What To Do When Your Child Is Sick
By Kerry on May 11, 2019
Quote of the Week
“Grab a spoon.”
~ Joey Tribbiani
Rollin’ With the Homies
Oh dear. Your child caught a virus. A nasty, no holds barre, ugly, nothing you or the doctor’s can do virus. How do you survive?!
My kids are three so I feel like I’ve seen a lot: From a simple runny nose, to high fevers, to hand foot and mouth (HFM), to the mother of all viruses… The biggy… The most contagious and THE most un fun… stomach flu.
So what do you do when you’re faced with one of these? The first time, you’ll take baby to the doctor, because you’ve never seen these symptoms and you don’t know what it is. Then the doctor tells you… It’s a virus and the only thing to do is wait and let it pass.
I’ve learned from experience:
- Bronchitis and most common colds could take up to three weeks, including the full blown HFM.
- Stomach flu: Actual vomiting should stop in 24 hours. Diarrhea could last up to 10 days.
I would take a month of Bronchitis over even just 12 hours of the stomach bug ANY DAY.
It’s Saturday. 2 days before my husband is heading out of town for a week long work trip. Inevitably my son caught the stomach bug. 14 hours later my daughter is showing symptoms. 36 hours before my husband leaves for six days.
As Jake Peralta likes to say, [“Cool cool cool.”(https://gph.is/2VTrIRg)
What can I do?!
As my mom would say, “Chill the F*CK out.” Or as my friend and I coined “CTFO”, because what’s one more acronym to remember?
And my mom’s not wrong. Because what else can I do?
Spiraling and anticipating and just general freaking out isn’t going to help anyone, which is pretty much what I did all day Saturday. My husband is a saint.
To make CTFO actionable I can take a day at a time. Put some safeguards in place incase my son or daughter vomits again, like sleeping on towels for easy clean up. Then the best thing I can do… is Roll with the Homies…
Is It Worth A Spoon?
There’s an article about a women who has Lupus and a friend, over lunch, asks her what it’s like to live with this disease, because she doesn’t look sick. The women with Lupus, runs around the restaurant, collects all the spoons, and says, each day you have 12 spoons. You have to make decisions about everything you do, because each action costs you a spoon. So you wake up in the morning what’s the first thing you do? The friend says, “Get Ready”. The women then asks her friend break down, “Get Ready”, into steps.
- Sit up
- Walk to the shower
- Get undressed
- Take a shower
- Get dressed
- Brush teeth
- Bush hair.
That’s 8 spoons. 67% of your spoons are gone for the day. So the question becomes, do you need to do all these things? If you don’t take a shower, you get two spoons back. Is the shower worth a spoon? Even two?! Maybe more if you include, wash hair, wash body, shave, etc.
Spoons for Moms
Life as moms has its own daily limitations. Mostly that there’s more that needs to get done in a day then there is time. And generally, most of the spoons (or the daily actions we take) aren’t for us. They’re for everyone else.
Some days we have more spoons thanks to ACTUALLY sleeping through the night or a child going to bed without any shenanigans, or childcare being predictable and reliable. We have our own limitations and we can only do what we can each day.
And, just because my husband is away doesn’t mean I get all his spoons. It does mean with sick kids my spoon quota will run hot, so I need to take a spoon at a time and with each decision decide if it’s worth a spoon.
I might not shower.
The dishes might not get done.
The laundry will probably be as high as the sky when he returns.
I will forgo those spoons to take a little extra care of the sick-ones.
For the extra snuggles.
To run to store for bananas, bread, applesauce, and anything else they may need.
I will forgo work spoons too. Make only THE most important meetings, delegate where I can, and push everything else because I thankfully work with a business partner who helped me build a People First company and I only have as much time each day as I have childcare. While my husband’s gone, by 8PM - I’ll be out of spoons.
Find Your Happy Medium
There’s a million scenarios that could take place this week. Getting sick myself. My nanny getting sick. I can’t plan for all those worst case scenarios.
Somedays, the Happy Medium is found in the moment. We can’t do it all no matter how much we want to. We have to ask, “Is it worth a spoon?”
You do you, one spoon at a time.