Coping with Sickness as a Parent


Being sick is never fun. Being sick when you have a small child is extra not fun.  You can not just crawl into bed all day or sit on the couch and watch Netflix.  You have to feed your child, play with them, make sure they have naps, do nappy changes, and do all of the normal parenting things.   We have just sent Mary to daycare twice a week, so we are getting hit with all the daycare illnesses here.  I’m going to walk you through a few strategies that we have been using to cope while sick. 

Sleep as much as possible. Which I know is easier said than done.  But I do have suggestions to help.  I highly recommend going to bed at the same time as your child. Don’t worry about staying up to do the dishes or laundry.  As long as you have something clean resting so you can heal is more important.  When your child goes down for a nap, nap as well.  Even if you do not sleep, do not try to get chores done.  Now is a  time to rest.  If your child does not nap, implement a quiet period.  

Forget your electronic rules.  A couple of days of complete screen time will be fine.  Put on some movies or tv shows for you and your child to watch.  It's an easy way to keep your child entertained while you rest. 

Play games with your children that you can play on the floor.  Tummy time with a baby. Letting your baby or toddler crawl all over you (watch the face! Everyone’s contagious!). Or steamroller with older toddlers and children.  Steam roller is a game I’ve seen online where you are still on the floor while your children play or jump near you. Occasionally you make mechanical noises and roll across the floor trying to roll them over while they try to escape.  Sleeping lions or dead fish is a game where you try to see who can be still the longest.  

Floor picnic lunches and dinners can be lower-effort meals.  Just pull out a bunch of snacky foods from the pantry and fridge if you have them and eat a picnic on the floor.  If you have paper plates and cutlery use them. This is what they are for. 

Do not be afraid to take medication. If you are breastfeeding, talk to the pharmacist to make sure you are taking medications that are safe.  As a parent, you do not want to try and tough things out.  It will just make you more miserable in the long term.  

Lysol everything.  Trying to keep the disease from going to everyone in the family may seem like a futile effort, but it really is worth attempting.  If you can keep even one person from getting sick, or getting as sick, that is a huge win.  

Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer constantly.  Again, you do not want to share the germs around. And I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is a virus to keep making the rounds in my family.  The hope is obviously that no one gets sick, but if everyone does get sick they only get sick once and not repeatedly.  

Drink lots and lots.  Drink water.  Drink hot beverages of your choice with honey!  Honey is proven to help with sore throats and coughs.  Drink smoothies. An easy way to get liquids, calories, and vitamins in all at the same time.  Vitamins might help you recover faster by helping your immune system function at its best.   

What are your favorite tips for when you get sick? I think we may be dealing with bugs for a while in this house, I cannot wait for spring when daycare will be more outside.  


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