Sick while looking after a toddler

IMG_6711I’ve had more than my fair share of sickness this winter.  Since December I’ve been struck down with two colds that have been dragged out over a week, two stomach bugs (bed/bathroom ridden) and the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my adult life which lasted seven days, (WTF?).  I’m done.  This week I’m jetting off to warmer climbs across the pond and I can’t bloody wait.

I know its winter and we all get colds etc but to spend five weeks out of the last ten sick? OVER IT.  I blame my toddler for this.  He started nursery two days a week in September – he loves it and I love it.  Nursery is great for him as he gets to play and be interactive with other kids all day, and as a bonus they deal with the messy play that I can’t stand, (playing with water, flour, paint etc).  Him interacting with others his age is very important to me but it comes at a price.  He brings home so many germs its insane.  I know its building his immune system but its shot mine to shit.

Yes I get my one cold per winter like most but to be ill this much is just appalling!  Its also a massive waste of time as theres not much I can do while I’m ill.  See normally I would rest up for a couple of days, take it easy at work or if really bad take a sick day and be on the mend pretty swiftly.

Throw a toddler into the mix.

Rest is out of the question unless its a nursery day or a weekend.  But in my case, illness seems to hit me the evening before I have two full days of parenting ahead of me.  Of course theres no time to rest as I’m trying to keep myself conscious enough to look after my toddler.  So as the two days of parenting draw to a close I’m at my lowest sick point and by the time nursery day rolls around all the lists of work/jobs/blogs/etc just slip slowly away.  Sods law rears its ugly head and I always get a lot of work calls during this time which need to be dealt with immediately.  Why does the universe work that way? 

I cram a lot into my nursery days, I love the time to crack on with everything I need to get done, and I love being able to eat my lunch in one sitting, in peace.  I even have afternoon tea and biscuits if I’m at home.  I have missed / wasted a number of these days over the winter due to said illnesses and it infuriates me.

I know I have another cold as I’m writing this, but I’m very grateful it came when it did, right before a weekend so my lovely husband is around to look after our boy while I have rested all weekend.  After a very attractive coughing fit last night, I actually am on the mend and think I’ll be nearly 100% tomorrow ready for the week ahead.  Its amazing what a couple of days rest can do for the body.

How to survive being sick with a toddler:

1 – Don’t leave the house because you’ll feel much worse having to deal with your toddler in public than at home.

2 – Kids TV.  Yes it’ll be on all day, whatever, it keeps them quiet for most of the part while you nap on the sofa.  Also a good time to bust out the Disney films as they are far more entertaining to watch than Mr. Tumble.

3 – Beans on toast lunch.  Easy food to whip up that doesn’t require any effort or brain power.

4 – Clean / tidy.  This won’t exist while you’re ill.  Save it until you’re better.

5 – Apologise to your partner and explain that they will need to organise dinner that evening as you’re dying.

PS. Don’t forget that you’ve caught these germs from your toddler in the first place, so there will be time taken up with looking after them either before or after your illness as well!  Happy days. 

Pancake Day


Yeeeeeeah love pancake day!!!  Because Jon hates my pancakes (they are not crepes and not american style) I had a couple of friends round for a Shrove Tuesday lunch instead! We had Nutella and banana, Nutella and strawberry and lemon and sugar – they were yummy!

I use the basic recipe that my mum taught me years ago… 

one cup of flour

one cup of milk

one egg

pinch of salt

Tips and bits: New Mum

There are loads and loads of tips out there for new mums, but when I look back on the early months, here are just a few that I can think of that helped me out. 

1 – Sure Start – Get out to your local Sure Start centre as soon as you can.  They have loads of free classes that start from new born.  You will meet so many mothers there who are all in the same boat.  Sometimes they are followed with tea and biccies so you can have a good old natter.  And almost every week one mother ends up in tears because she’s having a bad week, but its a safe environment and everyone is there for support.  I luckily had a new baby friend who basically dragged me there every week and I’m very grateful that she did.

2 – Plan – After I’d got over the initial shock of being a mother (prob about the three month mark) I tried to make sure I had one thing planned every day so that I would either get out of the house or have a play date at mine.  You need to see other people as it massively lifts your mood and also the more you get out, the easier it becomes – and we all know its like planning a military operation to get out the house with a new born! 

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3 – Classes –  I started swimming classes when he was four months old, which I still do today.  Every week is different, sometimes its amazing and the best time EVER, and other times I’m ready to throw him in the pool and leave him there.  Babies have moods just like us but I like having something active planned every week that we do together. He.Will.Be.A.Water.Baby.

4 – Alone time –  Make sure you have time for yourself.  Whatever your vice is make sure that you can make time for it.  Mine is wakeboarding and I’m lucky enough to have a very understanding husband who will actually push me out the door and send me to the lake if I’m being a pain in the ass.  If you’re on your own, use the nap time (if they do nap) or after they have gone to bed just sit and do nothing, have a bath, or have a glass of wine, a DIY mani/pedi, watch TV or whatever.  Just enjoy doing nothing, no house cleaning, no washing, no sterilising…


5 – Heath Visitors – if things are really getting on top of you, you will have a local heath visitor that you can call upon who will come to your house and talk through things. They don’t judge, they are there to help you learn your new role as a mother.

6 – Ignore Facebook – To an extent.  Every new mum wants to show off their new baby and how beautiful and amazing it is.  BUT don’t be fooled – these photos are just a snapshot in the day/week, its just that no one wants to put a photo up of their baby screaming, or of projectile vomit or of a poo explosion; or of themselves without their touché éclat. 


7 – Advice Screen – We all love to give our two cents worth, friends, family, blogs, chatrooms, midwives etc…. listen to all the advice but screen what you actually need otherwise you can find yourself with ten different ways of doing one thing.  You’ll work out which is the easiest and most efficient for you, and be confident to say no to others who are trying to pursued you otherwise.  You’re the mother and so your gut feeling is usually the right one. 


8 – Get moving – You know me, the more active you are the more motivated you are and therefore the happier you are! 🙂 So for a while you can’t do anything after the birth but you can walk.  I would power walk with or without friends for an hour, three or four times a week just to get my body moving.  Its amazing how tired you are, and all you’re doing is laying in bed or sitting on the sofa, but looking after a newbie is so draining – so try to get moving to get the endorphins going. (I waited until my 6 week check up to start living room yoga, wakeboarding and working with a PT). 

9 – Date night – if you have friends and family around who can give you and your lobster just two hours one evening every couple of months, do it.  Its so refreshing to go out for a meal and talk to your beau without the baby.  Of course the first time you do this you end up just looking at photos of them on your phone anyway.  

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10 – Push your comfort zone – So when Ethan was five months we went to the coast for a week.  We stayed in a hotel with absolutely no room to move around once the travel cot was up.  We took the pushchair, sterilising gear, toys, beach gear, surfboards… our wagon was packed with EVERYTHING you could think of for a small baby.  Being away for a week in an unfamiliar environment made us think differently.  Also staying in a hotel means you have to eat out every meal with a baby – not relaxing!  So once we returned home, everything that normally felt difficult suddenly became a lot easier. 

I’m sure there are loads more helpful and handy tips that I’ve missed or not discovered… What helped you through the early months??