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Surviving Having a Sick Household

This article is cross-posted at Family Eden – check it out!

In my pre-parenting days I often dreamt about being the kind of mom whose children felt they could share everything with her. While this is still a dream of mine, upon becoming a mother I found out that one thing all kids love to share with their parents is – Germs.

With cold and flu season upon us, it is time to slip into survival mode in our homes. Not only do we have to avoid the common cold virus and influenza, but RSV, stomach bugs, and the like are also making the rounds this January. The frigid, dreary days force us to stay inside, and while a cold in the summer might stop at just one child with time spent outside and windows left open for fresh air and warm breezes, in January that cold moves from tenant to tenant as we huddle inside sharing toys, books, and space.

Here are a few mom-to-mom tips to survive the onslaught of sniffles in your home:
1. Get Plenty of Rest Yourself!
– When kids are sick their “need you, Mom!” quota goes right through the roof. Suddenly that aren’t-they-cute-let’s-cuddle aspect of a sick little kid turns into I-need-to-get-away! If your children are sick enough to keep you awake during the night, be sure that you enforce napping/resting rules during the day and use that time to rest as well. Do not spend their nap time running through the house and cleaning. Your kids are sick – no one is coming over to see your messy house.

2. Clean Efficiently – The one area of cleaning that should not be ignored when your household is ill is the disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces, but you don’t want to tap into your precious energy to wipe down the entire house. Focus instead on the main offenders – doorknobs, refrigerator door handles, the tops of chairs, toilet flushers (ewwwww, but yes!!!). And don’t be tempted to follow after your disinfecting wipe with a dry paper towel. The moisture from the wipe must be left on the surface for a couple of minutes in order to effectively kill germs.

3. Find an Activity – While rest and getting plenty of fluids are the two things that we all know a sick child needs, they also need to do more than atrophy in front of a television for hours on end. Find a quiet, peaceful activity for them to engage in, including calm physical activity. One suggestion might be kid-friendly yoga, which is not strenuous but serves to burn that pent-up energy of a child kept home from school and away from friends. Assuring that your children spend that energy also will help them sleep better at night – which is something you will enjoy as much as them.

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