Welcome to my new series “Caring for the Caregiver”! We spend our days giving, loving, helping, caring, supporting and encouraging others. If we focus some of our energy on ourselves – we will in turn have more to give to others. Join me today in CARING FOR THE CAREGIVER – you will be glad you did!
Moms don’t get sick. Period. There is just no time for that! IF it should happen that you get a little bit more than the sniffles, remember to take good care of yourself! Who will care for the caregiver when she’s sick… you guessed it – SHE will!
There is nothing sweeter than when the kids and our husbands show empathy towards us – but let’s not count on them to take care of us – instead, here are great ways for you to fit some much-needed self-care into an already busy day.
- Go to the doctor! First things first, there is NO NEED for you to suffer with a persistent cough, sinus infection or something worse for weeks because you don’t have time for a doctor’s appointment. (Viruses rarely last weeks, so if it has been more than 10 days you may need more than over-the-counter remedies)
- Remember when you brought home your newborn baby and they told you to sleep when the baby slept? Do that again! As much as possible, revert to the newborn schedule: sleep or rest when (if) the kids do.
- Cancel ALL social plans! The mom’s night out, book club or playdate can wait! (Besides, you don’t want to spread your germs far and wide)
- Arrange car pool for kids activities! Have a fellow soccer or dance mom take your child to practice, you will gladly return the favor some time when she needs it.
- Ask for specific help! When friends offer – accept their help! Ask a (good) friend to bring you lunch/ dinner or have someone pick your child(ren) up from school. Don’t be afraid to accept help. Your friends are your village.
- Nurse A LOT! If you are breastfeeding a baby or toddler, be sure to protect your little one by nursing as much as possible. Your body is creating antibodies against the virus you are fighting, so you are doing your baby a favor.
- Drink a cup of hot tea – or two! Make sure to drink a lot of fluids, especially if you are nursing.
- Eat comfort food! Give yourself a few nights off from “well-balanced and healthy”. Serve breakfast for dinner (always a hit in our house), order take-out, pizza, or make a hearty soup in the crock pot. Give in to your cravings.
- Leave the clutter! Let the mail pile up, file the kids’ artwork later, pick up the Barbies and Lego another day – these things aren’t going anywhere, so therefore they can wait another day or two.
- Wipe down the counters, faucets, and door handles! Try to avoid the spread of germs by wiping the surfaces you and your kids share and touch.
- Wear nothing but comfortable clothes – even if you have to leave the house! You can go back to being a stylish fashionista another day! Now is the time for yoga pants and a t-shirt! Oh, that’s your usual dress code – well, good, then you are all set!
- Wash your hands before and after touching kids! This is the germo-phob in me speaking, but I know it helps us when someone in the house is sick.
- Take time to shower! I have been known to get up extra early, just to make sure that I get a shower for the day. There is something revitalizing about a warm shower and clean clothes – call me crazy!
- Let the kids watch TV, maybe even have a good daytime movie marathon! I know, we all try to limit screen time. However, watching a good family movie with the kids on the couch is probably more healing than harmful.
- Use drive-thru service for as much as possible! I always feel so accomplished if I pick up a prescription, get a latte and make a bank deposit all from the comfort of my car! Bonus points if the kids are napping in their car seats!
- Go for a walk at the beach or in the park! If you have a little bit of energy, you may find it invigorating to get out of the house, let the kids run around on the beach or at the park, while everyone enjoys the fresh air.
I have more AWESOME tips on how to keep your family healthy this flu and cold season!
And God FORBID the man in your life gets sick – Diagnose a “Man Cold”!
It feels great to take care of yourself. Try it – and let me know which tips worked best for you!