You hop into bed, excited and happy—tomorrow I’m going to be productive and make cookies! Morning rolls around, the cries of your baby wake you as usual. You roll out of bed and a terrible realization hits you:
I’m… sick. Oh no.
When a nasty bug (or even nastier migraine) hits me, everything comes to an immediate halt. Except the kids. My 2-year-old is running up and down the halls yelling gibberish and my 9-month-old is fussy, teething on all the furniture.
Most of the time my husband saves the day and takes on the load while I rest. But that isn’t always the case.
So what’s a mama to do?
Stock up on freezer meals and easy snacks
Buy instant meals ahead of time to store in your freezer when it’s flu/cold season.
Whenever I’m down for the count and my toddler is hungry, I pop a freezer meal in the microwave and she is good to go.
If you forgot to stock up on microwave meals, order out to your favorite restaurant or keep it simple: peanut butter sandwiches or cheese and crackers can tie over you and your tot until your significant other gets home.
Distract the kids
Keep a little box of toys or fun activities that you only pull out when you are sick, or just need a good distraction. Toys they haven’t seen in ages will perk their interest and give you time to rest while they are busy. Works great for babies too!
For your sanity, break the rules. When I’m sick I let my 2-year-old have her iPad as much as she wants. This keeps her settled and quiet for at least an hour while I can rest.
Also, resist getting into power struggles. If your toddler wants a cookie before dinner, just let it happen. Getting into a squabble about why they can’t have the cookie and when they can have the cookie and then watching them throw a fit over the cookie IS NOT WORTH YOUR ENERGY. Focus on healing your body. You can put strict cookie rules in place after.
Move them to where you want to be
Gather up some toys and plop your kids on the bathroom floor to play while you take nice bath/shower. Or move the activities to your room so you can lay on the comfy bed instead of the firm couch. There are times I even brought my toddler into the shower with me to keep an eye on her while she played with her bath toys.
Talk to your toddler
I’m constantly amazed at how much my toddler understands. Recently I told her I wasn’t feeling well and she gave me a huge hug. Much needed when you don’t feel great! I even think she behaved better than usual.
Ignore the mess
House a disaster? Just forget it. It can wait until you are better. But if it has to be done, enlist the help of your tot. My daughter loves to help put the laundry in the machine and the dishes in the dishwasher. It’s not perfect but hey, it’s better than nothing!
Lock your kids up
Okay, okay… that sounds bad, but if they are running up and down the hallway and getting into everything then contain them. My youngest is a little explorer and I constantly need to keep my eye on him. Not ideal when all you want to do is close your eyes! So pull out the pack-n-play or stick them in their crib with a few toys. Even if it’s just for a 30 minutes. It helps!
Plug out the noise
A great solution when your head is pounding and you want to block out your toddler drumming away on the walls. Just be sure to keep your eyes open so not all your senses are gone!
Sit down and Take a breath
Just today (as I’m writing this), I got a migraine when my husband was gone running errands. I was in intense pain and my toddler was asking for cheese EVERY 5 SECONDS, even though I kept giving her some. I started to get extremely frustrated, which made my head feel even worse. So, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. This will pass, I thought. It was much needed and helped so much.
Play soft music
Music makes all the difference! It can lift your spirits, calm the kids, and all around create a better atmosphere.
If you have any ways you cope when sick, let me know below!