It’s official: the flu has come to visit. While it isn’t a guest I’ve invited, a few years of mothering has taught me well how to make us all more comfortable while we endure this unwanted house-guest. Here is a quick list of things we do/avoid when multiple family members are ill:
- Stock up on essentials. For us, this includes but is not limited to Pedialyte, Tylenol, ibuprofen, kleenex, chewable vitamin C, Popsicles, chicken soup, Jell-O, fresh fruits, bread, and eggs. I try to keep things like this around, but it’s hard to plan for the flu.
- Limit exposure. We stay home. We don’t let people come over, even to just say “hello” or drop something off. It’s amazing how much faster we mend when we stay put and limit our exposure to others. Not a popular choice in our house, but it works.
- Eat healthy. Though it’s tempting to want to “treat” the kids to special snacks etc., they actually benefit from fresh fruits and veggies and a sugar-free diet while they are sick.
- Stick to a regular schedule. Sometimes we are unavoidably up at night and then off-kilter in the morning, but in general we try to maintain the same sleeping, eating, napping schedule as normal.
- Break out the electronics. We’re pretty tough when it comes to electronic devices. We don’t think they are “evil,” but our kids watch very little TV (sometimes going weeks without watching) and get limited amounts of time on the computer and their Leapsters. But, when they are sick, we rotate through cartoons, videos, fun websites, and learning games. It’s a fun treat that requires little physical exertion…and I enjoy playing and watching, too!
- Plan for the worst. All the kids are in bed, so Hubs and I have gone through the house, tidying up and preparing for the worst case scenario. Tylenol and ibuprofen are placed in strategic places, kleenex and water bottles on each child’s night stand, extra towels and clothes stocked in the bathroom, small cot made up next to our bed for anyone who wakes in the night, extra pillows and blankets on the couch for overflow nighttime wanderers. Hopefully, everyone will sleep soundly through the night, but in the event it is a restless night, we won’t be tripping over ourselves trying to find the thermometer or a box of tissues.
- Clear the calendar. Only those things deemed essential stay on the calendar. Everything else goes. We’ve already made the phone calls for the next couple of days and re-arranged. With a large family, it’s just best to rearrange now and know that you can meet commitments made than to have to reschedule again.
- Pray healing scriptures. I have a list I keep handy for times like this. The verses help remind me that our God is one whose very nature is that of healing. If nothing else, it keeps my mind trained on the Word instead of the sickness around me.
And with that, I’m off to check on my wee ones. I love praying over them while they are sleeping. Gives me the freedom to really pray long and hard for each one of them without interruption!
Lord, thank You for Your wisdom and guidance. You are the great physician and more than capable of bringing healing to our children. I ask for that healing, but to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.