‘A-a-a-chooo!’ You’re kidding, right?! Just when you’re over one cold it feels like another one hits you out of nowhere. Well, hello! Winter’s here – which means childcare colds and runny noses left, right and centre.
So how do you juggle work, sick children and partners (because we all know they’re the ones who get the most sick, *ahem), and then getting sick yourself?!
Here are a few ways we deal with colds and flu in our household that make it a little easier to cope during the winter months (or any month, all year round).
Tip #1 – Communication
I know, it’s no fun calling your boss to explain that your child has gastro for the third time this year but, guess what?! That’s life. I’ve always found with all of my employers, honesty is the best policy. Being upfront, and as soon as possible, means that everyone’s in the loop and workloads can be organised.
Tip #2 – Be realistic
Sometimes you are so sick with the flu you can’t move a limb. That’s when it’s time to tuck into bed for a day (or two) and rest, rest, rest. If not, you’ll only prolong the inevitable or, even worse, you’ll make yourself sicker or everyone in the office sick, and nobody wants that.
Other times it’s just your basic cold that catches up with you and, with the help of a couple of paracetamol and some lemon and honey drinks to sip, you’ll be able to make it through the day by taking it easy.
Tip #3 – Preventatives
In winter I like to up my garlic, vitamin C, Greek yogurt, beetroot and blueberries intake. All of these amazing immune-protecting foods really do help my family. Making winter soups and smoothies with the above foods feeds your body the fuel it needs to ward off those pesky illnesses. If you are feeding yourself healthy foods, getting enough sleep, hydration and exercise, chances are you’re less likely to get sick!
Tip #4 – Negotiate
When you’re unwell, it’s essential that you prioritise – What must be done? Can you take a half day off from work? When it comes to children, do you have a backup friend or family member who can help out? There’s never a more important time to make sure you’re asking yourself these questions. Sickness happens, it’s a part of life, but there are often ways to get everyone everything they need with a bit of schedule shuffling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – we all need a little help sometimes!
Tip #5 – Keep it clean
My house gets a lot of traffic, so my one tip for stopping sickness from spreading is to keep the house fairly clean. Surfaces and floors stay clear and we clean floors and bathrooms weekly. We have tons of soap pumps and hand sanitiser around the house. We also have a no shoes in the house policy. It’s difficult to tell how the sickness spreads, but I feel like fresh towels, linens, floors and hands certainly can’t hurt!
At the end of the day, it is winter, we are mums, and the odds are against us that one form of sickness or another will strike down at least one member of our family.
Keep the doors of communication open with your employer and make sure you take care of yourself! You can’t pour from an empty cup… which reminds me, where the heck did I put mine?!
Written by Krechelle Carter. Mum of six children, six and under; freelance writer for publications such as Kidspot and Woman’s Day; blogger; and creator of the Eight at Home community. Strong believer in following your dreams and balancing it all…most of the time! Find her at eightathome.com.au, on Instagram and Facebook.