I have been researching how to survive being ill as a single parent. I say ‘researching,’ I mean that I have been very ill lately, with the flu first followed by an awful sickness bug, and thought I’d share some of the ways that I have, and am still trying to, get through it. Here are my top tips on surviving when you are feeling really rubbish.
How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Getting Help
Accept help when it is offered and ask for help if you need it. It is wonderful when someone offers to help and if you are feeling very ill, it’s great to agree to it. It’s lovely to get help with the housework, child care and making the meals when you are feeling rotten. If you have someone that you can ask to help you, even for short while or even to just keep you company for a short amount of time, this can help you to feel better. Help like this, dependent on your circumstances, can be hard to come by. If you have no body to offer or ask for help, just make sure you rest lots to help yourself to feel better. It is important not to do too much. Realise that you can’t do what you usually would do and that you need to take time for yourself to recover from your illness.
How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Don’t Feel Guilty
Don’t worry about the housework, it can definitely wait. I always feel like I ‘should’ be doing something. Making things as easy for yourself while you are ill is the best thing you can do. I always cook meals from scratch, due to our food intolerances. We all have slightly different intolerances though so when I didn’t feel like eating much or cooking, I made the children quick meals like scrambled eggs on toast, beans, porridge, pizza, chips and sandwiches. Internet shopping was wonderful when I couldn’t get out to the shops. Buying in foods that were easier to prepare helped a lot. S and H even helped to make sandwiches and other foods.
How to Survive Being Ill as a Single Parent: Visit your doctor
Rest as much as you are able to but if you find that you are feeling too poorly, make sure you ring or visit your doctor. I often just try to carry on and only see the doctor when it is absolutely necessary. I always find that talking to the doctor for advice, even if it is a telephone appointment, helps. Avoiding the doctor when feeling absolutely rubbish has never worked out well for me. I used to see it as admitting defeat, showing weakness or being a sign that I can’t cope. I was wrong and it took me years to realise. If you are ill, seeing the doctor will help you to feel better as they will generally help, even if it to only say that the illness should only last a couple of more days.
Find some quiet activities for your children
My children are usually very helpful when I am ill. Generally, they take it in turns to have the illness while I look after them then I am the last to succumb. At times, my daughter has been loud and has misbehaved while she is still feeling ill. I find that giving them quiet activities to do helps a lot. Drawing, reading and watching films are favourites in our house during these times. Explaining to your children that you are ill also helps them, if they don’t quite understand what is happening. Talking to them to tell them how you expect them to behave can also help. It is amazing how responsive children can be and how caring they are when they see that you get ill too.