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How to parent when you are ill


Tis the season to be...ill. There are bugs galore to take your pick from during the winter season and if you are a parent, they usually come courtesy of your child.


Parenting while you are ill, is possibly one of the worst things you will have to do, especially if you have a very young child. You feel like death but your child is full of beans, so here are some tips to make things a little easier...


Phone a friend

If you can call in a favour and have someone take your child for a couple of hours so that you can you rest, then do it. Most friends and family will be happy to help and being able to rest will help you find some energy later in the day and will aide your recovery.

If you can't find anyone to help, don't worry. Try these things instead...


Lower your expectations (and standards)

You feel like rubbish, so accept that you are not going to be firing on all cylinders and that some things are going to have to be left - The washing, cleaning...anything that is not absolutely necessary, leave it. Your priority is getting better and ensuring your child is okay.

Not sure you can make a Master Chef worthy dinner? Well, don't. Kids can survive on Freezer Tapas and let's face it, giving them fish fingers and chips means that they will eat everything and there will be no complaints - exactly what you need.


Carpet picnics are your friend

On the subject of food, allowing the kids to sit on a blanket on the floor or on the sofa in front of the TV to eat is totally fine. 'Picky' food obviously works best for this, which is just as well, as it requires limited effort from yourself.


Use screen time strategically

CBeebies on repeat, as great as it is, is enough to drive you to distraction and most younger kids will only sit for so long before they want to be doing something else. If you have YouTube, I highly recommend finding yoga or other activity videos that are specifically for little ones, which will allow them to burn off some of their energy while you sit and watch. However, if your child is very happy to sit and watch hours of TV, don't feel bad, normal parenting rules don't apply when the parents are ill.


Find some easy entertainment

Some parents have a stash of toys specifically for sick days. This means that the novelty of them hasn't worn off and the kids will be excited to play with them.

Building a den or a fort can keep a child occupied for most of the day. They will want to play in it, eat in and you never know, possibly nap in it too!

Things like sticker books, Fuzzy felts (remember those?!) or a Duplo building contest are great calm activities, which you can easily supervise from the sofa.

If you can, try and get out in the garden for some fresh air. Wrap yourself up and plonk yourself in a chair and let your child run around. Blow bubbles for them to chase, throw a ball for them to catch or run after, set them to work sweeping leaves or set them up with chalks or a pot of water and a paintbrush. There are lots of activities that they can do with minimal input from you and the fresh air will do you both good.




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