Soldier Down! The Awful But Insightful World Of Parenting With The Flu

20150916_072735A week with the flu – how awful! Throw in a small toddler and a very busy work schedule and you may equate this to pretty much the week from hell! (Oh and don’t forget the Christmas shopping that has yet to be done on top of all of that).

I’ve felt soooooo sorry for myself (but luckily I am feeling much better now, phew!)

While having the flu has obviously made me feel pretty physically awful the last week, I’ve also had a double whack of the guilt from having to pretty much drop all my responsibilities as a parent to Zachy, as I curled up in bed, dead to the world.

My husband to say the very least had to take the reins of parenting for the week, as well as attempt to look after me, poor guy!

But the week has been insightful for many reasons. First of all, I’ve come to realise just how close our little family of three is. Like links in a chain, I’ve seen how easily our moods can effect each other and effect Zachy, offsetting our usually happy balance.

For example, this was the week where:

Mummy felt ill and was not available for playtime and cuddles = distressed fussy Zachy due to lack of Mummy attention = stressed Daddy who had to deal with the tantrums = stressed Mummy because of stressed Daddy = stressed Daddy because of stressed Mummy = distressed fussy Zachy

But honestly, my husband was a superhero this week. And despite the odd meltdown moments with Zachy, the two of them were a great team and were able to give me lots of rest while I slept in the spare room (aka let me fester away in my grotto of sickness and self-sympathy).

And something very interesting happened this week too! You may recall we’ve been taking steps to night-wean Zachy due to me having a mild case of exhausted-Mummy-meltdown a few weeks ago. The steps, until this last week, had pretty much been one step forward and two steps back with Zachy seeming to actually want to up his feeds. However due to necessity this week, I was banished to the spare room and forced to be separate from my baby. And guess what – Zachy sleeps really well when I’m not around!

Yes, this makes me a little sad that my presence disrupts him, but it reinforces our belief that my presence – my smell (aka food!) – is waking him in the night. We pretty much went cold-turkey (something we didn’t particularly want to do), but Zachy took this on with minimal distress or agitation, and after several nights of solid 10+ hours of uninterrupted sleep, is waking a happy, energetic, lovely little boy!

Now that I am back in our bedroom, he is no longer waking constantly asking for milk – its delightful and I feel like we’ve turned a corner. Feeling much better myself after the flu, I also feel like a blanket of pressure has been lifted because of this. He’s realized that he doesn’t need a boob in his mouth to sleep. Excuse the term, but it’s like he’s kicked the habit!

He still feeds first thing in the morning and downstairs just before bed (we’re not quite ready to give the comfort up altogether just yet), but I’m delighted to see the positive impact more sleep is having on all of us. It was definitely time.

So overall, while it was god-awful week, maybe getting the flu was actually a good thing (yes, forever the optimist). At the very least it was insightful and it’s helped us do something we weren’t sure we were ready to do, but clearly were all ready (Zachy included).

Abbey x

P.s. Next task Mr Zachy…getting you to sit in your pram when we walk to the shops, my busy little friend! ❤


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