We are just emerging from week 3, you read that correctly WEEK THREE of sickness. Everyone. Every single person who lives here got sick. 7 whole people. Urgh it was rotten. We had flu, which meant temperatures, snotty noses, coughing (with varying degrees of success with the whole ‘cover your mouth when you cough’ thing) and aches and pains. The younger the patient the more cuddles they needed so suffice to say next to nothing has been getting done recently.
Now I’m out the other side and functioning relatively normally again thanks to lots of antibiotics and lemsip I thought I would share some of my tips and tricks to deal with sickness when there are lots of children and one mama.
1) Family bed for the win. When there are lots of little people feeling ill who want cuddles you can either run yourself ragged hopping from bed to bed to cuddle and snuggle and reassure OR you can just bung everyone in your bed and have a gigantic family love in. For us retreating to the family bed means all the extra pillows and covers in the house end up on mummy and daddy’s bed, a karvol plug in is switched on, hot water bottles (every family member has their own) and a constant stream of orange juice, cuddles, and television.
2) Assign water bottles. In an attempt to make sure everyone kept up their fluids we assigned water bottles to each child. Normally I’m all for cups and drinks at the table, but this just works for us when everyone is feeling crummy. Keep water bottles on hand at all times and try and drink up.
3) Hot Ribena is the best drink ever. Or Hot Dyoralite. It just is, FACT.
4) Goodbye healthy meals, hello what ever you fancy. Which means Ice Cream for sore little throats. During our convalescence Maxi and Vivienne who arent the worlds greatest eaters ate pretty much nothing. I made a chicken bone broth (all the bones from a roasted chicken stripped, roasted then simmered for a long long time) and then used this to cook pasta in. This has worked for me a few times now and they will eat ‘soupy spaghetti’, just a little to build them up when they are so ill. I mean, Ice cream is great but man can not live on ice cream alone.
5) Antibac Wipes. I don’t use these all the time because they are expensive but at the first sign of illness I’m all over the antibac. Light switches, toilet flushers, door handles, tv remotes + ipads or phones.
7) Skin to Skin. Years ago my wonderful midwife told me that skin to skin is the best thing to bring down a temperature, regulate fast heartbeats and generally cheer up little people. Cora pretty much slept half naked on me or Mr Clev for 3 days straight. Not practical, but very helpful and there is nothing better when you are poorly than mummy cuddles. Its a fact.
8) The bucket. Ok this is gross but I cant actually tell you all how much time, effort and CLEANING this has saved me. I have 3 buckets that are lined with plastic bags, one downstairs and two upstairs in the bathroom cupboard. The first sign someone is feeling a bit green they get a bucket. I have 5 kids under 10 – Im not taking any chances that everyone is going to make it to the bathroom. Make sure there is always a bucket ready to go!
We are finally recovered and I have spent the last few days having a big post illness clean. Open windows, duvets and bedding washed on the hottest cycle, floors hoovered and mopped (more antibac) surfaces wiped and lots of nutritious meals. Feels good to get back to some sort of routine and normality!