Your Family Survival Guide for When the Flu Strikes [Guest Post]
When you’re sick, all you want to do is crawl into bed and sleep through it. But when you’re a parent, you no longer have that option. Luckily, freelance writer and blogger, Fran, has some tips for how to best fight that winter cold plaguing the family.
Well, it’s day seven of being stuck in with the croupy crew.
It started off innocuously enough, with a snotty nose, but it soon snowballed and became the lurgy . The toddler got it, then the baby got it, and then - surprise surprise - it struck me down too.
With the toddler at preschool now, I suppose it was inevitable. Preschool is basically a place they go to share their germs around and ready their immune systems for the battering they will take at school. But it’s really not fun, being a stay at home mum to sick kids, particularly when you’re feeling very sorry for yourself indeed. Gone are the days when you can stay in bed, stick Friends on the TV, drink Lemsip and sleep as much as you want to.
Nope - as a parent, it is your duty to stay up all night long mopping be-fevered brows, being kicked in the face by sweaty little legs and syringing strawberry flavoured paracetamol into loud, unhappy little mouths like it’s going out of fashion.
We’re (fingers crossed) coming out the other side of what has been a very depressing week. The house is an unbelievable mess, there is no food in (I’m doing an online shop right now, thank god for Ocado) and everyone is sad, tired and there is a non-stop backdrop of whining, coughing and Peppa blinking Pig, but we have survived…and so I now offer you my tips for surviving a winter cold as a family:
Do write down every dose of medicine you give
It’s easy to forget when sleep deprived but if there are two of you pulling shifts it’s not fun to be woken up with ‘when did you last give her Calpol?’. Argh.
Don’t run out of paracetamol
A furious dash to the 24 hour Tesco with a sobbing toddler is not fun. I don’t feel safe unless I’ve got at least one unopened back up pack; same goes with loo roll.
Do lower your parenting standards
There is no shame in letting Netflix babysit when you have a thumping headache and snot running out of your eyeballs.
Don’t bother with chores
Whatever household chores you might usually do - bed making, hoovering, ironing (who irons??) - just forget about them. You can sort them when you’re well, if you want to. Perhaps see if your other half even notices. If they don't and you reckon you can live with it, you might just have cut your workload permanently.
Do encourage independent play
I.e. the please please please leave me alone game. This can sometimes be achieved by letting them play with things they wouldn’t normally be allowed - no scissors or fire, I’m talking about play doh or stickers.
The you of tomorrow or next week (who is feeling much better) can deal with getting play doh out of the carpet or peeling stickers off of the furniture as well as doing all the other jobs you’ve not done.
Do get some fresh air
If you’re up to it, pull on the boots and take a (short) country walk or nip to the local (empty) park; the fresh air can be good for croup, so I’m told, and staying in, watching endless CBeebies and crawling the walls can get frighteningly tedious.
Don’t turn up for a playdate
Come on now! You should know, this is not OK to do. You might as well just rock up and take a dump on their doorstep. The same goes for toddler groups - a bit of snot is fine (or there would never ever be any children there…) but once we are talking actual communicable diseases you really ought not to be willingly inflicting this hell on other people. That is not how you make friends.
Do call in the grandparents
There is no shame in asking for help. Or cake.
Does this dilemma sound all too familiar to you? If you’re looking for more parenting advice – or just a bit of sympathy really – you can check out plenty more hot tips and stories on the Bobux blog today.