Thursday, 6 September 2018

How To Cope When Sick As A Stay At Home Mum

When you think about how life will be as a Mum and in particular as a stay at home mum, you think of looking after your babies every needs, trips to the park and maybe a few other unpleasant tasks that are just part of being a parent. What you don't think about, is what will happen if you get poorly. I've been both a working mum and now a stay at home mum and although both have their challenges, being with your kids 24/7 is not easy, especially when you're not really up to the challenge. There's no days off for sickness, no special treatment, you just need to get on with it.

I currently have a 2.5 year old (Tommy) and 8 month old (Fraser). So as you can imagine they rely on me pretty heavily. Sure Tommy can do some things for himself. He can feed himself, but he can't make his own food, or clean all the mess he will inevitably make. And to top it all off I'm also in the middle of potty training. He's doing really well, but it's a lot of reminding from me, trips up and down the stairs to empty the potty and of course cleaning up whatever accidents might happen.

Don't get me wrong, I do love being a mum, it's hard work, and there are aspects that aren't so great, but on the whole I love it. What isn't so fun is being poorly while also being at home with two kids. I'm not the first and definitely won't be the last mum who's had to look after her kids, while also being poorly herself. I've just come to the end of being poorly for nearly two weeks. Two VERY long weeks!! I'm not just talking a bit of a cold. We were pretty much housebound for those 2 weeks and my energy levels were getting less and less as the time went on. Trying to keep on top of the minimum has been hard work. My living room currently looks like a launderette as I slowly try and get on top of things. And we've all been suffering from serve cabin fever.

So how do you cope? What can you do to make things a little easier? You might not have instant access to childcare and some how you need to get through the day or week. Even if all you want to do is crawl back into bed.
Here are a few tips for you if you find yourself in this situation. I have definitely used some of these where they have worked for me and my situation. Not every tip worked for me and it won't for you, but hopefully there is something that will help.

Jen from Just Average Jen says
Everything you swore you would never do, stick the kids in front of the TV, cook them hot dogs and beans etc. Feed them easy stuff and remember that it won't kill them to have little attention for the day as long as their basic needs are met.

Katy from says

Be kind to yourself. Buy some ready meals, do what you need to do just to get through!

Katy is so right, first up we need to be kind to ourselves. You're just going to make yourself feel worse if you're also beating yourself up for the things you're not able to do.

Clare from My Money Cottage says

I suffer from sickness migraines and I'm sad to say that my children are used to having to fend for themselves a bit when I'm ill. I have three children aged 11, 9 and 3. The two older ones will help with the three year old which is a huge help for me. I try to make sure I've always got easy meals in for those days when I can't manage to cook for them - part baked bread is a good one for just throwing in the oven and they love it still warm with some butter and cheese. Also, have drinks made up in the fridge that they can just grab when they're thirsty. Let them stay in their pj's and watch a film and snuggle up to look after Mummy. 

Beth from Life As Mum says

My top tip is to prepare some activities that the kids can do themselves such as colour crayons or water paint books. Something with minimal mess. If they are older, let them out in the garden so they can have fresh air and lets you rest a bit too.

Emma from Emma Reed says
If you can get a family member or friend over to help whilst you nap then do it. Even if it’s only for an hour it will really help you to get better more quickly and help you to relax. 

Sophie from Soph Obsessed says

Don't beat yourself up because you don't feel like Mary Poppins. You cannot pour from an empty cup and your children won't care if you sit them in front of the TV and hide in the house for the day! Think quick meals indoor picnic style and vegetate on the sofa to recoup!

Lauren from Sophie's Nursery blog says

Go to bed when they go to bed - I know it's the time when we get stuff done, but the rest & down-time will help defeat the illness quicker meaning less time feeling rubbish! 

Lauren later clarified that she meant in the evening. Sleeping during the day when you have multiple children isn't always possible. Although there were a couple of days that I closed my eyes (while sat up on the sofa) while Fraser slept and Tommy played. It wasn't as good as sleeping, but it did help.

Jennie from Rice Cakes And Raisins says

There's really no harm in using the power of Cbeebies on days like this. The little ones love it and you can take some time to rest at the same time.

Victoria from Lylia Rose says
A big box of DUPLO works wonders for my toddler when I need to keep him entertained for a long time. Also his favourite films or TV shows and dare I say it? An iPad!

One of Tommy's favourite toys - his track

Janet from Falcondale Life says

If you know this kind of thing is likely to happen, then double check your safety measures and childproofing. If you have to lie down you need to be sure they won't get into kitchen cupboards or unlock the front door.

I totally agree with Janet. There were a few times I needed to leave the room quickly with no time for checking that everything was safe to leave one or both children for a couple of minutes. Knowing that we have safety gates in place was vital.

Thank you to everyone who shared their tips with me. My advice for this situation would be to do what is absolutely necessary, the rest can wait. You will hopefully be back to full health soon where normality can resume and you're multi-tasking trying to get a million jobs done at once.

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