I’d absolutely love it if this was some inspirational post about being the sickest and coolest and most epic Momma Bear – which I realise makes me sound so incredibly uncool – but it’s all about when Momma Bear is sick and boy do I know what that’s like.
It’s been some winter so far with every bug and virus filtering into our house and taking refuge in our worn and battered bodies. The last four weeks have included vomiting, fevers, ear aches, snotty noses, blocked noses, aches and pains, thundering headaches, sore throats and the ever lingering chesty coughs.
Day 10 #31daysofparentalselfcare
More days of staying in bed with TV and giant teddies. Will this sickness ever leave? Today was tough. Again. Parental self care is limited, looking after these two and working from home. But I was early on deadlines and both are snoozing soundly pic.twitter.com/cVJA93A8Jk
— Geraldine ✒ (@overheavenshill) January 10, 2019
It seems we’ve been passing whatever this is back and forth between each other, no matter how much I disinfect the house. Obviously, we’re pretty shit at hand hygiene and dabbing if the sickness has lingered. I’ve washed put more vomit from bed sheets, duvets and rugs than I like to remember. We’ve gone through far too many rolls of loo paper with snotty noses. And we’ve had too many sad, confused faces.
I can safely say, after a trip to the docs that we’re all on the mend and are kicking this bug. Prescription on hand, just in case!
As part of my self-care month here on the blog, I wanted to focus for a moment on what it’s like being Momma Bear and oh so very poorly and how to look after ourselves.
When Momma Bear is sick, life goes on. How can we handle it? Be good to ourselves.
Take All The Help Coming
When the winter vomiting bug, amongst others, hit our house, I have never felt so bad in my life. The aches and pains, vomiting and headaches was the worst I’ve experienced since Swine Flu in 2011! I was literally bed bound. Every time I tried to get up I fell back down again – with my head straight in the bucket.
Papa Bear had suffered just days before so knew what I was going through and took time off work so I could stay in bed. He did everything, and more, and looked after me. I felt so incredibly guilty. I hated that he had to take time off work. I hated that he had to distract the tedious toddler who tried to claw her way through the door to me. I hated that I wasn’t there to help him keep control of the house. My guilt ate away at me until he told me to stop, not to worry and rest.
These days of being glued to the bed are rare. Oh so very rare. When your body is telling you, under no uncertain circumstances that you are to stay in bed and fight this bug, then do it if you have the support. Take every bit of help that’s offered to you because you can not do any of this with Mr Bug climbing down your throat and using your tonsils as a punch bag.
I was on the verge of tears with the pain and nausea. After that stint in bed, I ended up with an ungodly sore throat and cough that saw my back and chest crippled in pain from coughing so much. Again, the tears. I wanted to run out of the house and hide in a hedge just to catch my breath for a minute.
Of course, I didn’t tell Papa Bear how bad I was or how much my chest hurt. It wasnt until he saw the wincing in pain that he realised this was more than a ticklish cough and he looked after me.
Why do we find it so hard to ask for help? Probably because we’re used to doing it all ourselves. And that’s fine but sometimes we can’t do it. Slow down. Let someone else take the reigns.
Turns out the winter vomiting bug has hit our house. I'm the last to suffer so a day in bed for me with nausea and a bucket by my side. I feel like shit but have binge watched #You on #netflix and amazingly the house didn't fall down without me 👍 pic.twitter.com/Q4Gn1FnsJU
— Geraldine ✒ (@overheavenshill) January 8, 2019
Be Kind To Yourself
Of course, the time comes when you have to strip yourself away from the bed and be Momma Bear again. Working at 50% capacity is not ideal and makes everything harder. Be kind to yourself. Push the guilt aside. Banish the to-do list. Find a bit of chocolate or anything for some self indulgent pleasure because after the rough time you’ve had, you’re in for a harder time now. There’s no let up with kids. We’re always on the go. Always.
If Momma Bear is not glued to the bed, everyone forgets that you’re plucking away with less energy, worn and tired limbs and probably that lingering headache. They will forget that you were or are sick. Now, I know it’s not easy being mindful of yourself when your mind is so engrossed with wiping multiple noses, bums and hands, but bedtime is a long way away at breakfast time and the clock seems to be going backwards.
Today is not for challenges. Today is not for catching up. Today is for moments at a time. Today is about being kind to yourself.
Considering my self care has gone way down hill due to illness in the house, I'm taking advantage of a momentary quiet house at naptime & digging into #ThePowerofSmall by @AislingLCurtin @TrishLeonardACT Just what I need right now after yesterday pic.twitter.com/AVAk58eArx
— Geraldine ✒ (@overheavenshill) January 9, 2019
Let Go Of Normal
Rules don’t exist when Momma Bear is sick. Tablets are on longer. There may be more treats eaten. There is nothing wrong with getting a takeaway for once, or twice! Give yourself the freedom to let go of all things normal. We’ve busted the myth on supermum and know that she doesn’t really exist. These days are so much harder than we expected. Throw in a flu or vomiting bug and life just gets sore, messy and more exhausting than we thought possible.
We can’t do it all. We’re not expected to. Let go. Everything will go back to the way it was when you’re feeling up to regaining control. It’ll happen naturally. You won’t even notice that the house is turned the right way up again.
For the moment, let everything slide. It won’t hurt anyone but it will certainly make your sick and poorly days that little bit easier to handle.
How do you manage being Momma Bear and being sick? Share your tips in the comments for the next time I’m sick. Which will probably be next week at this rate!