The Chicken Pox Saga

We're almost clear! Almost ready to venture out as a family again and just in time for Easter! For some reason the littlest, Joel, hasn't managed to catch it (starting a very interesting conversation with the husband about how maybe he's immune to it and as such will go on to become some form of superhero-come-apocalypse-cure). It's actually not been that bad really. Whilst Annie has been covered in spots (I didn't count, I'm sorry guys, who's got time for that?!), she has been relatively good at not scratching them and, apart from a few days of lethargy and grumpiness it's been fairly smooth sailing. The worst part has been being cooped up in the house. Major cabin fever has occured and I'm so ready to venture out into the big wide world again, take a deep breath of that fresh(?) city air and promise to never become lackadaisical in my gratitude for open spaces and the ability to run around.

So overall, I'm not left too scarred by the chicken pox ordeal. I'm glad it's over (for now) and I'm glad that our first experience was practically a non-event. Even so, here are some of the things I've learnt:

Children get very grumpy when they're cooped up inside:

I wasn't really expecting that, but I myself tend to get a little irritated when I can't get outside and run around. We didn't have amazing weather here so we didn't have the option of going outside every day, but on the days when it was nice I chucked their coats on and watched them climb the trees in the garden and dig up worms from the soon-to-be veggie patch. Their attitudes after those couple of hours were dramatically different so I think, in hindsight, I'd go so far as to send them out in the rain. We could do a peppa-pig 'muddy puddles' jumping marathon without the fear of getting too cold or wet because we'd be 3 yards away from some dry towels and a warm bath - no fear of getting the car messy or having to trudge half an hour back home! Getting into the fresh air really did make a massive difference and, even with a wealth of 'rainy day activities' nothing quite beats kicking a ball against a wall and pretending to be aeroplanes on the lawn.



Keep on top of the housework

The first two days I did not do this and it was to my detriment. It is astounding how quickly a house becomes messy with two children who can't get out. The laundry quickly piles up, the dishes litter the sides and every room has at least 3 books, 6 toys and 1 child sock in it. Nevermind the dirt! Biscuit crumbs, yoghurt smudges and spilt drinks, if you don't keep on top of it then you'll quickly find yourself drowning in a sea of disorder with no obvious way out. Make it easy for yourself and stick to your daily cleaning routine.

Put on pants

Oh the desire to stay in your dressing gown for two weeks straight with your hair unwashed and thrown up in a bun and the make-up bag left untouched on the dresser. Don't do it. Trust me, the feeling of waking up, showering and getting yourself presentable will totally change your outlook on the rest of the day. You won't need to panic about getting an unexpected parcel and having to answer the door in your jimjams too! Pretend that your job is to care for these small human beings (it practically is anyway, right?) and dress up like your boss is about to inspect you. Be practical, sure, but get yourself feeling fab still. It'll make a massive difference.

Take time for you

It's easier said than done, I understand, but trying to take 30 minutes to an hour out for yourself to just refresh is so key in keeping a healthy mental state throughout this process. If you've got a partner then get them to take over for a little and go somewhere quiet. If you're one of those warriors doing this on your own then try to encourage 'independent play' for a little (it may take a few days for them to 'get it') or wait until bedtime is over to sit back, ignore the jobs that need doing for an hour and take some time out for yourself. I'd recommend doing something peaceful and quiet in this time. Reading, craft, colouring - something that's going to bring a bit of peace into what has probably been a pretty hectic day! I've been picking up my book again and it's been so nice to get the time to read - I even have a slightly older girl who will grab a book and sit next to me reading quietly for half an hour so that helps!


Get creative in the kitchen

How many of us think at New Years, 'I'd love to start cooking different dishes and get better at serving wonderful food'. Don't get me wrong, when you've been dealing with monstrous kiddies all day I know how much we just want to bang some chips and chicken nuggets in the oven to get dinner over and done with, but hey, when are you going to have as much time as this? Get the vegetables out - come on guys, weeks of beige food is not going to do your attitude any good at all - and see if you can whip something different up. If you can, include the children, they really do enjoy helping you out with your 'adult chores'.

p.s - it's okay to have beige dinner days too. Go easy on yourself.

Have a plethora of 'rainy day activities' in your Mom book

Youtube, pinterest and google are filled with ideas on how to keep your kids entertained when you're stuck in the house. Not all of them require advanced planning or extravagant materials either. Google your child's age +indoor activities and, ta-dah!, hundreds of great projects right at your fingertips. You got this Moms.

Be Kind to Yourself

We might not think it, but when you're stuck inside it can be really stressful. Take deep breaths often and remind yourself that it's not forever. When your children are screaming and acting irresponsible, remind yourself that they are not only dealing with the regular emotions that all young ones struggle to process, but they're doing so whilst feeling groggy, itchy and tired. How many of us act completely appropriately when we feel like that? Give your partner extra grace, ignore little things that normally wind you up and just take each day as it comes. Practise the words, "I'm sorry" because inevitably you'll need to use them often during this period. Don't try to be supermom either. Do the basics to keep things ticking but allow yourself extra rest, the extra bar of chocolate and 6 cups of coffee a day.

And most of all remind yourself of this:

You're doing an excellent job.

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