Valentine’s Day approaches, fellow Albuquerque moms. The aisles at the grocery glow pink and red, bursting with chocolates and stuffed animals. Commercials show couples having romantic meals and walks, giving and receiving jewelry. Even a mom and dad deep in the trenches of parenting may hire a babysitter for a kid-free night.
Just one problem. Valentine’s Day stands right in the middle of cold and flu season.
If your family is anything like mine, there’s a good chance that your Valentine plans will be interrupted by the dreaded words, “Mommy, I don’t feel so good!” Or maybe the kids will be fine, while you and your husband are stricken with the flu.
Fear not, Albuquerque moms! Valentine’s Day can still be a time to celebrate and build up your family’s loving relationships.
Here are some ways you can handle an illness-related change in plans:
Adjust your expectations
As I type this, my husband and I have recently had to cancel not one but two dates due to family illness. I spent a full day discouraged about losing something I had wanted so much.
When I was able to stop and pay attention to what we did have, I realized that I quite enjoyed watching episode after episode of Psych with my husband, even if it was punctuated by our coughs. I enjoyed relaxed days with no outings other than a run to the grocery for medicine.
Take care of each other
Wedding vows usually include “in sickness and in health.” That covers big things like surgery
and smaller things like a stomach bug.
When you’re helplessly sick, it feels so good to have someone take care of you! To have someone bring you hot water with honey and lemon, or a bagel, or a fun video to watch. Appreciate it from your husband and look for ways to do the same for him.
When you’re at the grocery getting medicine, you can pick up your husband’s favorite snacks. The two of you can trade off sleeping in.
What would mean more to you this February–roses or an extra hour of sleep when you’re sick? I thought so.
Take care of your kids
Taking loving care of your kids when they’re sick can create beautiful memories. I can still remember how comforted I felt when my mom read to me when I was sick, and I want to do that for my kids.
Since I’ve lost my voice with this batch of illnesses, I haven’t been able to read to my kids, but I’ve kept my daughter supplied with audiobooks. You can check them out for free from the library!
You can also check out movies to amuse feverish kids.
Take care of yourself
When hit by a fever and aches, I gave myself permission to wear pajamas all day. (This might not have been noticeable to an outsider, since I live in sweatpants. Also, if you usually wear pajamas all day, that’s cool too.) I took naps. I drank tea with honey to soothe my sore throat. I stood in patches of Albuquerque’s abundant sunlight to soak up some warmth.
Love is something to celebrate, in sickness and in health.
Just remember to reschedule your date!