This past week has been a miserable one for me. I have been knocked off my feet sick, and in a fun twist of fate my two-year-old is perfectly healthy. I want to be clear that there is no scenario where having a sick toddler is the better outcome. That being said, when you are dead sick and your toddler is full force energizer bunny, it can feel like you’d be better off both being sick. This was week two of being so sick for me. After week one I realized I have got to find a way to get through this and not drive myself and my toddler crazy be staying home all day. Please trust me when I say you will not be getting any rest at home with a rowdy toddler for more than one day. It might feel like a good idea to cancel all your plans when you wake up and still feel sick, but it is NOT! You will be exhausted and want to sell your toddler by 10am after more than one day at home.
I’m here to share a few tricks to surviving a killer cold when your toddler is still healthy. With these five tips your toddler won’t even know you’re feeling under the weather!
- Plan confined, safe, playdates-get out of the house! The last thing you want to be doing is lifting your 30lbs toddler repeatedly to the top of the jungle gym to slide. I learned this the hard way when some fresh air sounded nice, and I ended up the only one worn out. While the park isn’t the solution you also do not want to confine yourself and your energized toddler in a house all day, trust me it will only end in tears, for both of you! Week one of being sick I did just this. I stayed home, thinking I could get rid of it by resting. Instead I ended up spending the week working double time trying to trick my toddler into being entertained with just hanging out at home. When we are usually out and about on adventures everyday of the week. Everyday he would ask me what we were doing that day, and I’d get the same sour-puss face when I told him playing at home. The second week of STILL being down for the count sick I knew I wasn’t contagious and I decided we both needed to get out. I decided on a play area at a local mall, Cherry Creek Shopping Center. Padded flooring, confined play area, ability to stay stationary and see your toddler at all times…. PERFECT! Bonus for the Dino theme since my two-year-old is Dino obsessed. My son had a blast running around for an hour and a half while I sat and recovered from the draining walk from my car to the play area-guys I was this sick! We got home and he took a two-hour nap, then happily played at home the rest of the evening. I felt like I had cracked the code to surviving the rest of this illness and happily napped while he did.
- Go out and get some Vitamin C sore throat drops right now! Even if you were lucky enough to catch a cold without a cough. You will be thankful to have such a tasty way to get a boost in Vitamin C. If you, like me, were not as lucky and have been coughing up a lung all day every day; you know that it is indeed possible to lose your voice in less than a day with a toddler. And let me tell you, you cannot afford to lose your voice! Trust me, these will save you, and your voice. On this same note-do your best not to yell. Seriously losing your voice is the worst case. As tempting as it will be to just shout over to your toddler playing in the next room, I suggest just popping a squat on the floor nearby. It will save your voice and your sanity. I spent most of our time at home through these last few weeks laying on my sons bean bag while sucking on a vitamin c drop, with toys and stuffed animals stacked all over me involved in some intricate game of pretend.
- Take your medicine moms! Seriously, just like when your toddler gets sick if you get behind on their doses you are in trouble! Same thing goes for you, if you’re suddenly feeling like death, check your clock because I’d be willing to bet you haven’t taken meds in hours. Set a timer on your phone and don’t forget to take them. I also love DoTerra On Guard essential oil blend to help clear my sinus’s and deter a cold if I catch it early enough. The most important aid to your recovery and most the time the solution to your ailments is going to be water. Now I know we hear this everywhere, and frankly I don’t love water so it’s a hard one for me, but water is key to getting better! I drink at least 2 glasses of water every time I take my meds-helps me stay on top of staying hydrated and staying medicated. So, take your own advice moms, drink tons of water and stay on top of your meds. You’re right, it will help a ton!
- Nap while they nap! No, I’m not joking. Ignore the dishes, the laundry, the toys, resting is more important. No need to elaborate on this one, if your kid is sleeping you should be too!
- Talk to your toddler! Explain to them what’s going on. Guys this one took me almost two full weeks to figure out. It was actually in a moment of utter exhaustion and desperation that I looked at my son, who was begging me to come play basketball, and said ‘I’m sorry hun, mommy needs to take a rest. I don’t feel good.’ His face contorted for a moment and I braced myself for the response. Then something magical happened. He looked and me and repeated back what I had said, then went to play quietly with his Diplo blocks. My mind was blown! Then it got better, later that night he saw me coughing and came up to me tugging at my hand saying ‘Mommy no feel good. Take a rest.’ Guys, I would have never thought in a million years to just sit down and tell my two-year-old that mommy wasn’t feeling good and needed a rest. But of course, it makes sense that he would understand this. Give your toddler a little credit and try to explain to him you’re not 100%, you might get lucky and they might just take it easy on you!
If you’re going to take one thing away from this article let it be, to be kind to yourself. As mothers, we are so used to taking care of everyone else we have a very hard time taking a second to take care of ourselves. The more you let yourself rest and relax the faster you will get healthy again. There’s a reason when moms get sick it lasts weeks-because we never take time off to rest and heal. I hope these tips are as helpful for you as they were to me and give you the opportunity to find some much needed rest even with your toddler running wild.
Get out there and conquer the rest of flu season MOM monsters!