A plague on both our houses. Or at least what feels like a plague has descended upon my house this winter and there is no end in sight. First it was one kid and then just when we thought we were in the clear, a fever spiked in the other one out of the blue. And now we are really in it. Sick couches, mounds of tissue, thermometers, and Childen’s Tylenol by the gallon. As a parent, there is nothing worse than seeing your children miserable with no way to take away the pain. And so you hold them tight and go into survival mode.
It seems like everyone I talk to this winter has had a similar experience battling this season’s flu and families have become virtual shut-ins only to resurface in the spring. The way things are going in my house, we won’t be seeing the light of day until the new buds start blooming on the trees. Anyone that has small children knows that having to stay cooped up inside for days on end is close to insanity and you are just asking for mutiny to break out.
In light of this, I’ve had a lot of time to figure out how to navigate this particularly nasty cold and flu season that’s hit the country and I’ve come up with my top 5 essentials to make it through without losing your mind.
- Couch Friendly Games and Puzzles: This is a must because there will inevitably be a gray area when your child thinks they are feeling better but still needs to rest. If you’ve ever tried to keep a toddler stationary on a couch for too long without distraction, you know what I’m talking about. We’ve found that having a healthy stock pile of puzzles and simple games can make passing the time less painful. Note: You will have to play these on repeat more times than you can bear, but remember it’s an ends to a means!
- Peapod, Amazon Fresh, Uber Eats or some other meal delivery system: Face it, you’re not leaving the house for a while and unless you’re super organized [I am not no matter how hard my husband tries:)] you’re going to need food to sustain and fuel you through the hibernation period. We rarely get out to the grocery under normal circumstances, so when everyone is sick, forget about. Get your chicken noodle soup delivered!
- Lots of light, comfy clothing: Whether it be for you or your kids, when everyone’s hot and feverish, the last thing you want is to pile on the fleece and wool, even in these cold winter months. With all the couch and bed time you’re racking up, you need to make sure everyone is comfortable. I’m stocking up on packs of t-shirts and underwear for my boys and lightweight sweatshirts and super comfy leggings for me to make it through since no doubt you’ll be changing your clothes, and your children’s, A LOT when your family is sick.
- Eucalyptus Oil: Whether you put this in a diffuser, in the bath or rub it on your children’s feet while they sleep, this is a necessary purchase. It really does help to open up the nasal passages and give them some relief. It’s also awesome when you’re steaming up the shower to drop a few drops in there and let take the kiddos in to breathe the steam.
- A sense of humor: I’m definitely working on this one right now and there is no app I can use to send some humor over here while we are cooped up, but inevitably all sense of routine goes out the window when the kids are sick and freaking out about only makes things worse. Workouts…nope. Sleep…haha. Healthy eating…bring on the comfort food. Clean house…not a chance. And you just have to be ok with that.