It’s been a while since I was this poorly.
By poorly I mean The Flu. The actual Flu. The kind that wraps itself around your entire body from the tips of your figures, down to your toes and you are forced into a sweaty pit of agony for three whole days.
It was awful.
So far I’ve managed to avoid being this poorly whilst being a parent. Using some sort of imaginary supersonic power where I almost convince myself that I’m not actually sick. I won’t be beaten as there is just too much residing on this Mumma’s shoulders to be overcome with sickness. If I go down, the whole ship goes down and there’s no way I can let that happen.
But the Flu, however, doesn’t give two hoots if you’re the captain of one very important ship. The flu will quite happily chuck you overboard and laugh at the helm whilst you cling onto a raft and suffer.
It was awful.
Today marks what feels like day 1,274 since the Flu took hold of our home. We’re finally out of the worst of it. Trying to return to normality, whilst still feeling all the shakes and the uneasiness of the aftermath of one hellish hangover where on this occasion sadly a Big Mac just won’t cut it.
I’ve had a lot of time to think and reflect on what was one of the toughest parenting experiences we’ve had to date. One I don’t wish to ever repeat. It wasn’t fun, but as we’ve everything parenting, it was eventful.
12 Things About Having The Flu As A Parent
Kids still need looking after whilst you’re lying pretty much comatose in a disgusting flu-induced pit.
It’s pretty much impossible to look after kids whilst you’re lying comatose in a disgusting flu-induced pit.
If you leave lids long enough to fend for themselves they go feral. They turn your house into what can only be described as a carnage of a crime scene after a looting spree where the thieves decided to leave EVERYTHING.
Kids can quite happily survive on biscuits, raisins and frubes for days. Signs they are well overdue another cupboard snack is when they start helping themselves to their manky old lunch box from two days previous and they finish it off. Nice.
At your lowest point, vaguely hearing the three-year-old say to the toddler, “we need a knife for this Billie, come on…” is not ideal.
Mummy Is Not A Trampoline
The ideal age of kids for both parents to be struck down with the flu at the same time is three years and above. If they can sit through movies and do puzzles by themselves. They are happy watching random American kids role-playing on YouTube for hours, you can manage it. A twenty-month-old with all the characteristics of an untrained chimp and who thinks that because mummy is lying down it’s a clear sign that she wants to be used as a trampoline, however, is not.
The kids asking to play with anything remotely messy such as kinetic sand, paint and play-doh are on the list of “maybe later darling…just as soon as Mummy can lift her arms again...” activities that you do not want to have to deal with if when you have the flu.
There isn’t a post-flu fumigation service. I googled it.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix will not help the anxiety that you’re already feeling about the state of your home. It will only fuel it. Especially as you watch helplessly whilst the toddler single-handedly destroys your home.
Those flu posters you’ve been seeing advertising the flu jab at the doctor’s surgery since last Septemeber aren’t just for decoration. You make a solemn vow from your pit to book your whole family in on 1st Septemeber this year for the flu jab/spray/patch/pill/paste/whatever is going to prevent going through this experience ever again.
You Feel Like The Worst Parent
In your semi-conscious state, you spend an awful lot of time making yourself feel really really bad. Bad that you can’t be the parent you need to be. Bad that everything is falling apart around you. A feeling that really isn’t helped by social media. Which you’ve been scrolling through uncontrollably as you can’t do much else, so your sorry state only spirals.
Then the three-year-old say’s, “Mummy, I’ve loved cuddling you all day…” and you realise that in some really warped way, this horrid flu has made you stop. Something that you’re not very good at doing. You’ve stopped and they’ve loved it.
Even amongst all the tears and the stressfulness, they’ve only seen that Mummy has stopped for lots of cuddles. You make a vow that once you’re finally on your feet again, you’ll make sure that you stop more often.
Just as soon as you’ve fumigated the house and got your ship back in order.