First of all, hats off to you noble men and women out there. This is a true right of passage and skill that we never thought would enter our arsenal when we saw two lines on the pregnancy test. But alas here you are and it has hit your home. Here are my tips for getting through a sickness bug with kids.
Call for as much help as you can muster. Anything will do.
This is probably the most obvious but possibly the trickiest of the tips. People will want to avoid you like the plague as no one wants to be in the position you’re in right now. Also, you might not want to give it to someone as it’s pretty clear who passed it onto these well-meaning helpers, then you’ll definitely not be the most popular parent around town!
If possible get someone, for even just an hour, to help around the house, perhaps by bringing you bread and oral re-hydration sachets (via carrier pigeon). Even better if they are willing to look after the kids so you can try to sort your own miserable day out. Understood, probably an unlikely event when you’re as popular as an ice bath on a freezing day.
Remember you need to look after yourself too.
Amongst the sick bowls and toilet trips with the kids and then the added fun of your own, don’t forget to take care of your needs in those moments of quiet. Make sure you’re drinking what you can, eating something plain and easy to digest (dry toast or crackers, definitely no dairy as you’ll be paying for that during the hours to come). If you have the re-hydration sachets for your kids, make sure you have some too. Of course always follow the instructions on the box. Ultimately you can’t look after them if you don’t look after yourself.
Do the bare minimum.
This is a controversial one, but a clear survival tactic. If you have a baby, resign yourself to the fact they may not have as many cuddles or plays as usual and may cry for a bit longer than you’d normally leave them. If you’re unwell and in the bathroom there is no other option. If you’re not sat by the bowl, but still feel like death then you just have to do what you can and sometimes that is less than you’d like to give. Your baby can’t die of crying, and you are an amazing parent the remaining 99% of the time so don’t worry if it takes a little longer to get to them and soothe them, or if you aren’t keeping them as entertained as normal. It’s really not the end of the world.
Use each other.
If you’re in a couple and both of you are ill, use each other. Try your best to support your other half with their illness, but both remember you’re both responsible for the kids. You both feel rubbish so just try to divide the work equally as best as possible. If you’re having a good hour, take the brunt so the other can rest ready for when you flag. Try not to fight as that makes no one feel good. Don’t let one take on more than they can manage when you’re both in the same boat.
Remember it’s not forever.
Most sickness bugs subside between 6-24 hours after they begin; so although you’re in the middle of a living hell right now, remember that by tomorrow you will most likely be recovering and riding the wake of the destruction.
You can do this! You will survive, even if you’re not sure at some points, and you will come out the other end a more battle hardened parent. Trust me, I’ve been there.
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!