How To Survive Having The Flu With A Toddler

Hopefully, none of you will ever have to suffer the flu or any other serious illness while caring for young children. But if you do, I’ve compiled a list of things that will make it much easier for you to get through the chaos and misery essentially unscathed.

1) A kick-ass husband to step up and take over while you lay around and try not to croak recover. Bonus points if he was sick a few days before you caught it –from him – and the memory of your taking care of him while wrangling the little one is fresh in his mind. It’s another bonus if your amazing husband takes his role as rest enforcer very seriously and bullies you into actually resting.

2) Local friends and/or family who are willing to help out when you and hubby are incapable. DB’s mom was a huge help this weekend, taking the Littlest Brewster away from the house for a bit every day. This not only gave us a chance to rest, but also gave LB a break from the germ-filled environment.

3) A handy dandy mask or two. These came in particularly handy when I was no longer feeling ill enough to stay upstairs but I was still contagious. They’re annoying to wear, but if it keeps me from infecting my child, I’ll do it.

Don't I look perky?

Don’t I look perky?

4) A really good, really long book and/or access to a variety of blogs. I not only made a serious dent on An Echo In The Bone, Diana Gabaldon’s the seventh (815 page!) book in the Outlander series, but also caught up on my internet reading that is usually neglected when I’m busy being a productive member of society.

5) Tamiflu. Tamiflu is amazing. The package insert said that it would not only shorten the length of recovery, but also lessen the severity of the symptoms. Having heard stories of the weeks it can take to recover from the flu, I wasn’t looking forward to a long and drawn-out recovery. But within three days of starting the medicine, I felt like myself again. Exhausted, but undeniably myself. The process of getting tested wasn’t pleasant – I doubt having a swab shoved up one’s nostril could ever be described as “pleasant” – but totally worth it if it meant I felt like death for even one day less.

6) Very very important – tied right up there with kick ass husband – is blind luck. The kind of unimaginable luck that lets your child somehow dodge the flu bullet while surrounded by two hacking, feverish parents. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet as far as the most dangerous/contagious period, but somehow the Littlest Brewster hasn’t had more than a sniffle and a bit of a cough. (Knock on wood.) If the only person you have to take care of is yourself (or even yourself and your spouse), it’s infinitely easier than taking care of a sick child. And nothing makes my heart hurt like when my daughter is sick. Parents can put up with a lot, but seeing their child hurt or sick and suffering is awful.

So there you have it. A few things to make a battle with the flu just a bit better. Here’s hoping you don’t have to use this list but that if you do, your illness is brief and your recovery speedy.

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