When the little one is sick …

Kad mazais apslimis

Hi! We have been stuck at home for almost two weeks now. Nao is unwell. I wanted to share on my experience about what helps me in this time.

First, I want to say that, if you are looking for advice on how to fight illnesses, this will not be the right place for that. I am a strong believer that it’s important to go and see your doctor instead of looking for help online or other people.

Secondly, I think it’s important to note that the person who is actually suffering in this situation is the child who is unwell. They are the ones who are feeling horrible and need all possible help to get better and be healthy and happy again.  The things the mom experiences in light of that is actually nothing. However I also believe that the closeness, love, smile and peace from the mother are helping children get better sooner. I think that children can sense it when their mum is over tired and stressed out.

I said that in the light of what the child is experiencing, my suffering is like nothing, but that does not mean it’s easy. In my experience it means being isolated for an extended period of time, sleepless nights with the little one who is cranky and unhappy, because of feeling unwell. After a while this combination can make you feel slightly desperate. Last week I was describing this feeling to my friend as head full of cotton wool.

So here are some of the things that help me.

* Please note that I am not can expert or a specialist. This is my experience, these are the things that help me feel better and more awake. I am very aware that these things are very personal and distinct, so if none of this brings you any value, feel free to ignore it or maybe share in the comment section on some of the things that help you, so we can all try something new.

  1. Fresh air and airing the house – this is something I often forget. And I don’t mean a small crack in the plastic window – that is not airing. I mean windows that are wide open and a proper exchange of the oxygen in the room. You would be surprised on what a huge difference this small, often forgotten step makes. After a little bit of research on this, I found out that lack of oxygen in the body can create fatigue, pale and unhealthy looking skin, frequent headaches, mood swings, hypomnesia, finding it hard to concentrate, sleep problems… does any of this sound familiar? It is recommended to open the windows for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day. And when someone in the house is ill, this step is especially important. I put Noa under a blanket, close the door to the room he is in and make sure to properly air the rest of the home.
  2. Staying hydrated – this is so important when you are ill, when you are healthy… just all the time. This has been discussed so much so I will not do that in detail here. For me the first sign that I am dehydrated is a headache. And where there is a headache, there is lack of patience… So it is very important to drink water.
  3. Dressing up and putting on make-up – I realise this might be just me, but it really helps. And many of you were telling me on Instagram that this helps you too. If you feel better in a pyjama and bare face, that is great – skip this step and enjoy a pyjama day. But for me, this step has always just worked. I instantly feel more productive, ready for the day, my mood is better and I guess the husband is also happier to come home to a pretty wife. It is not that I am all made up every day. There are days when I would be embarrassed to open the door to an unexpected visitor. This just helps me if I know the day ahead is going to be harder than usual and I need that extra boost to get through it well.
  4. Coffee – every parent’s best friend!
  5. Perspective – when the “to do” list is on several pages now, the inbox on your e-mail is filling up and the sink is full of dishes, it is easy to lose patience and get stressed out in the week of your child being unwell. I always ask myself, what is the most important job at this moment, what is the thing I can not put off. My answer always is and always will be “the health and wellbeing of my child”. Everything and everyone else can wait!
  6. A walk – sometimes just a 10 minute walk outside, in the fresh air, alone can make all the difference in the world! I wait for the husband to get home and just go outside for a little walk around the block.
  7. Company – it is so easy to feel isolated when you are home alone with the child for a long time. If you can’t leave and no one is able to come and visit you, call a friend and have a chat on the phone. Sometimes we are too proud to admit that we need others. This is a good way to start to overcome that.
  8. Prayer – this is something that puts everything in the right places for me. It gives me peace, renews joy and energy and I can keep going.

I am hoping something out of all this will be helpful to you. I think it is essential to remember that this is just a phase and it will end, the little one will get better and everyone will be able to return to everyday routines. In my experience the most important part for a child to feel better is their mum who is close and who can keep calm when the little one cannot.


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