A few of weeks ago, we experienced a really stressful week. It was the first time that two of my children were really ill at the same time, and it was a very grueling experience for me. In addition, I had the intention of writing a piece that offered advice on how parents may make life simpler while their children are sick.
I have had a lot of good fortune until now. I suppose it was inevitable that it would happen at some point now that my daughter is almost 2 years old. In point of fact, this was her very first experience with being very ill. In the past, the most “unwell” she has felt was a runny nose for a couple of days or a fever for a day after being vaccinated. Both of these symptoms occurred after she had a vaccine.
The start of a sickness
I was battling a sore throat at work, and by the time I got home from work on a Monday, I was very tired. But when I was playing with my daughter Eva while she was sitting on my lap, I let her rest her head on my chin and instantly became aware of how warm she was. I quickly grabbed the thermometer, and it showed that the temperature was 102.8. Yikes!
The next day, on Thursday, Mia did not exhibit her typical upbeat and cheerful loud self, and I could tell that something was wrong. In the end, she had a high temperature and became sick also throwing up many times. At the clinic, Eva was found to have strep throat, and the doctor suspects that Mia is infected with a virus or bug. You can only imagine the level of anxiety that I was experiencing because I’m not going to get into specifics about how the remainder of the week went (hell!). It was already a challenge to deal with just one ill child; how could we possibly cope with two at once? Insanity.
So now I’m going to share with some must-haves to keep on hand in the house, and tips that will help help you get through (in my opinion) the hardest part about parenting: when your kids are sick.
And before I go on, I must say that I am by no means a doctor of any sort. If your child is really not feeling well, please make sure you consult with a doctor for the appropriate treatment.
What to feed kids when they are sick
Most children, like adults, will lose their appetite or find it difficult to keep food down while they are unwell. My littlest has an incredible appetite for someone her size, so the few days she didn’t want to eat broke my heart.
You don’t want your child to become dehydrated, so keep them drinking with lots of fluids at a minimum if they don’t eat.
To keep them hydrated, I religiously offered my kids water after every 20-25 mins or so, and although they took only sips. I knew it was better than giving them nothing at all. If their stomach is acting up, you should also follow the BRAT diet, which consists of eating bananas, rice, apples, and toast, and you should avoid anything that might make it even worse. They went a few days without eating much of anything, but when they did have an appetite for something, I made sure to provide them with some light nibbles. Below are helpful items to have around the house (typically at all times), but they become much more important when you know one or more of your children is ill:
- Pedialyte drinks
- Pedialyte popsicles
- Crackers (Wheat thins or soda crackers)
- Bread (plain, nothing or very minimal on it)
In addition, there was a day where I cooked fried rice, and that proved to keep them in good condition. I didn’t add anything to it, but I did season it with a touch of soy sauce, and I cooked the rice in the lightest amount of oil possible. In addition, I cooked a really basic chicken soup for my family, which turned out to be a big hit. I want to post the recipe here at some point soon.
Essential Oils and other necessities for sick kids
Essential oils have been something that I’ve been interested in for quite some time now, and although I don’t have every single oil on the market, there are a handful that I always keep on hand in my household. Breathe, Lavender, Peppermint, DigestZen are some of the top oils that help–not just for when you’re sick.
I have a diffuser to diffuse oils in the room, but I also have rollers that I make from my oils as well. You can even put a drop or two of lavender in a warm bath that will helps soothe and relax your child. I would definitely look into having oils around the house, a natural way to help your bodies. Other essentials that I keep in stock at home:
- Boogie wipes
- Saline Drops & Nose sucker – this nose sucker works amazingly and gets all the little boogies out especially when they can’t blow it out themselves
- Fever Ice Pack
- Zarbees -works like a charm and helps ease the coughing, especially at night!
- Kleenex with lotion (to ease their Rudolph like noses)
Ask for help and take it easy
Taking care of young children and babies is an extremely tiring job. I am aware that in my case, despite the fact that I make an effort, I actually don’t do very much around the house. This is not the right time for you to attempt to keep up your “Supermom” title. Your children are dependent on you more than anything else, but taking care of sick child can be exhausting.
Make things simpler for yourself by taking the right steps. Dinner will be delivered once you place an order for takeout and have your husband pick it up. You don’t need to be concerned about the mountain of clean laundry. . Forget about the other thing on your to-do list that you haven’t gotten to.
Make sure to ask for help when you need it (ask some friends or relatives). Take care of yourself by staying hydrated. Keep snacks nearby to keep yourself from starving. Take your vitamins and get rest when you can. You don’t want to get sick too!
Take it one day at a time
Just focus on getting through one day at a time. It may be quite stressful for parents when their children are ill, but try to remain positive. When kids are sick, it’s normal for the days to be long and the nights to be even longer, but just remember that this phase won’t last forever. We were able to make it through the week thanks to a load of Disney Plus episodes and a download purchase of Frozen 2 from Amazon Prime. It turned out to be the finest twenty dollars that I’ve ever spent! They were able to get some much-needed rest, but it also served as a simple source of entertainment that kept them (and mom) very happy.
Don’t have any expectations
I say this because you have to be flexible. I get super stressed when the kids get sick. But try not to stressed over things that are outside of your ability to change or control. Instead, you should take a few slow, deep breaths and learn to roll with the punches. Far too frequently, after taking some Tylenol, I’d get my hopes up when I’d see my one-year-old child sitting up and trying to play a little bit, and I’d believe that her sickness was over. However, the effects of the medication would eventually wear off, and she would immediately resume her miserable condition. And it would drive me absolutely crazy!
Trust your “mom” instincts; you know your sick kids best
A mama’s instinct is always right. If you’re a little unsure, consult with your doctor. Don’t feel bad if you call them frequently, even at the crazy times during the night–that is what they are there for. After my 4 years old started having symptoms; I immediately scheduled an appointment for the next morning. While her culture turned out negative for strep, it was peace of mind that I was able to get on top of her sickness right away and know what I was dealing with. You know your kids better than anyone else, do not doubt yourself!
Thank you for reading. I hope that you have found these tips helpful. Also don’t forget to share this and give it some love!