Remember when getting sick meant lounging in bed watching tv? You know, prior to kids entering the picture?
Parenting is hard enough on a good day, but when Mom gets sick? 100x harder. When both parents are sick? Just try to keep your head above water!
The flu has hit New England hard- and it was only a matter of time before it crept into our house. We recently emerged from the covers after 3 solid weeks of illness-barely making it out alive at times after my husband, me and the baby all caught variations of the flu and stomach bug.
Here are a few truths that I discovered after being a sick mom with a toddler.
5 Truths when you are a sick mom with a toddler
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Mom Truth #1
Eggos make a fine dinner.
Get something on the plate, anything. You can go back to portioned meals with various food groups once you can stand up for more than 5 minutes at a time.
When you don’t have an appetite yourself, just make sure you remember to feed the kiddos (though luckily they are hard-wired to let us know when they are hungry-loud and clear!)
Mom Truth #2
Daycare is invaluable for a non-sick tot with a sick mom and dad.
If you can, drop off a non-sick kiddo and get some much-needed rest.
It is so hard to get rested when you are trying to entertain (and probably chasing around) a toddler all day. They think you laying down on the couch means “time to jump on Mom!” and after a while the sound of little voice mimicking your cough gets a bit annoying (no matter how cute they are).
If you have daycare, or a babysitter close by, drop them off for a while and use the time to get some real, uninterrupted rest. And don’t let the mom guilt convince you otherwise.
Driving a half hour each way with the stomach bug however, is no fun at all though. Keep that in mind (it’s awful, but worth it to get a few hours of sleep!)
Mom Truth #3
TV becomes a best friend, who also won’t stop knocking on your door.
When you barely have enough energy to keep your eyes open and watch your toddler play, TV is a great distraction for kids (if you are into having kids watch that is- to each their own!)
Use it as much as you need to, but be prepared for the kingdom’s little ruler to develop an opinion that only one show will do, and to pick up the remote as soon as she walks in.
A lingering bad habit unfortunately- no energy to break it now. Revisit another time!
Mom Truth #4
Sickness will always come when in a transitional phase or trying something big- like weaning.
Feel free to revert back to whatever is needed to survive.
We were in the beginning stages of weaning from breastfeeding before all getting sick, which made weaning so difficult. Without being able to tag team on distracting Charlie with a sippy cup of whole milk (which was hard to drink out of due to her cold as well) or high energy playtime, it was easier just to let her feed on demand.
Now that we are all better, we are back on track with the process.
Mom Truth #5
Babies love to take what’s yours- even sickness.
With germs everywhere, it is totally possible (and even likely) that the baby will get their own version of whatever you have, so be prepared.
Layered mattress pads and crib sheets are a lifesaver for when they wake up vomiting in the middle of the night. We keep two layers (pad, sheet, pad, sheet) on at all times so one can just be stripped off without too much of a struggle to put a new set on in the middle of the night.
A supply of baby medicine, boogie wipes and a nasal aspirator (I really love this one) will help them be more comfortable. Plus extra baby snuggles are always good, even if a cold is the reason.
Bonus Mom Truth
A 24-lb toddler feels like a 100-lb weight when you are sick.
This of course means the baby will want to be held constantly when you are not feeling well.
Oh Lord, the exhaustion. Strap that baby to your chest with a carrier if possible!
Being sick as a mom is no fun, so hopefully you can make it through the rest of the winter without catching anything! What are your go-to mom hacks when sick?