Being a Mum When You are Ill

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On Thursday afternoon I was looking forward to the weekend. I’d spent the day as usual with Elizabeth playing, visiting my Mum and doing our usual Thursday fayre, And then it hit me. Goodness knows what I had eaten, but by Thursday evening my body had erupted from both ends. The worst case of diarrhoea and vomiting I’d had in a long while.  But how do you cope with being a mum when you are ill?

being a mum when you are ill

Being A Mum when You are Ill

The only thing I wanted to do was sleep. I ached like crazy. Andrew got me a hot water bottle and a pint of water with oral rehydration salts added and I sipped this. I was drifting in and out of conciousness, but at one point I woke up to hear Andrew just saying “Oh God!” over and over. Turns out Elizabeth had been sick too. I couldn’t have helped even if I wanted to. I went back to sleep.

By morning I still wasn’t much better, the sickness had stopped but the diarrhoea continued. Normally Elizabeth goes to nursery on a Friday, but this obviously wasn’t going to happen. She hadn’t had diarrhoea yet but my worry was what if she exploded from that end too? I could hardly deal with my own illness, let alone hers.

Andrew got us both a drink of water and went off to work, closing the child proof gate at the top of the stairs.  When Elizabeth woke up, I changed her thankfully moist but poo-free nappy and brought her into our bed. She seemed fine, other than smelling a little of sick from the night before. Out came my iPad, and baby YouTube reigned.

Our Day

I went back to sleep, and again drifted in and out of sleep. I just needed to rest and get better. Elizabeth did not seem worried, but played with some of her toys and watched her videos. When I woke up and got us some more water and toast at lunchtime she didn’t really want much, but still seemed bright enough. Somebody is obviously looking down on me kindly!

We spent the whole day in bed together. She actually took on a bit of a nurse persona, saying “Mummy sick” and trying to take my temperature. Having been in hospital herself a few times I’m sure has helped her realise how I felt. I was worried that she might be bored, but actually I needn’t have worried. She coped and played her own games and just got on with it. By the time Andrew got home we were both feeling a little better. Though I am now writing this in the middle of Friday night/Saturday morning. How long it will take to get my sleep patterns back to normal is anyone’s guess!

So, my tips for being a Mum when you are ill?
1. Lower those standards

And then lower them some more baby!  Do the absolute minimum of housework. Honestly, that laundry can wait!

2. Try not to spread it around.

Good hand washing and not sharing eating utensils or towels is the most important thing. Clean around areas as best you can at the time. With a vow to bleach and disinfect properly when you are back on your feet.

Let your other half sort out making the meals, even if that means pizza and chips.

3. Call in for reinforcements

Now, if you’ve read my post on The Pros and Cons of Being an Older Mother you will know that all our relatives are a fair bit older. The last thing I wanted was to pass this possible infection on, so I declined to do this.

However, I know that they would be there in a heartbeat if it was more of a long term thing. And certainly I would have called if it hadn’t have possibly been infectious.

It can also be hard if you hate delegating. My other half doesn’t do the jobs like I do them (let’s face it, who does?) and so it can be a bit of an annoyance to pass the baton to someone else whilst you languish in your sick cave. But sometimes it is necessary.

4. Forget all about being a perfect parent

Maybe you normally make sure that the children don’t eat too many biscuits or crisps. Or you don’t let them have the tablet/iPad for more than an hour at a time?

Well, now is the time to relax these rules! Just concentrate on getting better, even if it does mean having Peppa Pig videos on loop. Let go of the guilt. Have an all day pyjama party!

And if your child is like mine and usually needs full attention and interaction it may teach a little bit of an important lesson. You can never be bored if you can play on your own, and use your imagination.

5. Encourage your child to be your nurse.

Now, I’m not saying that you train your child to go get your hot water bottles or do the ironing or anything like that. But it can only be a good thing to encourage the empathy in your child. My little girl actually enjoys taking my temperature, putting a blanket over me and saying ‘There, there’. It made her feel like she was helping, which can only be a good thing, right? If your child is old enough, maybe they can go to get things for you.

At the end of the day it would be nice not to get sick in the first place, so look after yourself. But sometimes shit happens. Quite literally in my case.

And so, now I’m feeling so much better it is time to start cleaning the house.

being a mum when you are ill

Now, I can stay on top of housework with the minimal of effort when I’m at full charge. But how is it that when I have a day of being ill the house looks like a disaster zone?! It seems to grow exponentially until there is just a huge pile of toys, clothes and half eaten food in a huge monster ball that just bowls me over (That may or may not have been a dream I had whilst I was deliriously ill)

It’s going to take the weekend for me to clear up!

Do you have any tips about being a mum when you are ill? I would love to hear them. Comment below or find me on social media.

3 Little Buttons

Tales From Mamaville

Confessions of a New Mummy

36 Replies to “Being a Mum When You are Ill”

  1. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs says:

    Fab tips! It’s nice to hear that you feel better now and Elizabeth sounds like a little sweetheart. It’s hard when you fall poorly and you have little ones at home isn’t it?! My boys are quite thoughtful and will bring me a blanket and come for cuddles, bless them.

    Thanks ever so much for sharing with #MMBC. 🙂

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you! Today my partner has succumbed, so we are both playing ‘nurse’! 🙂

  2. Kim Carberry says:

    I hope you are both feeling better now.
    It is rubbish being ill when you are a mum. I think there has only been a couple of times where I have been too ill to mum but thankfully my girls were older and could mostly amuse and look after themselves. x #MMBC

  3. Anne says:

    I’m sorry you have been so poorly but you seemed to have coped well. You give great advice. Having been sick on more than a few occasions myself I know how difficult it can be with kids around.

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. I do tend to be quite hard on myself, which probably make things worse as I try to do too much instead of resting. I feel bad languishing instead of entertaining, but E actually showed she can cope without me!

  4. Mummy here and there says:

    Oh no sorry to hear that you have been poorly, it is worth frustrating when your a parent and you don’t feel 100%. But fantastic tips and you should be gentle with yourself because who else is going to look after you X #mmbc

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. It’s easy to forget to not be hard on yourself when you realise how many jobs are being left to do!

  5. Unmindfulmama says:

    When it looks like either my husband or I are about to come down with the lurgy…we just get in the jelly babies and Lucozade in industrial amounts, down the batons and hope we weather the storm! #itsok

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      As a child of the 70s, Lucozade really was the taste of being poorly. You only got it then.

  6. Briony says:

    The last time I was really ill YouTube reigned supreme, I can safely say the tablet did more parenting than me, but you gotta do what you gotta do. In all fairness the kid was pretty good at getting me drinks and when it got too much I called my inlaws to help, which they did, straight away thankfully. Hope you are all well recovered. #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Oh certainly the tablet did the parenting last Friday, but as you say, it got me through! Thank you!

  7. Toni says:

    Being a mom when you are sick is so hard. I have been lucky to be healthy and not sick since having my kids, but when I was pregnant with number two dealing with morning sickness and just exhaustion with a new 1 year old was overwhelming. Great tips on making it through the hard times! #itsok

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Thank you. Next time I may call in for reinforcements regardless!

  8. Tracey Carr says:

    This really resonates with me because I am just getting over the worst head cold and sore throat – the last three days have been hard! And that very thought has been going through my head too, what happens when mum gets sick? Everyone still needs taking care of but I was absolutely drained of energy. Like you all I wanted to do was sleep. After this week I have actually considered getting the flu jab for the first time ever because the thought of catching it fills me with dread. The house would fall apart! #itsok

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Oh gosh I’m glad you are feeling better. And I know exactly what you mean about the flu jab. I’m certainly getting one.

  9. Nicole - Tales from Mamaville says:

    Being a mum is tough. Being a mum of a sick child is tougher. But the worst is when mum is sick herself – because shit (pun not intended there!) still needs to be done! But it was good you got to rest it out and you’ve got such a good little girl who didn’t trouble you. Well done!
    Love the useful tips you shared at the end – it is absolutely ok to let your standards down and go easy on the rules sometimes.
    Thanks for joining us on the #itsok linky.

  10. Rosie Doal says:

    It’s so difficult when we’re the ones in charge and responsible for everything and everyone. We’re so used to doing it all but then when we’re struck down with illness, the house and the people in it – fall apart. Sometimes we must soldier on but at times like this – as has happened with you, you’ve just gotta look after number one. Only then can we look after everyone else x #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      I couldn’t even get up, which is such a rare occurrence. Sometimes you’ve just got to rest through it!

  11. Millie says:

    It’s rotten being ill and as a Mum it’s tough. Your daughter was amazing by the sound of it.
    I am on my own so cannot in theory get ill. That said a year ago I ended up really ill with influenza A and had to put a post on Facebook asking for help- we were in Kuala Lumpur and didn’t know anyone there! I found two fab people to help look after my daughter as I was so ill didn’t want her to catch it. #itsok

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Gosh that must have really been a worry for you? It is tough when you’re a mum. You’re just expected to get through it!

  12. Lianne Harris says:

    I read this on the perfect day! I’m feeling crap and Hubby is one of two people in the office so he can’t stay home to help me! thankfully Ben is off to his nan’s for the day tomorrow which means the twins won’t be too hard to deal with. I just feel run down and groggy and a holiday alone would be amazing!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow.

  13. Confessions of a New Mummy says:

    Its so much harder being unwell as a parent, you can’t just concentrate on getting well when you have all those responsibilities. Hope you’re feeling better now, thanks for sharing and linking up #twinklytuesday

  14. kirsty says:

    This is one of the things that I think is just impossible about parenting. There are no sick days. Goodness knows how our parents managed when there wasn’t kids tv on demand or you tube! Hope you are feeling better. Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam

    1. Jo Boyne says:

      Yes, I must admit I also thought that. Though there was always Schools Tv programmes!


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