Remember the days when you were ill pre-babies? (Just?) You called in sick to work, you could pull the covers back over your head and sleep all morning. Then you could get up and have a long soak in the bath, make yourself a lemsip and curl up in front of the telly under a blanket. You were probably only ill for a day or so because you could recover so quickly from all that lovely rest and sleep… Bliss!
Well, if you follow me on social media (I may have mentioned it a few times on Instagram) you will know that recently we all came down ill. We’ve been passing colds back and forth for most of the winter because Jake kept bringing his germs home from pre-school– thanks, bud!– but a couple of weeks ago it hit us all… hard.
Jake started it off with his cold, tonsillitis and conjunctivitis and then a week in he passed the cold to me and William. I discovered very quickly how hard parenting can suddenly become.
Ever tried looking after one child who screams and runs away every time you get out antibiotics and eye drops? Then having to cope with a 10 week old (premature) baby who can’t breathe as well as feeling like absolute crap yourself? Wow!
Thinking back, I don’t think there has ever been a time when me and Jake had been ill at the same time and we certainly have never been that ill. Has to happen when a new baby arrives doesn’t it?!
So, how does being sick as parent fare now?… It sucks!
There was no time to think about myself. I couldn’t sleep in. I have a baby who needs feeding every few hours. I couldn’t take medicine because I am breastfeeding. I couldn’t just sit and close my eyes because I have a 4-year-old who likes to pull eyelids open every time (why do they do that?!) I couldn’t have a bath… hahaha, I haven’t had one of those in months anyway! (Don’t worry I do shower, promise.)
Instead, my days were filled with dispensing Calpol, wiping noses, clearing snot with saline drops, getting snacks, fetching endless drinks, holding 2 children whilst they passed on me, tidying up the house (mainly of all the tissues we had used!), washing all the germ-ridden clothes and bedding. Oh and a baby who can’t blow its nose? Urgh, mucus vomit everywhere. Sorry.
The scariest bit is when they choke on it and can’t breathe. At. All. I’m surprised I’m not rocking in a corner right now!
So, as parents we just ignore our own needs, we get even less sleep than normal, we are covered in all sorts of bodily fluids, we don’t have time to think about how ill we are because we have to get on and look after our tiny humans getting through each day the best we can.
I can now also safely say that I am an expert in clearing baby mucus, functioning on 3 hours sleep a night, performing 8 tasks at once, oh and Power Rangers (sigh). I could win the specialist round on Mastermind on that one!
Thank goodness we all got through it, now bring on the summer!!