“My Child is Sick”: An Opportunity For Connection
We have all been there. A busy week of work, appointments, or simply the long to do list. It starts in the middle of the night. The fussy, crying, or agitated child. You go in their room and feel their head and notice that is warm. First thought…”oh no.”
The night turns out to be rough and the next day is no different. From a non stop nursing baby to a toddler that needs you constantly. Maybe it is an older child that requires more time. You are making soup, tea, snuggling them etc. All the while you realize you don’t have time for this…couldn’t they get sick another time? Well, there is no convenient time for illness. Trust me. Next week would have been an equally bad time for you, and them.
Illness never fits into anyone’s schedule. Even our own illnesses we often ignore and muscle through. The anxiety and maybe slight irritation escalate when you realize everything you had planned for this day (or the next 3) is being placed on hold. Here are a few things to remember to keep it all in perspective:
Your child doesn’t like being sick either. As much as this doesn’t fit into your schedule, your child doesn’t like it either. They would rather be doing something else as well.
Your child needs you: Remember when you were sick and all you wanted was your parents. Somehow just their presence made you feel better.
Prioritize: Are the lists of things to take care of and get done really more important than your child who needs you? I get it…we are all trying to stay afloat and keep up with the never ending list of tasks. If you sit back and look at the larger picture, you won’t remember the laundry, errand, or assignment you didn’t get done. You will remember being their for your child and even more importantly your child will remember that you were there.
It’s a good time to connect and bond: While not ideal, this is a great time to snuggle together, read stories, talk, etc. Your child isn’t at school and everything you had to do was put on hold as well. May as well make the most of it.
These moments are a great time to connect and nurture your child. Even older children (and many adults) like to have their parents around when they are sick. For those of you with a teenager, this may be a great time to reconnect for a bit. Instead of seeing these moments and inconvenient, look at them as opportunities to spend one on one time with your child.
Claudia Glassman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Play Therapist, and Parent Coach. Mighty Oak Parenting was started as a way for her to share all the things she learned from being a therapist as well as a parent. Her vision is to share her knowledge and bring awareness to the importance of the relationship that we have with our children.
**Disclaimer: This blog is the opinion of an individual and is not to be construed as professional advice or a professional relationship. If you are seeking mental health advice contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency, head to your nearest emergency room or call 911