Oh no! Mama’s sick!

Wednesday , 28, August 2013 3 Comments

When mom is sick 6

I must confess since I found out I was pregnant, the Goober has watched an embarrassing amount of television. I’m not anti-television before 2 (obviously), but I definitely believe in moderation. However, in those first 12 weeks dealing with morning sickness, the Goober watched more tv than his usual 1 hour per day. And I was okay with that, I pushed through when I could, made sure we got a bit of time playing outside on the porch when the weather cooperated, went on several playdates a week, did arts and crafts, but even pushing through as much as I could, sometimes the tv monster was all I could manage.

I’ve since made it through the worst of my morning (all day) sickness, but my suppressed immune system combined with an active- germ prone toddler means that I have caught twice the number of colds and illnesses that I did with pregnancy numero uno (and I’m only half way through this pregnancy). I’m starting to feel guilty about the amount of television the goober has been getting so I thought I would search out low stress, easy activities that the goober can do while I recuperate on the couch. My search however turned up a lot of crafts and activities that require way more effort than a sick mama like me can manage. My requirements for keeping the Goober busy involve 1) minimal clean up for mama (so activities like finger painting, yogurt painting, cloud dough, etc are out), 2) minimal set up/mama interaction (aka no projects that require a ton of adult supervision/ assistance or building things so none of this, this, or this), 3) doesn’t involve trips to the store or things I wouldn’t already have lying around the house, 4) must be age appropriate for the Goober (who’s roughly 18 months).

Here’s my list of TV- free toddler activities that a sick mama like me can actually manage:

  • Suitcase Exploration: pull out a suitcase (preferably one with lots of zippered pockets to explore) and put a few clothing items and toys in it. Let the kiddo explore.

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  • Laundry Basket exploration– Just finished washing and drying your clothes? Let the kiddo explore the laundry basket. No guilt, mama, you weren’t feeling up to putting those clothes away anyway.

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  • Shoes– bring a basket of your husband and your shoes into the playroom and let the kiddo practice pulling them on and walking around.

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  • Flashlights– my kiddo can play for almost half an hour with a flashlight (Just make sure he or she can’t access the batteries)

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  • Music– my kid loves to dance so pulling up Pandora or Spotify is a sure way to kill a quick 30 minutes, though if I’m fighting a migraine or bad headache, this activity doesn’t fly.
  • Special/New Toy– the Goober has a ton of toys and I keep a box hidden so that when needed I can pull one out that he hasn’t seen in a long time or is new to him as a special treat or new distraction.
  • Crayons and a Box– I’m not big on arts and crafts when sick, simply because it takes a lot of mommy supervision to keep the little man coloring on appropriate surfaces. Jessie Stansberry of the blog Berry Sweet Baby solved this one for me, with this post on putting her son in a large cardboard box to color with crayons. Love it! The kiddo is in his happy place (is there any kid who doesn’t love boxes?) and his artwork is confined!

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  • Change rooms– move from the playroom to a different one (hubby can deal with the mess later). When your kiddo is sick and tired of the same old scene, sometimes a change is just the thing. Our bedroom has a kids zone where we read our bedtime stories, so it makes a great place to hang out when the playroom is all played out. Other options could be the backyard/nursery or even the kitchen, though I find the backyard/kitchen require a lot more supervision.

Some other resources for tv free playtime for sick mommies, though many require thinking and preparation ahead of time (aka before you are sick) in order to be useful when needed:

What are your go-to toddler activities when you are fighting a cold and wishing parents could take sick days?

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  • […] bit more tv than I would like to admit.  I do plan on implementing a few of Allies ideas from this post in the next few weeks.  AND my mom is coming to visit for a week.  […]

  • MomaJoyce says:

    I always saved plastic bottle caps /jar lids in a plastic mixing bowl with lid-or oatmeal container with lid- you kids love playing with them for hours it seemed- making trains/stacking/lining them up in a row/etc
    hope you feel better soon

  • […] For ways to keep your little ones entertained during this period, check out Allie’s post here! […]

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