This week not only was I unwell but I also had three sick little boys at home with me.
It felt like my house was filled to the brim with contagious flu germs, there was just no escaping them!
In the past whenever two or more people adults or kids fell sick at the same time in our home I would immediately jump into high stress mode. Resentment was the overwhelming emotion and this was usually voiced in frustrated lines like “why this”, “why now”, “please blow your nose”, “remember, I’ve told you to put your hand over your mouth when you cough”.
Let’s face it, being surrounded by snotty children for 24 hours a day, for several days is definitely not fun.
If you have been unlucky enough to encounter multiple people in your home with gastro well that's even worse! your left with the stinky horrible job of cleanup!When your the Mother of the house weather you like it or not your thrown into the responsibility of playing nurse and round the clock comfort provider.
This week however, I had this moment where I realised that what I was feeling was not stress and worry. In fact, it was contentment. I found myself contemplating some positives. By doing so the week has been a lot more manageable and I am focusing more on the present moment instead of my mind worrying about other issues.
Below are some of the ways I have found silver linings when having my children home sick :
1.No lunch boxes to pack for school or daycare.
Thank goodness! This is perhaps my least favourite chore. Relax your food rules or even serve them soup in bed .. who am I kidding my kids wouldn't eat soup not even if they are sick. THE CHOICE IS YOURS. What I'm getting at is if there is something that they like that will be easy to eat or provide comfort just do it. I recall when I was home sick from school as a child my Mother would give me flat lemonade to drink. I don't know why it needed to be flat but drinking it was a real comfort to me.
2.No need to rush out the door for school
The morning rush to have everyone out the door and at school or daycare on time can be rather hectic . Relish the fact that you don't need to be clock watching today. Stay in your Pyjamas or comfy clothes all day if you like!Need I say more?
Sometimes it can help the whole family to just slow down a little even if it's just for a day. I like to bend my screen time rules when my boys are sick, After all they are meant to be resting . I know when I am unwell all I want to do is laze on the couch and watch Netflix. Why not find a nice movie you can watch together and cuddle up.
3. An appreciation for modern medicine and medical advances.
Many life threating childhood diseases which plagued countries only 100 years ago are now a thing of the past. Most childhood illness require only rest and the bodies ability to fight off the infection. When medication is required it is usually readily available from a local doctor and purchased from a pharmacy. I consider this a blessing that us Westerners taken for granted.
Thousands of children die every year in third world countries from preventable diseases to due to lack of medical care . When my son was unwell recently we called a home doctor service who came to our house and saw him free of charge I find this pretty amazing and I am very grateful .
4.. Providing comfort with just your presence and cuddles
Nine times out of ten when a child is sick they want their Mothers.
There is something about a cuddle from your Mother when your sick that lets you know that everything is ok and you are cared for.
As I was watching Thomas the Tank Engine for the 100th time, I realised that I should relish this moment, right now. Because with each passing day the opportunity to be important to them, in this way, grows fewer.
One day they won't need me to help wipe there nose and they wont want to cuddle up with me in bed . I will be made redundant in this form of care providing when they become teenagers. When they are unwell in the future they will just want to sleep it off in their rooms on their own. The thought of this already makes me feel sad.
Their noses were full right now but so are their hearts and love for me.
Sick days are your permission to slow down and focus on what's really important in life. School and work can wait until your child's health is restored, right now enjoy the moment and know that it won't last forever even though it may feel like it.