How do you cope when you get sick?
Mums don’t get sick.
We just don’t.
Sure, we might get a sniffle or two. Maybe a cough. But that’s it. Anything else simply isn’t allowed in the mum rulebook.
It isn’t okay.
So, what happens if you do?
Well, you call in sick don’t you? Your husband/ partner/ best friend/ mum steps in straight away and you lay in bed for a few days while they bring you tissues, soup and hand sanitiser.
In your dreams.
Nothing happens generally if you get sick does it? You are still mum. You still have to get the kids up, dressed, to school, to soccer, to ballet. If you are lucky enough to have a husband who can step in and take on some duties, then you might get a small amount of rest but you know that the minute your eyes close the door will open with a small child, or helpless husband asking where the swimming bag is.
In a more realistic world (ie. mine), you just have to get on with it no matter how awful you feel. Someone needs to feed the kids and put them to bed.
Here is a day in the life of one sick mum. Post continues after video.
I can’t quite shake the memory of the time my three kids and I all had gastro. After depositing them all on the couch with four buckets placed close by, we spent the day literally in a vomit filled hell.
Four bodies barely conscious. Four buckets.
The only way I could get around was to shuffle on my bottom to the tap to get water for my kids as I didn’t have the energy to stand. As hard as I try, I can’t quite block that 48 hours from my brain. But we got through it.
We survived because we had no choice.
My kids are the ones who find the world has turned on its axis if I get sick. For some reason, if I show the slightest sign of a sore throat or a hoarse voice, they become super clingy, unable to leave me alone.
Sometimes, you just can’t be supermum though can you? And the thought of having to get through a sick day without any back-up can make you feel like you will break, or your kids will. You won’t.
Here’s a few tips for how to get through the day when mum gets sick.
1. Play hospital.
It’s a great game I invented when I had horrific morning sickness with my third child. Mummy is a sick person in hospital and has to lie in bed, tuck in all the dolls and teddies next to me and you, my children, are the doctors.
2. Only do what is necessary.
There are times when you can let certain things go and this is one of them. Only do essential laundry. No the house does not need to be vacuumed and yes this is when those $2 vegemite sandwiches at tuck-shop are essential.
3. Dial in food.
See above. Drop your standards for a few days. Pizza two days in a row is a child’s dream. Easy food is the key right now.
4. Drop the rules.
Screentime rules, chores, drop ‘em. You need as much Peppa Pig and The Wiggles as you can get right now.
5. Beg in help.
You never really know how much people are happy to help out until you ask them. My neighbours are amazing. I am terrible at asking for help, but when I do they astound me with their generosity.
Relatives, school friends, neighbours even if they just give you a few hours respite.
6. Get the flu shot.
You know that old thing about prevention? It really is the answer.
7. Look after yourself.
You have to get better and you just can't push yourself, you will get sicker.
Most mums put their health at the low of the priority lane when it comes to their family. We really need to make sure that we are okay so we can get back to looking after our families.
How do you cope when you get sick? What are your tips for other mums?
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