*This post contains Affiliated Links
My kids were sick.
My husband was sick. I am exhausted.
My oldest started the weekend with a fever. It was just a fever and never topped 102, but she was complaining of a sore throat. The next morning we headed off to our local walk in clinic. These clinics are really the best thing since most illnesses seem to happen outside of regular office hours. The doctor cleared her of strep and sent us home with instructions to monitor her fever. She took a nice long bath with some epson salt and lavender oil and she was back to normal by bedtime. Short lived 24 hour virus. Not a big deal. Bring on the rest of the weekend fun!
The next afternoon, my husband uttered the dreaded words, “I don’t feel so good.” That was followed by him spending the rest of the evening in the bathroom. He seemed to think the worst had passed when I checked on him before going to sleep in my daughter’s room for the night. Although he thought I was being ridiculous, there was no way I was sleeping next to his germ covered body all night. My sleep was quickly interrupted by cries coming from our 2 year old’s room. I got there just in time to watch her get sick. The rest of the night is a blur.
Here is what I learned from my sick kids to make this flu season easier.
Always make sure you are stocked on medicine . When you have to run to Wal-Mart to grab a new bottle of Ibuprofen and your four-year old is clinging to your waist cause she just wants you to stay with home with her, it will break your heart. Having a good thermometer is also key! Fevers are scary business to me so I watch them closely. This thermometer is great because it can test in the ear or forehead. We also make sure we always have some Vick’s Vapor Rub on hand. Whenever you are congested, rub some on the bottom of your feet, put some socks on and go to sleep. I love the Vick’s scented Puff’s tissues too. Flu season is just starting. Sick kids happen. In the words of the Boy Scouts, be prepared.
A Wash Cloth
Never, never, underestimate the power of a cool, wet wash cloth for a sick kid. It’s the equivalent of a band-aide to a boo boo when your little one is sick. Place it across their forehead or on top of their head and they will quickly fall off to sleep. It worked every time for us this weekend. My kids are also big fans of ice packs. We don’t use band-aides unless blood makes it necessary in our house because my girls will pick the ice pack every time. They work for a scrapped knee, blisters on a pinched finger, itchy eyes from allergies. Again, be prepared and have a couple ready in the freezer.
Get a Puke Bucket
We’ve all been there, you think you’re going to get sick, the feeling passes, then all of the sudden you are running to the bathroom. It isn’t pretty, and there isn’t a warning with little ones. They just puke. In their beds, standing in the middle of the room, all over themselves, all over you. They just puke. And it’s usually followed by crying. I know the Boy Scout in you sees this coming so get the puke bucket ready! In our house it is an old ice cream bucket. I keep a stack of these in the basement for soaking stained clothes, an outside water bucket for the dog, occasionally storing toys in, and puke buckets. When I was little it was this one specific mixing bowl with a handle on the side. I have no idea why because it was way too small, but I remember it like I puked in it yesterday.
Get ready to do laundry!
I literally spent the entire next day doing laundry. Everyone’s bedding got washed, all the blankets they used on their “sick-bed” in the living room, clothes, stuffed animal that didn’t make it through the night clean (pull all unnecessary stuffed buddies from their beds before they get in the path of vomit, you’ll thank me later). You will spend the next day on a mission to clear your home of all those nasty germs that invaded without warning. Get use to the smell of Lysol. The spray is great, but I love the wipes too!
Essential Oils for the Win!
Luckily, this time the “moms don’t get sick” clause went into affect and I made it through. I owe a big thank you to my Essential Oils lady for that. My throat had been really sore for a few days from seasonal allergies so I was applying oils like crazy to help with the pain of that and to help boast my immune system. I also started diffusing them as soon as my husband mentioned he didn’t feel well. I’m willing to bet my oil stash that if I wouldn’t have been doing that, I would have been right there with the wash cloth on my forehead hugging my very own puke bucket. I use DoTerra oils but other companies have similar blends and recipes. Use what you are comfortable and familiar with.
The biggest thing I learned from my sick kids
I am so beyond blessed. We were lucky. It was just a 24 hour bug. This too shall pass, and it did. The thought occurred to me around 2 A.M. as I was holding my youngest daughter while she throwing up and crying. We are so lucky we have the flu. That probably seems like a strange tie to feel thankful, but it hit me and it hit me hard. There are parents all over the world right now holding their babies as they get sick from chemo or meds for fighting cancer, holding their babies as they fight incurable diseases, holding their babies as they take their last breaths.
Was it fun?
Hell no! It has been over 24 hours since anyone has gotten sick. I slept all night last night, and I’m still exhausted from the weekend of sickness. But I remember number 6, my biggest lesson. I am so lucky to have had my family together, in our home, getting a short-lived flu virus. Why? Because it could have been so much worse.
My heart goes out to all the moms and dads out there that are caring for their babies who are fighting much stronger battles. As I was sleeping on my bedroom floor so I could be right beside my daughter to help her through the night, there were moms and dads sleeping in hospital chairs so they don’t have to leave their child’s side. If you are one of those parents reading this, please know that you are have all my love, thoughts and prayers. If you are not one of those parents, please, please, please, take a moment to realize how blessed you are.
As always, remember you are not alone.