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Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 5 - Survival-Mode Parenting

Jules here-

Similar to my friend, Tanya, our family has been cursed with the stomach bug this week as well.  My week started with our first sleepover (to help out our #1 fan Chrissy out), which inspired my second-ever e-card:

Luckily my youngest daughter simply vomited on her side of the bed (down to the mattress), and did not awaken the "big girls" as they slept through the laundry, showering, and teeth brushing debacle.  Then, as soon as I got ready for bed on Tuesday night, I felt queasy and awoke with crippling pain.  After 12 hours of excruciating pain, vomiting, and overall suffering, I ended up going to the doctor for medications.  How could I care for children when I was in such pain? Well, this time I was blessed with my mother coming to my rescue, but in the past I have had to survive on my own. 

When I went into labor with my son on Halloween of 2011 (anyone in New England remember that Halloween-- snowtober? No power for 8 days....), I had no distractions from early-labor pains and I had to huddle with my 3 year old and 18 month old by the fire while my husband searched for a generator for 5 hours.  I had to invent some pretty time-consuming games to survive.

Here are some survival tips and ideas for when you are too tired to be a parent.....

  • Ask for help if you can.  If you don't have something contagious, ask a friend/neighbor to come and watch them.  If you are blessed with family-- they are sometimes willing to risk their own health for you!
  • Screen time.  Obviously when I am incapacitated, TV time definitely increases, but I try to use it towards the end of the day when I'm thoroughly exhausted.

  • Mommy spa.  I used this one while I awaited my son's arrival.  I lay on the floor by the fire and the kids painted (yes, with little paint brushes) my body with lotion. Sound ridiculous? They LOVED it and did it for over 2 hours. I was well-moisturized and I dozed in and out.  They also used a spray bottle and bows all over my hair... I looked awesome.
  • Simon Says- Simon gets to sit while children can be lead on a rigorous exercise regime.
  •   O.k., this is kind of screen time-- but with real books! And actors! Great way to pass the time and really get "reading time" in.

  • Play doctor- you are the patient. Get out your doctor kit and have your kids diagnose you. You barely have to move, and lying down is required.
  • Little helpers. Ask your kids to fetch you water, crackers, help with the setting up the youngest with toys, etc.  My older girls love the responsibility and it eases some of the burdens.
  • Be a judge.  Sitting on your couch, you can become a presiding judge of sorts: host coloring contests dance-offs, singing contests, etc.  The children will become occupied while they prepare for the judging and all you have to do is create a verdict (that doesn't cause arguments... I have many categories for winners "Best Staying-in-the-Lines", "Best-Use of the-Color-Red", "Most Creative", etc.)
  • Reserve toys for these days. Sometimes at Christmas, I secretly abscond with some toys (my kids are still young enough not to notice). I reserve some of these toys (blocks, a new game, etc.) for when we are house-bound.  Bring out some puzzles or other items that are not usually in the "toy-rotation".  I keep new crayons, markers, and coloring books in a stash under my bed for just this type of situation.

  • Keep meals simple.  Order in, have breakfast for dinner, give them cereal, let them eat cake-- it's only a day or two-- no worries on healthfulness when Mommy is sick!
  • Change rooms.  So you are trapped in the house all day, can you relocate to the basement? Or a kid's room? Sometimes the change of scenery from "Mommy-hasn't-moved-from-that-couch-in-two-hours" to one of the kid's room can help decrease the squirminess of the kiddos. 
  • Forget some rules.  Is taking the couch cushions off the couch and jumping on them forbidden in your home? Who cares today.  No snacking before lunch? Let them sneak the cheerios box. And definitely make it a "pajama day" for your kids.

Let them make a mess! Who cares today!

Have any other lie on your back and survive the day tips?  I'd love to hear them as I am still going to the bathroom every 10 minutes....

Easy Rule #80100- There is no such thing as a sick day for Mommies, but you can survive one if you are creative and have a little help!

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