The Sick Bed1
It feels like a test of your mothering abilities when there is sickness in your home. Trying to capture the fine balance of meeting the needs of your sick little ones and also trying not to catch their germs. It is pure misery when parents and children are sick at the same time. I know this horrific scene first hand from the time we all had a stomach flu while in a hotel room in Arizona. So, when Ben was sick this week I became obsessed with infection control and preventing the spread of his germs.
Preventing spread of illness is always a challenge with kids; I don’t know any child that does a good job of covering their cough and not wiping their nose wherever fabric hangs. I think I must have dodged Ben’s cough at least 100 different times and also probably repeated, ‘don’t cough right on my face’ another 100 times. There was lots of hand washing going on and a constant airing out of the apartment. Thank goodness for that fresh rainy breeze Vancouver had yesterday!
The hardest part as the mum was that my boy just wanted comfort from me, which is tricky with a newborn that breastfeeds frequently. It is one thing for me to tell Ben to wait while I breastfeed when he is feeling well, but it is another when the boy truly needs me. I became obsessed with our newborn picking up any of his germs and definitely was worried at times.
I decided to pull out the sofa bed in our living room and made Ben a ‘sick bed’ on it. I cracked opened the windows and kept baby Josie away from him; at least 3 feet away to prevent airborne travel of his germs. It was easier to take care of Ben and give him the care he needed when he was out in the open. When he was tucked away in his room, he just wanted us to be close to him and it made taking care of the baby impossible. It was also comforting for me to see him sleeping and resting right in front of me.