It appears that I am going to have lots of experience in the family sickness department.
Our family has been non-stop sick since just after Christmas. Like, non-stop you guys. I am not even remotely exaggerating when I say we have been hit one right after the other with different sicknesses, each child happily passing it along to the next.
Now I realize that this is kind of par for the course with a large family, two of which attend school.
But man. I’m so tired. I’m so tired of sick. And I’m ready for Spring. (Can I get an Amen??)
So all that to say that sickness of some sort is going to be inevitable. When you have kids and when you have kids attending school, as much as we try to prevent it, they’re gonna bring stuff home.
So what’s a mom to do?
I’ve compiled a short list of quick tips to help combat the sickness overload when it strikes the ol’ homestead, both from personal experience and what I’ve learned from others.
1. Wash hands frequently.
You’d think this would go without saying, but it bears mentioning anyway given it’s the most important aspect of keeping sickness at bay.
Before every meal and snack time, and upon returning home, wash your hands. Wash your kids’ hands. Wash your baby’s hands.
2. Wipe down kitchen and bathroom counter tops with disinfectant wipes.
I do this every night once the boys have gone to bed and can no longer contaminate surfaces. I wipe down their bathroom counter and kitchen counter tops, and when sickness is prevailing, like it is right now, I make sure to use disinfectant wipes, like Clorox Wipes.
3. Throw away (or wash) toothbrushes and toothpaste.
I might be the only one here with a weird/crazy 2 year old who, when he’s sure I’m not looking, enjoys climbing on the bathroom counter and sucking on everyone’s toothbrushes. Yes, it’s gross. Yes, we’re working on it.
So as you can see, this step is ultra-important for our family.
Therefore, once I’m sure the child is no longer sick or contagious, I throw away their toothbrush and toothpaste. Sometimes I’ll stick their toothbrush in the dishwasher, especially if I’m in preventative mode and/or if their toothbrush was brand new. But more often than not, just to be safe, I’ll just toss it and get a new one. #notworthit
4. Separate and label drinking cups.
Again with the 2 year old that swipes everyone else’s stuff, we make sure to keep our cups on the counter and out of reach of a certain little someone.
It’s also super important to have separate drinking cups and utensils. As a rule, we don’t share food or utensils for this very reason, especially during flu season.
5. Quarantine the sickness.
If you can, keep your sick child in their bedroom or bathroom (if you’re dealing with the dreaded stomach flu).
But if your kids are anything like mine, they
prefer insist on being wherever I am. In this case, I designate a couch in the living room as The Sick Couch and make up the couch with blankets and their pillow, where they can hang out all day. Then when they’re done being sick, I pack up the blankets and pillow case, wash everything, and voila. Quarantine successful.
6. Use and keep hand sanitizer in your car, purse, and diaper bag.
Yes, I know. I’ve heard it, too. Apparently hand sanitizer is “bad” and worsens All The Things. (Or something like that).
But, you guys. I don’t care.
As for me and my family of 6, we will be happily hand sanitizing our little hearts out.
And honestly. Just let the rest go.
As moms we might have a slight tendency to overreact to sickness. (No? Just me?)
Maybe we sanitize, quarantine, sterilize, prevent, wash, rinse, repeat, until we’re dead on our feet.
But maybe, just maybe, we need to accept the possibility that every. single. person in our family might catch this dreaded sickness.
Okay. Life will go on. This proverbial sickness, too, shall pass. Insert-any-other-obnoxious-cliche-here.
Take it from me, who had to learn the hard way. There’s only so much we can do. So enjoy the extra snuggles. Soak up the unexpected down time. Throw up an extra prayer for healing and prevention.
Then rest easy. And let it go.
What are your tips for preventing sickness from taking over the family?
Do you need structure and organization, but still crave daily encouragement?
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