Blogging Baby Size Six: Helpful tips when the whole family is sick

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Preschoolers, Activities: Babies, Places To Go

sick childMy family is now entering week two of a horrible cough-slash-snotstravaganza that has taken San Francisco by storm. According to our pediatrician, his office has seen a constant stream of patients with the same symptoms for the past three weeks.

All of us are sick: me, my husband, my preschooler, and my toddler. It has been challenging trying to care for my family while feeling so sick myself. Every morning I wake up from a restless, cough-riddled sleep wondering if I'll feel better. I still feel pretty crappy, but I do feel better than I did a few days ago.  Here are some tips that have been helpful:

  1. If you can, enlist help: ask your partner to stay home from work (or work from home) at least one of the days. Beg a friend or family member to give you a break. It is our Spring Break week here in San Francisco, so I asked the teenage daughter of a friend to be a Mama's Helper for a couple of days. (We're not contagious.)
  2. Get some SudaCare Shower Soothers: You pop one of these effervescent tablets in the bottom of a hot shower and breathe in the eucalyptus and menthol vapors. Helps to clear your nasal passages. (Adults only.)
  3. If you have a TV, turn it on and don't feel guilty about it: There is no way either myself or my husband could have entertained our children for the 13 hours they are awake each day for the past two weeks. You can be anti-TV, but once you are so debilitated that you can't play with your children, the TV suddenly becomes a friend. We aren't anti-TV, but we control what our kids watch. And this week, they've snuggled up with blankets and honey tea watched a lot more than usual. (We're fine with it.)
  4. Get groceries delivered: We happen to live in a big city where we have two supermarkets that deliver. But even when I didn't, our tiny corner grocery had a home delivery service for people in the neighborhood. Check with your local market. You don't want to have to drag yourself out of bed for more orange juice, waffles, or cough syrup if you don't have to.
  5. If you are a two-parent family, and you are both miserably sick, you need to tag-team: Agree to who gets to rest and who is on duty and suffer through while the other person rests.  Then, when it's your turn to rest, jump into bed, pop in the ear plugs, and sleep. Don't try to deal with sickies together if you don't have to.
  6. Avoid germy public places: Even if you are sick of being at home, don't go to parks or playgrounds where you (all) might pick up more germs. On nice days we've been going out for walks to get some fresh air, but my kids haven't seen another child for almost two weeks.  (Except for a visit to the germ-infested pediatrician's office.)

And finally, if you are sick? Feel better.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.