As a whole, we are together in the throws of the most wonderful time of year….the months of back to back illnesses! I find this time of year to be especially contagious if you have small children (a.k.a. tiny germ factories who touch everything). Our 5 year old has been ‘off’ the last few days and wouldn’t you know it at 3 a.m. this morning she came into our bedroom with a solid fever. Last year was especially trying as it was our oldest first year of preschool and we were introduced to everything under the sun. We had multiple stomach bugs and endless respiratory grossness. I have been hoping this year would be better but this is already our second virus to enter the house in the last two months.
As anything with children today has been an unplanned whirlwind of laundry, like a real serious pile of laundry, and disinfecting our entire house. I am currently treating everything as biohazard material. If you want to know my true desperation to avoid anyone else getting sick all of our dirty clothes and other things are sitting in the garage until they can be washed. I’m even getting as far as to air out and attempt to sanitize our mattresses. The struggle is so real today! Besides the guilt you feel watching your little ones be miserable it can be very stressful to have sick children. Things like colds and stomach bugs are not typical things you can plan for and they tend upend your entire schedule and any routines you have. However, with kids and really just in life, you have to be able to roll with the punches and adjust when things come up requiring you to do so.
So, how the heck do we stay sane while dealing with the madness of parenting sick children, and maybe even being sick yourself. Not exactly sure there is a clear cut answer to that but I’ve found putting aside all other responsibilities, within reason of course, and just being able to focus on nurturing yourself and your kiddos is absolutely key. More often than not, even when my kids aren’t sick, I survive the day to day by focusing on the essentials of making sure everyone has clean clothes, is bathed, and fed. That’s all you can really ask for sometimes right? Of course I also survive on the support of family and friends by asking for help when I really need it and especially if I’m having an “It’s the end of the world” moment. Justin, my husband, travels quite a bit for work (so in all honestly I have a lot of these so to speak end of the world moments…) and when I have a crying and puking child at 4 am, and am on my own for dealing with it, that can be a super lonely feeling. One of the last times I had a puking child, and I mean puking everywhere…. it was on our bed sheets, blankets, pillows, herself, and the floor, I decided to wave my white flag and admit defeat. Once things were cleaned up we spent the next two hours watching movies and I checked myself out of worrying about things that were needing to be done the next day or the places I might have needed to be. As I mentioned, you have to get your priorities in line for whats really important and needs to be done, and sometimes it truthfully isn’t all that much even when it feels like a serious dead weight is riding you.
Hopefully we won’t see too many more illnesses in our household this winter but I don’t anticipate that actually happening, because kids are gross. We have another baby on the way and my need for cleanliness, organization, and overall sanitization is through the roof but there is only so much you can do to prevent, unless you want to live in a bubble (which I know I considered once or twice last year). I’m praying my mad dash for cleaning anything that can be cleaned or put through the sanitize cycle in our washing machine and dryer pays off this time. Fingers, toes, and anything else that can be is crossed.
I wish everyone a blessed, safe, and joyous holiday season! Stay warm and wash your hands!!!!!