I'm sick. Like, want to die because I feel like death, want to stay in bed all day and cry from the shear pain my body is in, kind of sick. I don't care to get into details, but trust me, things have not been pleasant in my world for the last couple of weeks. It's nothing major, it's nothing life threatening, but it has made parenting little ones with boundless energy a total nightmare. I have three bosses and they are all tyrants. Sicks days are not in the skimpy benefits package. No matter how shitty I feel, clothes still need to be washed, tummies still need to be filled, and household tasks need to be completed, Sick momming is no fun. NOT. AT. ALL.
Here are a few tips I've learned along the way to make sick momming a bit easier:
Let someone else deal with it. Figure out what tasks you can assign to other members of the family, rather than take on all responsibility to keep the home running. Maybe your eldest child can help out with laundry or dishes. Let your husband deal with chauffeuring the kids to their activities and handling the bath and bed time routines. Take up all those well-meaning friends on their offers to come over and help straighten up the house or cook dinner. You may be used to doing everything, but you don't HAVE to do everything, especially when your body is telling you not to.
Be okay with letting someone else deal with it. Not only do you have to divvy up the tasks to other family members, but you have to learn to be okay with letting them do it their way - which might not be as good as your way, but it's getting done in SOME way, and that's what's important. I have had to take lots of deeps breaths and let go of the control, but it beats the alternative of doing it myself.
Allow kids to entertain themselves. If you are lucky enough to have children who can reasonably stay out of danger while you relax, let them entertain themselves. Whether that entertainment be in the form of an all day Disney Jr. marathon, or whether it means allowing them to cover their bodies in washable marker masterpieces, what doesn't kill them will allow you to get some much needed rest. Now's not the time to micromanage their entertainment.
Put those self-sufficiency skills to the test. If you're kids haven't had a lesson in self-sufficiency yet, there's no time like the present. Have the kids fend for themselves a bit by making the things they need the most accessible. Have a bin of snacks within reach for little hands. Move juice boxes to the front of the fridge or prepare cups of milk and store in the fridge within reach for thirsty kids. Have a basket of coloring books, crayons, puzzles, etc out for easy play. Have your spouse prep lunch bag meals for the kids before leaving for work and leave in the fridge as an easy-to-grab lunch and/or dinner.
Gather the family in a common area. If your kiddos need a little more of a watchful eye, do your best to confine yourself and the kiddos to one space. Set up camp in your family room or basement. Whatever room in the house makes the most important things accessible. I'm lucky that our basement/family room has a television, bathroom, plenty of space, the majority of the kids toys and a mini fridge. I block off the stairs with a baby gate and can easily take a much needed snooze without too much worry that I'll wake up to trouble.
Make family nap times a new rule. Mama needs a nap? Maybe everyone needs a nap. Done.
And the most important tip - cut yourself some slack. Yes, things do have to get done, but most of it can wait.