We’re almost to the end of flu season, and thankfully my family has survived unscathed this year. But I’ve seen friends’ horror stories on social media about weeklong stomach bugs, fevers, and respiratory flu—the kind of days when motherhood isn’t such a joy. Even though flu season is almost over, germs can creep into our homes any time of the year, putting Mom in the driver’s seat when it comes to keeping it all together.
No matter what kind of sickness hits our families, we’re supposed to be the strong ones. We soothe and care for our kids no matter how sick or tired we are ourselves. Maybe in addition to short-term illnesses, you also care for a child with special needs every day of the year.
During these times of exhaustion, our focus as moms is usually on survival. But what if we could find a way to thrive, even when life is not so pleasant, and we just want a break from the germs?
Here are a few ideas to help you thrive when your child is under the weather.
Take care of your own health as much as possible
I know this can seem impossible, because chances are good that you may be sick as well. But, mamas, we have to be intentional to take care of ourselves however we can. This might mean taking extra vitamin C supplements, shutting down electronics earlier to get a few more minutes of sleep, or stepping outside for fresh air and a short walk. It may also mean caring for your emotional health by playing worship music while you do laundry or sitting down to color a picture with your child.
Prioritize what’s important and let go of the rest
When you’ve got puking kids or endless sniffles in the house, some of your to-dos just aren’t going to get done. (Trust me, I’m a checklist addict, so this creates anxiety in me too.) But what’s most important is taking care of our families. Don’t be afraid to shift the list so you can focus on what matters most.
Embrace the positives
Can I let you in on a secret? Sometimes I kind of enjoy it when my kids are sick because they’re more snuggly and want to spend more time with me. No, it’s not fun seeing them miserable, but I try to focus on the positives—one of which is the extra moments I get to share with them. In the midst of exhaustion, we can look for those little gifts to be thankful for. Maybe even jot them down as a reminder for when you’re ready to lose your mind again tomorrow.
Stay close to God
Your time with God may look different when you’re on demand 24/7 with sick kids, but the good news is He’s with you everywhere you go. Talk to Him throughout your day—in your child’s bedroom, the laundry room, or the kitchen. Pray for whatever is happening in those spaces, and thank God for promising to give you strength for the tasks in front of you. If you have a few extra minutes, read a comforting psalm in the Bible or write your favorite verse on a sticky note and post it on your bathroom mirror.
Caring for our kids is exhausting—whether they have special needs or they’re battling the flu. By nurturing our bodies, minds, and spirits, we can move from surviving sickness to thriving in spite of it.
Walking the journey with you,