Parenting while Sick

Last week I traveled with Alex to visit my family. Not sure if it was the stress of travel or just bad luck, but somewhere along the line I managed to pick up a bug and was sick for the entire trip. I still feel pretty awful.

Perhaps the worst part of being a sick parent is worrying about giving the bug to your kids. Even though I have tried to avoid sharing any food or drinks with Alex over the last week, there are so many opportunities to pass a bug back and forth that it will be amazing if he does not come down with something. Yesterday he complained that his ears hurt, he seemed pretty tired, and he took an extra long nap, so I am concerned that he has gotten sick already. Today he is feeling pretty good though, so who knows? It is so hard to tell whether or not a kid is sick until they get really sick.

It is difficult not to pass around a bug. Visiting family while sick isn’t the best idea, but no one plans these things and once you are there… I mostly just tried to avoid touching anyone and washed my hands frequently. I hope I did not get anyone sick. If I were just sick a day or so, and I was able to plan for it, I’d just stay home and stay away from everyone, but illnesses usually come without warning and usually last a lot longer than a day. This illness has been changing constantly: there are moments when I feel almost well and other moments when I can barely function.

When I am feeling really rotten, I generally want to just stay in bed. Unfortunately as a parent, this can be pretty challenging because you have to take care of the kid. I was lucky this time as I was with my parents who were happy to watch Alex a fare amount while I napped. Other times I have been sick I have called on his other grand parents to watch him so I could get some rest. When I do have to watch Alex sick, I don’t feel like I do nearly as good a job as I should. I lack the energy to be a good parent and just have to content myself with doing the bare minimum. By the way, the television is a wonderful invention for a parent or kid sick day.

Now that we are home again, Alex and I are unlikely to be attending any events or Open Plays for a little while. Even if we fell well enough, I’d prefer not to pass this bug around to anyone else. If you are sick already, get well soon!

-HL