Things I Learned While My Son Was Home Sick
My preschool son was home sick with a fever all week last week. It was a challenge in many ways, balancing not just work and family life, but even just balancing family life with itself was a struggle. While we’re typically accustomed to my husband having a lot of flexibility, he has been working non-stop on a time sensitive project this month, and so our entire normal back-up plan went right down the tubes. It’s been a challenging week to balance it all, but I’ve learned a lot, especially about myself, along the way.
Sick Days: Things I Learned
1. I would not make a good stay-at-home mom. It was far too easy for me to devolve into wearing my pajamas all day and eating every fattening food in the house. I need the accountability of co-workers to keep me properly dressed and out of the fridge on a normal day.
2. Watching obscene amounts of TV will not kill your child (see #1 above). Lots of Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Curious George and Team Umizooni kept my son occupied while so I was still able to work.
3. Sometimes the iPad can be a decent babysitter (see #1 and #2 above).
4. Do favors when you can because it will pay off at some point. One friend picked my daughter up from school one night and kept her for dinner and another took her to out to dinner and to our town’s tree-lighting ceremony. I am forever grateful for that help.
5. Asking for help is NOT an admission of failure. I had been rescheduling meetings all week at work and finally HAD to go to the office on Friday. At the same time, my husband had a “can’t miss” meeting on the same day. My sister-in-law came to the rescue to watch my son for the day, and even he was happy to have a change of scenery.
6. If you care about what your other child wears to school, lay out an outfit the night before. Otherwise, bite your tongue when she comes home dressed like who knows what. At least twice last week I ended up laying in bed with our sick son while my husband got our daughter ready for school. It was not a pretty sight, but there are worse things that can happen. Breath.
7. If you are going to take advantage of being stuck at home by baking cookies for your daughter’s bake sale, give clear instructions to someone about what to do with them. Apparently, writing GRADE 2 BROWNIE TROOP BAKE SALE in huge letters on a paper bag and leaving it next to her backpack is not enough. And those cookies do not walk themselves to school.
8. There’s a bright side to everything. This same week three years ago, my son was in the ICU recovering from heart surgery. A fever is nothing we can’t handle. When I needed help and reached out for it, it was there. And maybe sick kids before the holidays will mean healthy kids during the holidays.
May your holidays be healthy and bright!