for an afternoon.
Avail yourself of community assets.
Do a little research to see what services are out there that might be of assistance. Any restaurants with delivery service? Are there any grocery stores or pharmacies that deliver? Laundromats that pick up and drop off laundry loads? Dog walkers to keep Fido happy? Splurging on these luxuries can make a world of difference when caring for kids who are sick while sick yourself.
Know what to ignore.
It doesn’t matter right now if your floors are clean, if your dishes are stacked in the sink, if your lawn needs to be mowed. Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. You don’t have to be Superparent when you and your kids are sick. Your job is to get healthy and help your kids do the same.