I write as I feel inspired. This week, I had wonderful intentions of writing a ‘Lessons I Learned During 2016’ blog post after reading Robin Sharma’s extensive list of 26 (he must have had a great year). But to tell you the truth, other than ‘you’ve got a higher pain threshold than you thought’ and ‘eating junk and not exercising for 9 months leads to dramatic weight gain’ (shock horror), I’m not feeling all that inspired to write that post.
I do feel inspired, however, as I sit surrounded by a pile of tissues (of which I can’t distinguish clean from used), to write a post about my first cold as a mum.
Today I am a proud mother. At the grand old age of 3 months old, my baby has learned to share. That’s right. Over the Christmas week, Lawson suffered his first sniffles (actually the cutest thing ever), and for some reason my rationale for the past week has been that if he passes his cold to me, I won’t be that ill because it’ll only be a baby sized cold. New mothers – that’s not a thing. When babies share their colds with you (bless their hearts), it is an adult sized cold. Can’t emphasise that enough.
Being sick when you’re a mum sucks. No more duvet days, no more binge watching Sex and the City (yes, I’m still into that), you kind of just have to carry on and get on with it regardless. I’ve heard mothers get pretty good at that. But as I sit here in my maternity pyjamas, I’m trying to consciously come up with a game plan for how I’m going to get through the next week looking after Lawson whilst feeling like I’ve been dragged through a bush. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- Get outdoors.
I am so resentful of the fact that fresh air is actually the best thing for a cold. The last thing I want to be doing right now is traipsing to Sainsburys pushing my iCandy Peach with one hand and blowing my nose with the other in sub-zero temperatures. But I feel like if I want to get better, I need to up my health game. Which leads me onto my second strategy…
- Eat well.
Again, the last thing I want to be doing. All that is within me wants to stuff my face with leftover Christmas cheese and crackers (despite the fact I’m doing Veganuary this month), but I’m fairly sure that doing that for the past week is probably what got me ill in the first place. I’m going to make a special effort to get as much fruit and veg down me as physically possible this week in the hope that their magic nutrients will get me better quicker.
- Accept help.
Today (Sunday) I actually did manage a daytime nap, thanks to my wonderful husband who offered to take Lawson while I attempted to sleep this off. Actually woke up feeling worse, but I feel like that’s the cold’s way of coming out of my system. May have just made that up. My point is – accept help from people around you who offer to look after your child so you can sleep/take a bath/eat cheese.
- Make use of technology.
Oh I’m a bad mother for writing this one. I’m going to put it out there anyway. Lawson is obsessed with this black and white animal app on my iPad (I think it’s the Fisher Price one?) So this week, if I’m feeling particularly rough and like I need a bit of a break from repeatedly saying ‘who’s a gorgeous boy?’ in my son’s face in an attempt to make him laugh (FYI – the answer is him – always him), I fully intend to whip out the old iPad, stick on the black and white animal thing and enjoy a coffee, or an undisturbed scroll through Facebook (bad mama smack wrist).
- Sleep lots.
They say sleep is a great healer (do they?), so I’m going to try squeeze in 40 winks whenever I can this week. If I’m honest, I think the whole ‘sleep when they sleep’ thing is a load of crap when you’ve got a house to keep clean (which I fail at, by the way), a blog and a YouTube channel to run, but when you’re sick, I think this is what you have to do. So this week, when he naps, I nap. Although 40 winks is more likely to be around half that because Lawson refuses to sleep for more than 45 minutes during the day.
And there you have it. My top tips for surviving illness when you have a baby, and my plans laid down for the first week of 2017. You can get through this, mamas, a bit of positivity and a large dose of Lemsip Max can go a long way.