When Mama gets sick
Well, baby G passed on her nasty cold to me. Colds don’t usually whip my butt, but this one sure did. Yesterday I felt faint and dizzy all day in addition to the normal cold symptoms of a sinus headache, sore throat, etc. It was rough caring for Baby G when I hardly had the energy to get out of bed. I don’t know how moms with more than one kid keep a house going when they are sick. How do you do it?!
If you have family across town, that’s the way to go. But I don’t, so I had to muddle through the day alone. Why did I move away from my hometown again?
Anyhow, here are a couple things I did to get through the day.
1. Accept that nothing will get done
This is survival mode. I needed to make sure that Baby G and I stayed alive. Anything past that was not important.
2. Let the baby watch a movie
I didn’t actually do this, because I couldn’t muster the energy to figure out the DVD player. But I did go against my normal rules and let Baby G tinker with my iPhone for 45 minutes while I held her in my lap. I zoned out and she was completely entertained. She may have posted an unintelligible comment on an acquaintance’s Facebook status, but I really couldn’t care less at that point.
3. Take a warm bath with the baby
Probably the best thing to do when sick is to take a warm bath… and babies love baths, so why not just drag her in the tub with you? We both enjoyed the time, and it rejuvinated me enough to make “dinner” (see #4).
4. Have someone bring takeout for dinner, or make something ridiculously easy
I almost called Joe to ask him to pick up Chinese food on his way home from work, but he worked a long day and his commute home is an hour. Having him at home to help was of more value to me than having him run an errand, so I mentally pumped myself up enough to make “dinner.” I threw a bunch of crap in a pot over the stove. Cans of chicken broth, frozen peas, a sliced onion, chopped garlic, a couple chicken breasts. I called it chicken soup.
5. Nurse the baby a lot. Or have simple meals prepared for such a time as this
As I’ve said before, Baby G and I are down to about four nursing sessions a day supplemented with lots of interesting solid meals between. But yesterday, because I was too sick to think about what kinds of healthy foods I could serve her, I probably breastfed her seven or eight times. It was such an easy way to feed her and it ensured that I got to rest on the couch as she ate. If your baby is not a nursling, then I would have food on hand for times like this because the last thing you want is to have to cook something when you feel like death. The alternative of course is to feed the kid Ritz crackers all day and not feel guilty about it.
6. Sleep when the baby sleeps
OK, so beyond the first couple weeks postpartum, I never followed this advice. I’m way too Type-A to take naps, and have been since I was a little girl. I’ve probably taken 15 naps in my adult life. Even if I’m exhausted and want to take a nap, my brain won’t relax enough to let me sleep during the day. But yesterday, when Baby G settled down for her afternoon siesta, I too curled up in my bed to “see what happens.” I knew I was really sick when I actually fell asleep for an hour.
Mamas, what do you do when you are sick? Do you have any advice for me for next time this happens?