Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sick Days

We've all been there. Runny nose, sore throat. Or maybe it's vomiting, and nausea. It could just a general feeling of being unwell, a day that you would normally call in sick from work.  Times when changing the channel, rolling over or walking to the bathroom is the extent of your activity. Throw in a child on a day like that and things really get interesting.

It is inevitable, as parents we are going to get sick. Common ailments such as colds or the stomach flu may plague us from time to time, and maybe we may fit into the category of requiring hospitalization or surgery from something much more serious on occasion. Our world before may have not stopped but it definitely slowed down. Now we discover that it is impossible to call in sick from this job. Another interesting phenomenon - our child is more likely to be fussy, gassy, in need of more attention, more diaper changes than usual, or just be more work than a typical day would normally require. This of course is like Murphy's law! It only makes sense that you would have a harder day than usual when you are not feeling well.

As a new momma, surprisingly I have had an array of sickness ranging from the pretty serious to the just not right days. I have caught myself wishing for just a pause button to let myself catch up on sleep or not need the help for myself or baby. I have postponed doctor visits and denied health issues.  What took me too long to realize is that they are there anyway, and thing is, the longer I waited the worse it got. I have learned to just face facts and listen to what's going on with me.The other bad side effect - the sicker I was the worse I was for my child. I had no energy for playing with him and dreaded changing and feeding times, and begged for nap times.  The funny part is once I let go and gave in and got help, it was never half as bad as Ithought it was going to be, we are designed to deal with a lot as parents!

The key is to keep your head. You are capable of a lot more than you think you are even though you aren't feeling the best. Your baby needs you no matter how you feel and will be grateful (even if they don't always show it!) for your efforts.  You are not alone here either, as I'm sure every parent has a crazy sick story when the baby or young child caused more grief than usual on top of everything. Take it in stride and take care of yourself! Your baby needs you!

Momma's Musts
  • Don't sweat it. As sick as you may feel, remind yourself that it likely a short term thing and you can do more than you think you can!
  • Just do it! Don't promise yourself that you will change that diaper in five more minutes. Do it now and then you can get back to resting sooner, and feel less guilty about it!
  • Don't worry. If you find yourself giving your baby less one on one time, its really ok! Letting your child play solo gives you some time for much needed rest. It's okay to have an off day every now and then!
  • Accept/Ask for help. If help is offered and you feel you need it, take it! If you think you are sicker than you originally thought and it might be more serious, seek medical help, ask your partner to stay home or call in a family member. Listen to your body and trust your gut!

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