Honestly, I feel like the whole freaking world is sick right now!! Is it because we all quarantined during COVID and didn't get basic illnesses or has it always been this way?
Plus when you're sick and have sick kids, you don't have any help! We have COVID so that was especially true, but even without COVID no one wants to get sick.
Then what do you do when everyone in the family is sick except the toddler? Send her to daycare? Keep her home with the sickies? If you test positive before your partner, do you quarantine from them? Does your partner take days off if you're sick? Can you have a babysitter come over if you're sick?!
SO MUCH STRESS!!!!
Tis the season for sick kids, I guess. And misery loves company, so at least we're all going through it together.
Well first of all, we try to do what we can to stay healthy. I give the girls zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, a multivitamin, a honey propolis. I take zinc, Vitamin C, Elderberry, a probiotic, I'm doing my greens, I'm doing my reds. I'm doing all the things and we do it religiously to try to avoid getting sick.
But, it's inevitable, especially with young kids. However, I think these things still help shorten the length of the sicknesses, so we stick to it.
Our COVID experience
We all had COVID, again! Our family got COVID the first time when I was pregnant and it was hard and I felt very uncomfortable. But, WOW! This time around was roughhh. I seriously don't think I've ever been this congested.
This time around, Seth got it first and when your partner gets it and you feel fine you're just trying to tell yourself like “it's not coming for me, it's not coming for me, I'm not gonna get it, I'm not gonna get it” and then of course you start getting sick. And if your kids get it first, you think it's just a kid virus and you'll be okay and then you go down.
But it's tough to navigate. When Seth got sick, he was going to quarantine himself and I was like is that really necessary? Because we've already been together everyday and been exposed to you and we need you. And he was like “no, Shay, you really don't want what I have”. So we figured we would do what we could to prevent the rest of us from possibly getting it. So at first it was just me and the kids as he started getting sick and then I started feeling it.
The first night, we co-sleep and I had my 6 month old with me and we were really going through it together. I went to bed with a headache and body aches, absolutely FREEZING, with a sweatshirt, sweatpants, and beanie on. And then at some point during the night, got superrr hot. Like real hot. So I stripped us both down. Then I was nauseous and you just cannot get comfortable. You're either too hot or too cold, you have bad body aches…it's terrible. I did actually find that my Merino Wool Base Layer helped regulate my temperature a bit which seemed crazy but I swear it did.
Then we had the struggle of what to do with our toddler. She, I swear, had the most energy I have ever seen. I don't know if it just seemed that way because I was drained, or if she had extra energy because she wasn't getting the individualized attention we can normally give her, but wow.
Then we're like, okay, us parents are super sick, we have one sick kid, there are lots of germs in our house but our toddler is 100% fine and has all the energy in the world. Do we send her to daycare if she doesn't have it?
Part of you is like yes, keep her away from us and give her something to do while we are all sick. And the other part of you is like umm no, she could bring our germs there.
It takes a village, right?
Our neighbor is an actual saint. Like she is who I want to be when I grow up. She brought us homemade chicken noddle soup, she brought us chicken bone broth, coconut water…it was fantastic and what we needed.
I've also had friends drop off and/or send toys for the kids. Like, here's a fidget spinner to keep your kid busy and entertained while you're miserable and don't have the energy.
Graciously accept this help. It makes it so much more manageable. And pay it forward…do these things for others when you can to help them out.
And accept help from your partner when you can (and vice versa). When you're on the couch, just miserable and your toddler is running circles around you that also needs to eat, have your partner entertain them for an hour so you can nap and then swap.
One thing we did was take shifts. I was the one primarily on duty at night with them and Seth was more on duty with them during the day. Or, I would take them in the morning while he could nap or play video games or watch a movie or whatever he wanted and then he would take them for the afternoon and I could nap or do whatever.
I will say, it's harder with my baby because I just am so much of her comfort right now, I am her food source, she just needs me more. This is tough but I just had to keep reminding myself that she needed me more, she wasn't being fussy and wanting to be held 24/7 to be clingy and annoying, but because she didn't feel good and she needed me. That's so hard as a mom. You need to make food, take a shower, make sure you have groceries, do laundry, make sure your toddler is taken care of…basically do the million things you always do, but your sick kids need you a little extra and YOU don't feel like you can function normally. So, this is some solidarity and a reminder to take the help when you can.
Like I said, our toddler was not sick (which of course is good), but she had wayyy more energy than normal. And that was tough when the rest of us felt like crap. The more we were trying to tell her to lower her volume, and mellow out, the higher her energy went.
We realized after a while, if we could manage to give her 20 minutes of intense play time and attention, it helped lower her energy and then she would entertain herself for a while, and give us a break.
Having sick kids and then being sick yourself on top of it can just be incredibly overwhelming. There's a ton going on at once, everyone needs you, and you need alone time and sleep. It gets to the point where you are just like “okay this is too much”. Take a breath. Figure out what needs to be priority right now. What you can do to calm yourself and your kids down.
It also helps ground me a lot to try to put it into perspective. I have a friend who had a NICU baby, the baby finally got out of the NICU for ONE night, and then had to bring her baby back to the NICU because she got RSV. Then, she had to bring her son to the hospital because he has influenza A. So, she was struggling with do I stay with my toddler that has influenza and not be in the NICU or do I go to the NICU and my other kid is in the hospital without me. That put it into perspective a lot for me. People have it worse than you and people have it better than you too. That doesn't mean your experience isn't challenging. It is super challenging, no doubt, but things like this help remind me that these are relatively small problems that I am having.
And, sometimes you also need to just let yourself be in your feels. For me, I usually need to take a little while to acknowledge that what we were experiencing is difficult, but then it helps me to gain a little perspective and keep trucking along.
There's just a lot of crummy stuff going around, so please, be careful, stay safe, stay healthy.