When Mom Gets Sick
What happens in your house when mom gets sick? Last week, I caught a bad case of strep throat. Like, body aches and pains – thought I had the flu – kind of bad. I spent two whole days pretty much sleeping.
I called in help for mom’s taxi from my support system, and the teenager actually took care of dinner on the first day. I went to the doctor on the second day, got my dose of amoxicillin, and left the youngest in daycare for the afternoon while I worked up the energy to still be the mom after school.
I did no chores or laundry, barely kept up with dishes, and basically moved between my bed and the couch.
And this week, I am dealing with the aftermath of that. I spent an hour Sunday afternoon washing blankets, clorox-ing the bathroom, cleaning up toys and vacuuming up dog hair. My kids are complaining that they need clothes – I have started on the endless mountain of laundry.
When our kids get sick, as moms, we have to roll with it. We set them up on the couch with ginger ale, orange juice or just ice water, let them nap in between movies, and we get stuff done while they rest. I very rarely catch the various bugs that the kids bring home. I don’t have time to be sick! I’m the mom, I have to keep the house running and everyone else going.
This time, my husband gave me the bug. He had it several weeks ago, and it seems that the first round of antibiotics didn’t do the job. So, he went through round 2, and both of us were still dragging over the weekend when we finally had down time.
What happens when both mom and dad get sick? Kids play, we watch endless movies or let them binge their shows, and everyone has a chill day. And that’s not all bad.
Everyone needs to recharge their batteries, so to speak. When we are worn down, our bodies are more susceptible to illness, and we are forced to take a break and take care of ourselves.
I’ve said before that our kids are fairly healthy, most of the time (see Adventures in Parenting). When they do get sick, they each have a routine that we follow, and they are good about letting me know how they really feel. My son is the happiest sick kid around – he can be running a fever and totally lethargic, and once the meds kick in, he is up and playing with the best of them. My oldest (who also caught strep last week) is very hands-off and her mantra is always “I feel fine!” And the youngest likes to snuggle in and sleep it all off.
For us, as parents, we want to snuggle in and have someone take care of us, too. But, we’re the adults now, and we have to keep running the show. So, how to juggle all the normal things for the kids, while we’re down and out? Take it one thing at a time! (I know, this is pretty much my answer to all the things…)
My go-to sick day foods are always the same: hot tea (which I love, and my kids actually like as well, but my husband won’t drink for anything), chicken soup – always the best comfort food, plain toast, and Gatorade – which normally I don’t like at all, but it keeps the electrolytes up, and usually will stay down even with an upset stomach.
When mom gets sick, we still keep up with all the kid activities, but we also ask more of our kids, and they will step up to help us! I love my son’s answer the other night, when my mother-in-law called to check on me. He said “mom is fine. She is awake more than she’s sleeping, so it’s all good.” Through the eyes of an eight-year-old!
Call on your kids to help you. Use your network to do the school pickups and run the kids to their after-school activities. Let the kids have frozen/microwave dinners. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself so that you can be back up to full speed as soon as possible!
When mom gets sick, it’s not the end of the world. Just as we do with everything else, we roll with it, and move on.