Every parent who has had their kids in some sort of pre-school setting has most likely gone through the cold after cold after cold after cold phase. This spring has been just that for us, our weeks have been what feels like an endless string of colds with never ending supply of snot. So.Much.Snot. And you know what else comes with a toddler with a cold? An infant who likes to lick your hands and suck on your face will almost 100% also get sick and join the snot train. And then if you are lucky one of the parents might stay healthy but spoiler alert, the odds are not in your favor… So instead of feeling sorry for my daughter who has a nasty cough or tell you more about my poor son who sounds like a little pig trying to nurse with a stuffy nose, I am going to focus on me. The sick mom. Cause who else will?
Let me set the scene for you. I am on the couch at the moment. Sipping on a cup of tea I made for myself. A box of tissues next to me. My computer on my lap. And my self pity through the roof. I will admit that me feeling sorry for myself is probably not going to make this cold go away any faster, but it can help make this story a little bit more comical. Take a few scenarios what it looks like to be nursing with a cold for example. These are a few “solutions” I have found, please feel free to try any or all of them!
Stuff your nose with toilet paper right before the nursing session begins. This method is highly attractive and fair warning, might distract your baby if he is alert enough to care. It blocks the snot perfectly though and hopefully your cold is mild enough and your feeding session short enough that you don’t “snot through”.
Forget to stuff your nose with toilet paper or keep tissue near by and use literally ANYTHING within reach to stop the snot. This can for example be a blanket, the sleeve of your shirt or your baby's sock (that he was innocently wearing to warm his feet not knowing it was to become a tissue used to wipe his mothers runny nose).
Night time nursing and forgetting to stuff your nose has a few times resulted in just “letting it go”. You heard me right. Just like my toddler, who in her defense has not learned to subtract the snot back into her nose by forcefully breathing in, I have (reluctantly) on a few occasions just let the snot slowly run from my nose toward the top of my lip. The fear of waking the baby with too sudden movements necessary to wipe my nose or the loud noise of breathing my snot back in place overcomes the grossness of snot literally running down my face. This “solution” is my least recommended and one of the perks with big lips is they work as a blocker from letting the snot actually meet my lower lip. Would not recommend for mothers with small upper lips.
So there is that. The nursing fun. Then we also have bedtime routine. Which in all books states that you should keep consistent to create good habits and heighten the possibility of your child sleeping through the night (something we desperately are still working towards). So what does our bedtime routine look like? Straight up chaos. Usually a screaming toddler in one room and a squirmy infant in the other. So the ONE thing that I keep consistent is the story time and of course, the lullabies. So the structure freak in me who is trying so hard to keep up the good habits and the bedtime routine of course feel the need of singing the exact same songs every night. For any Swedes reading, the songs I sing are:
Längesen i December (Once upon a December)
So the lullaby section of the routine goes something like this at the moment:
Start signing the first verse, 2 octaves lower than normal. Get through the first 2 sentences. Cough. Get every other word out cause something is still stuck in my throat. Cough. Chorus is way too high even singing like a male baritone, voice cracks and I whisper the words. Tickles like CRAZY in my throat. Cough. Cough. Cough. Baby stares up at my face in amazement. Not sure if it is admiration for my dedication or just confusion as to the stubbornness... So glad I’m sticking to the routine though in creating a calming bedtime routine. Hahahaha
Real talk. Being sick as a parent is not easy. Even if it is just a head cold and you know that it will end eventually. I am tired. I have lower energy than normal. I am annoyed. I am sore. And the show still must go on. I see you sick mama, I feel you and you deserve a nap. If you can take a moment mid day for one, take it! I’ve done it and it helps. Also, you are allowed to take a sick day from work to just take care of yourself. A lot of our sick days we take to take care of sick children. But remember that those days are for you to be able to recover as well. We need rest to recover and it is a rare commodity for mothers in general. I am here to tell you it is ok to feel a little sorry for yourself! It is ok to take a sick day! You are still doing an amazing job and if the disher doesn’t get done today, they will still be there tomorrow ;)