It’s the time of year when here in New England, so many of us are “done” with winter. We’ve been blasted with snow this season, and bitter cold. Even if you have made it through the snowpocalypse ok, you’ve more than likely run into a virus, or two. Here at our homestead, we have done battle with a stomach bug, and now my little is fighting his second cold.
It’s no fun to be sick. It’s even less fun to be the mom of a child who is sick. You spend your days (and nights) covered in snot, or vomit, whichever the case may be, wiping noses, cleaning every possible infected surface, soothing the grumpies, and trying to keep up with remedies that just might help to ease some suffering and put this bug to rest. I know, it’s exhausting. Here’s some help with how to take care, not only of them, but you.
1. Breathe, and let off steam. No, I’m not talking about firing up your vaporizer, or humidifier here (although those things, with a splash of eucalyptus oil, do help too). I’m talking about taking a few moments, during the chaos of your care taking day, to take a few deep breaths. In through the nostrils, out through the mouth, let out a little (or big) sigh. There that’s better.
2. Be warm. Yes, to your children, offering kind words, and snuggles, but also in your body. Bundle your self, keep your heat a little higher, or take time for a hot shower. Warmth is soothing to the nervous system, which can easily become frayed when you are facing cranky faces and high needs.
3. Provide nourishment. You may be cooking up your favorite soup for just the occasion, and yes your family will benefit from eating a heaping bowl of it, but so will you. Make sure you nourish yourself, even if it’s in between wiping boogers, and doing mountains of contaminated laundry. Sit, eat, breathe.
4. Rest. I know, it’s hard. Work doesn’t go away just because someone, especially your child, gets sick. You’ve likely taken some time off to be with them, which means the load is piling up in your absence. Let it. Instead of cramming, staying up late, or being torn in 20 directions because you just need to get one thing done, turn of your computer, your phone, your outside life, snuggle up during nap time or for a movie, and rest. (This one is by far the hardest for me, and I work on it all.the.time. Do the best you can, remembering that balance is key.)
You’re doing an amazing job. Always remember that. You little ones need you, and they need you to be your best. So take care mama, take care of you.