When your child wakes up in the middle of the night with a cough, or comes home with a nose that won’t stop running, every parent dreads what is to come. Those sniffles are passed on to another sibling, and then to one parent, and then to both, until the whole family is exhausted, feverish, and running out of tissues. Taking care of your family when you’re down for the count yourself is tough, but there are some tactics that can prepare you for the worst.
- Get chores out of the way first. When you first see signs that a contagious bug is about to sweep through your family, throw everyone’s laundry into the washing machine. You’ll want everyone to have clean clothes and pajamas in the coming week. Think about making a few easy to prepare, reheatable meals to keep in the fridge. That way, lunches and dinners are right at your fingertips.
- Get to the store and stock up. Which grocery store staples are missing in your fridge and cabinets? Make a quick run to grab those items before you’re wiped out. And hit the drugstore while you’re at it, to make sure you’re all set with adult and children’s medications, as well as tissues.
- Start canceling. Is there an upcoming sports activity that your child will likely be missing? Did you volunteer your services at a neighborhood event? If there are any non-essential activities on your calendar or your kids’ schedules this week, bow out now.
- Don’t count out TV time. Many parents have rules that apply to television watching, and limit time spent in front of the television, or using tablets or other devices. You might want to consider loosening up those restrictions while you’re family is sick. Binge-watching Doc McStuffins on the couch might be the right medicine for your low energy family this week.
- Take care of yourself. While you may be the leader of the pack, and responsible for taking care of everyone’s coughs, chills, and sniffles, it’s essential that you remain as well as possible in order for you to be able to take care of your family. Eat well, get enough sleep, and enlist help from your spouse or other family members so that you can nap and shower. Keep your own wellbeing on the priority list.
If your family has survived multiple colds, flus, and stomach bugs together, what did you do to ease the strain on your resources? Is there anything you wish you had done? Let us know in the comments section!