Saturday, April 20, 2024

How To Survive Your Sick Kids Solo Parenting

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My kids are sick, mainly the older one, but both of them. Their symptoms have ranged from a persistent cough lasting about 3 weeks, to stomach ache, to raging fevers of almost 40 degrees the past two nights in a row, to runny noses (that’s being polite) and weeping eyes – you name it, they have it!

Despite Monday night’s frustrated, sarcastic Instagram post (which got a lot of likes – you guys are hard core) …

… I have been very worried about them, my eldest in particular. Her temperature will just not stay down, she’s got chills and sweats and is very miserable, bless her.

Aside from the worry over her actually being so sick, I have had other thoughts to consider whilst solo parenting the two of them. Such as:

  • I have run out of paracetamol, so if the ibuprofen doesn’t bring her temperature down, will I survive the cool vinegar bath? Her bath that is, not mine. She’s sure to throw a half hallucinated, exhausted tantrum at being forced into a cold bath in the middle of the night in winter (as would I), and I’m just not sure I would survive that.
  • If I have to take her to the ER because of the high temperature, do I call a friend (who would have to leave her family) to come wait at mine in the middle of the night with my younger child, or do I take said younger child with me? (No, I have no family around … just in case you were wandering.)
  • If the cat vomits one more time, will he actually survive? How do I avoid stepping in it when I’m running back and forth to the sick children in the dark?

Morbid thoughts I know. Slightly irrational. And for the record, no, I wasn’t drunk – I only had one glass before I realised I’d have to be on alert ALL night – this was two nights ago now. I’m obviously a little sleep deprived too.

This morning I realised that the thoughts parents have whilst their children are sick and suffering are really their coping strategy or defense mechanism.

I mean, think about it. We can’t run away. We can’t pretend it’s not there. We can’t swipe left, unfollow or delete. We have to deal with it.

Maintaining a sense of humour might be our only link to sanity in the dark hours surrounding the care of our miserable sick children.

Unfortunately, I have a rather dry, sarcastic and unsympathetic sense of humour. With that in mind, here are my top tips on “How to survive your sick kids!”

  • Tissues, because of all the mucus … let that sink in … ALL The Mucus. If you don’t have tissues handy all over the place, they will use whatever is near: their sleeves, the sofa cushions, the cat, their hand, your scarf … you! Get the tissues! Put them everywhere!
  • Get control of yourself! The ability to control previously uncontrollable retching due to vomit and/or the sounds of someone attempting to sniff their leaking brain back up their nose, which will usually result in them choking themselves on it – if you don’t have the stomach for it, find someone who can, or get an extra vomit bucket and probably some more tissues – for you this time.
  • ALL the medication from the pharmacy, all of it, because I can guarantee you, the one thing you need is the one thing you won’t have in your home-stash-medicine-chest (which is roughly the size of a school locker)! You will of course only realise this at 10pm.
  • Unlimited high speed internet access! If it’s slow this will result in a significantly high level of whining. If you don’t have it, you will have to come up with something else. Sorry,  I can’t help you. I’m all entertainer’d out! Everything else is boring … everything! Boring!
  • Patience, because of the whining … oh the whining. It’s almost as bad as man flu! Everything is whined at you. They lose the ability to talk unless it’s a whine. Get yourself some wine!
  • More Patience! Other than the ability to talk, they also lose the ability to do anything themselves. Getting dressed – not. Getting juice – forget it. Finding the TV remote – impossible. It. Is. Exhausting. That saying, ‘the patience of a saint’ … should be ‘the patience of a mother of a sick child’.

Those are my top tips for survival when your child is sick.

I found this great quote on Pinterest – I’m not advocating for this, but I can see why it might appeal to some of us …


Sadly, at the time of publishing, she isn’t any better. Hopefully the antibiotics kick in soon. Despite my previously mentioned sarcastic sense of humour, I do love my kids and would give anything for them to just be well again.

Until then … tissues!

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This post was first published here. For more from Mom Of Two Little Girls click on the image below or any of the recent posts!

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