A plague is on our house. Ok, not the plague, just a cold. But still, everything is so miserable when you have a cold, isn’t it? Sleep is disrupted (ha ha, what sleep?!), appetite is non-existent, there are aches and pains, blocked noses (the worst!), and terrible coughs. Grim. And it’s at its worst when all of the household succumbs.
This is where you find us at the moment. It’s not been great. My sleep has been terrible the past few days, which has meant my patience levels were at an all-time low yesterday. But a few things have helped, and in surprising ways…
- Drinking more water.
I am terrible at hydration. It’s not something anyone in this house is very good at. Recently I’ve been thinking I don’t want The Munchkin to pick up this habit. So, I need to change mine. It is also way more apparent in times of illness just how important proper hydration is. This really hit home for me when we all had the norovirus a few months ago (WORST. THING. EVER.), when we were crippled by thirst but couldn’t keep anything down/in. And whenever I get a cold, I get the most awful cough. It lasts ages, and I have coughing bouts which have made me get off buses with 30 minutes of a journey still to go. They take over my whole body, catching my throat, so I am unable to breathe or speak. The only thing that helps is small sips of water.
Last night, I took a bottle of water to bed with me. It’s a HydrateM8 bottle that I got when I was first breastfeeding, to encourage me to up my water intake (I wasn’t encouraged – my bad, not the bottle’s fault!). But last night it was a bit of a miracle worker! Not only did it help me avoid coughing fits, but it also helped reduce the amount of breastfeeding we have been doing at nights – miracle worker, I tell you!
I’m looking to stop breastfeeding now, and it has been a really hard decision, as The Munchkin still likes it for comfort before and after sleeping. It is time though, I feel, and I have to admit to putting off the complete weaning process. Mainly because I don’t want to employ a cry-it-out approach. I can’t bear to see The Munchkin crying and upset, asking for a feed, and looking at me for that comfort. He has also been sleeping beside me since he was born, which has meant night-times are the most difficult feeds to stop.
With the home renovations, there has been no likelihood of stopping the co-sleeping arrangements until now. We are just about at a stage where we have his room sorted, and we have an air bed ready for me to sleep in there until he is settled. I’m going to do a stealth, ‘move-the-bed-by-inches-until-I’m-out-the-room’ approach. And I have a new weapon in my arsenal. The HydrateM8 bottle. It has a straw mechanism, which I discovered The Munchkin is very taken with when I used it to distract him from a feed in the early hours of this morning. Hallelujah! We have something which is making me drink more water, and may help me bring the end of our breastfeeding journey to more a gentle end. Worth its weight in gold!
I am a planner by nature. I think it goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. But when illness, of any kind, strikes it is not easy to keep up with all the plans. We were supposed to be at playgroup today, but I made the decision to forgo the tea and cake as we have been feeling so miserable with the cold. It was the right decision. Don’t get me wrong, I have never been a massive routine-follower as a mum (or as a human being in general, I suppose). I was very much baby-led for the most part, and spent most of the first year having days at home or gentle walks/days out with The Munchkin, rather than being a devoted playgroup or baby class attendee. But as The Munchkin has gotten a bit older, and seeing how much he enjoys playgroup and gymnastics class (the main things we go to of a week), I have been far better at making an effort to attend these regularly.
Today though, I have been channeling the approach of Mamalina, whose wonderful blog, Instagram and YouTube channels have been a revelation. She regularly has zero-plans days with her young family. They involve a lot of chilling out, candles, PJs, listening to music, playing, and generally having a lovely ‘together’ time at home. They allow the kids time and space to explore and process information. It gives you important family time. And because you haven’t lined up a million things to do, you are less stressed and able to just enjoy being together. Playing. Having fun. You know, these things you used to do!
I think this stuff is important, and especially so when recovering from illness. I know we’ve * just * had a cold, but often with things like a cold you just soldier on and don’t give your body a proper chance to recover. Today I decided we would stay in our comfy clothes (or PJs if you’re The Munchkin. My OCD means I can’t wear my PJs downstairs then wear them to bed again. Don’t get me started. It’s to do with being in the kitchen and supposed transfer of bacteria etc. The Munchkin gets new PJs most nights anyway, purely because he eats breakfast in them and I don’t want mushed up Weetabix in my bed). And we have watched Despicable Me at least three times. We’ve had plenty snacks and liquids. We have played with buses, and read books (A Squash and a Squeeze is the current favourite). We’ve drank water! It’s going well. And I actually feel a bit better. Maybe it’s in my mind, or just the natural course of this cold, but I think it’s the self-care I’ve been employing. That, and the paracetamol and Sudafed.
What do you do in times of illness? Do you have any tips for ending an extended breastfeeding journey? Let me know your tips on making it easy on yourself below.
Please note, this is not a sponsored or affiliate post. I’m just sharing what I like at the moment!
Happy to be included in:-