A couple of weeks ago when my whole tribe got struck down by illness, I was very smug that I’d managed to dodge it. ‘It’s because I’m so healthy and strong.’ I remember saying. Pride comes before a… ah yes, there she goes, falling on her spluttering, sweaty, snot filled face.
So how do you survive being ill when you’re a stay at home mum?
Well you can’t call in sick can you? Imagine that.
Makes call to husband who is downstairs sorting the kids breakfast…
(in best croaky, sick voice) ‘Hi, I can’t come in today. I’m not feeling very well. I think it’s flu.’
Husband – ‘Right, well that’s fine, but can you come and help me do the lunchboxes first?’
You still have to get up and help, and yesterday I still had to take care of my four year old. By myself. All morning.
Here’s how I survived it:
(Please note that I’m not advising you to do any of the medical stuff. I’m not a doctor nor am I qualified to give medical advice. I’ve got a 2.2 in Theatre Studies and a teaching diploma…that’s it)
- I took drugs. I’m not talking a couple of paracetamol. They don’t touch the sides for me. I’m talking hard stuff. The class A of cold & flu drugs. Double dropping some max strength tabs once every four hours is the only way.
- We played doctors. I lay on my four year olds bed yesterday morning and she got out her doctors kit and prodded and poked and injected me in the forehead a few times and that killed a good 30 minutes. I did panic a bit when she took my temperature. She told me it was ‘Fifty hundred’ and that I was ‘Probably going to die very soon.’ Eek. Better get your baked beans on then babes. Would hate you to go without lunch just because I died.
- I used the iPad as a babysitter. YES!!! Finally some guilt free screen time. We watched Revolting Rhymes on Amazon Prime which was SO good and then I let her play loads of games (mostly educational of course) and I felt absolutely no guilt whatsoever, because this my friends, was survival.
- Ok by about 11am I started to feel quite guilty and so we read some books… phew… I’m not a bad mother after all… reading books, that’s good right? Hang on BACK OFF MUM GUILT, I was ill for god’s sake!!! (it is worth noting that I was lying down, for the whole of 2, 3 & 4… ill skills or what?)
- I enlisted the help of ‘My Village’. There’s been a lot of talk online recently about the fact it takes a ‘village’ to raise a child and I agree. Family, friends, neighbours, teachers, child-minders, other mums on social media. I got my crew. My village. My mum recently moved closer to us, so she came to my rescue yesterday. After bending my ear, in the way only mothers can, about me not having had my flu jab this winter, she kindly took my little one to school and I was then kid free. Basically, when you’re your ill, you need to actively seek out and accept any available help. Remember, people like to help.
- Once I was kid free I tried to do NOTHING. I find this one hard. Especially as my washing pile looks like Ben Nevis at the mo. Will most definitely be experiencing altitude sickness when I try and scale it later in the week.
- I ate well. Depends what the illness is of course, but I’ve had a cold and boy did I feed it. I tried to eat healthy vitamin enriched stuff but I must admit I did balance it out by eating half a tub of chocolate ice cream in bed after my lunch. Ice cream is really good for sore throats. Dr Ben & Jerry’s told me.
- I had a hot bath. Always works for me. I’m talking skin scorchingly boiling. Although this is probably terrible medical advice if you have a high fever. I find it usually leaves you looking like a right sweaty, tomato head and makes you feel hideous straight afterwards. Then once you cool down and stop sweating, it does feel like it’s done some good. Worth noting that it works for hangovers too.
- I snoozed when I was kid free yesterday arvo and boy did it feel good. Just me and the cat and my iPad. Best threesome I’ve ever had. However, our bedroom/bed was so stale by the end of the day I could hardly breathe for shortage of fresh air. Like when they come across an old abandoned house in Walking Dead. Complete with un-dead zombie like being (me) with braless boobs flopping around in the stinking air and my topknot resembling a frizzy pile of Shredded Wheat. Could really do with changing the sheets today… Who am I kidding? Where’s the Febreze?
- Netflix was my best friend. Binge watched 6 hours of Wild, Wild Country on the old Flix yesterday. If you haven’t seen it, have a watch, as it is both fascinating and terrifying in equal measures. The kids even came up to visit me after school (visiting hours were between 4-5pm) and I couldn’t quite bring myself to pause it. They watched it over my shoulder for a good five minutes, ‘What are you watching mummy?’ ‘Oh just a programme about a power hungry, sex crazed cult who tried to poison lots of innocent people and murder government officials. Not really for kids my loves. Go and see how Daddy is getting on with tea.’
So that’s it. Short and sweet but I’m feeling like I should go back to my stinky zombie pit and lie down now. The cat is probably wondering where I am.
How do you survive when you are ill? All comments and tips are welcome as always.