Have you ever found yourself faced with an illness like a cold or the stomach bug, but also with being home with a healthy and active baby? Or maybe you haven’t had to worry about this yet but are wondering what you would do if it happened? I am writing this from bed, surrounded by tissues and Tylenol, and here is what I’ve found helps:
- Accept help. If you have anyone in your life who is willing and able to help you, let them. My husband essentially took on all of the parenting responsibilities for three days. As hard as it was to be quarantined in our bedroom, I knew it was better to keep my sick germs away from the baby as much as possible and let him have some quality father-son time instead. I was resting and baby was healthy and those were the two most important things for our lives to get back to normal quickly.
- Always have “easy” food stored somewhere. When you are sick, the last thing you want is to go grocery shopping and cook. Having some cans of soup stashed in the pantry will save you more than just a meal, it will be the best tasting thing you’ve eaten in a while (since you might not have eaten anything in 2 days!)
- Let the mess happen. When you are sick, you priority should be to get better. If achieving your goal of wellness includes letting the toys cover the living room for more than a 24-hour period, or the dishes pile up in the sink, then so be it. Chances are you are going to go on a cleaning spree after you are feeling better anyway to clean all the sick-germ surfaces, so you can make it a whole-house event! (Find ways for your toddler to help clean or pick things up!)
- Armchair parenting. Sometimes, you are sick and tired and you don’t have someone around to help with the very active toddler. This is the time to sprawl out on your couch and let them just play. Maybe they are angels and will only play with their normal toys. Maybe they are normal children and will want to get into that Tupperware cabinet. Maybe you really just want to rest so you pull out a new toy that you’ve been hiding away. Whatever works to keep them safe and occupied so you can watch from the comfort and rest of the couch, do that.
Finally, if you are reading this article because you are going through an illness right now, remember that you will get better eventually! It’s easy to give into despair and only focus on the current pain or discomfort you are experiencing. Try to think toward the wellness of the future. A little positive thinking never hurts (even if it seems impossible!)