It's about that time again, the time of year where germs are passed around like cookies at a Christmas holiday party and everyone goes home with a present that keeps on giving. I've got to be honest, though - there's nothing that makes me happy about worshiping the porcelain deities, and this is a gift I'd rather not share. Unfortunately, the norovirus (which I'll go out on a limb and say is the likely culprit of our recent stomach-based illnesses) is easily passed and according to this article on National Geographic's site, it seems to be engineered to manipulate our bodies to keep it going. Lucky me, I got laid out flat by this lovely stomach bug on Friday and I still feel absolutely exhausted. Our tiny tot, Ms. Sassy Pants, announced the arrival of her own bug last night by puking all over the carpet - and then, later in the day, right into my hands.
So how do we, as parents, survive this? Read on.
The first step is, of course, hydration. It's so easy to forget to keep on drinking when our stomachs would rather rebel - or, when we're the ones cleaning up the aftermath of the virus and taking care of our poor children. But it's important! I promise, taking small sips of clear liquids is what's made me feel ten thousand times better. Just don't get too eager because sometimes that can upset your stomach even more (I talk from personal experience, of course).
One great liquid to consume, if you have it on hand, is bone broth. Swanson's tastes pretty great luke warm, I guess, but nothing beats old fashioned bone broth for the health benefits with its nutrients and how it supports gut health. Sadly, the bone broth I JUST made went bitter on me, as I haven't quite mastered that ancient art just yet. Someday!
Second, rest. I know it's hard to do, especially with littles, but try to find some time to take a nap and let your body relax and heal. If you're in the habit of pushing forward and trying to get work done... don't. Easier said than done, sure (ahem), but trust me when I say that you'll feel better sooner if you just take a bit of time to get some zz's in.
Third, when you can keep something on your stomach, consider the recommended BRAT diet, or if you're more of a Paleo eater, check out this helpful article. Either way, eat like a bird and listen to your body.
The fourth step is to shack up and find something to entertain you and the kids. If movies or Netflix is your thing, use it liberally. If your kids like to color and you think it'll provide a distraction from the constant stomach cramping, break out the crayons. One thing is certain, though - blankets are a must! Make your house arrest comfortable, because you might be there for a while. You and the kiddos will need all the love and cuddles you can get to feel better, and it's a perfect opportunity to slow down and hold those growing preschoolers close.
Fifth, and probably most important - break out your cleaning supplies and tap into your inner germaphobe. Stress the importance of washing hands to the kids, and make sure you're washing off your fruits and vegetables before prepping for consumption. And, much as I dread even saying it - lots of laundry is in your future. Basically, just clean every surface you've ever touched.
If you've gotten hit with the stomach bug, I'm so sorry and I hope you feel better soon. I hope these tips have helped, and good luck!
More helpful reading:
***Disclaimer, this is in no way a substitute for medical advice. If you feel you need to be seen, go in to the doctor! Even though doulas can make your life easier, we can't rehydrate you, and I for one do not possess a medical degree.***