Tiny Owlet has been unwell again. Again. A mild fever for a couple of days. Poor little one. She just wants to flop. On me. The world just has to stop for a bit until she feels better again. Not so easy when I have bigger owlets needing me to help keep them busy and nourished. I need to keep myself well nourished too, so I can meet Tiny Owlet's needs while retaining my own health and sanity. Days like this, slow days, require a certain big deep breath and letting go. I see them coming and I try to pretend they're not, but some days you just wake up and suddenly you're in the trenches. Maybe it's a sick baby, or a bad mood, or just lack of sleep... As a reminder to me for next time, or perhaps to offer an idea that might help you, here's how we get through it...
Food : I make a huge platter of yummy healthy food. My owlets love raw food and they love grazing. I make sure I include a bunch of protein rich foods, like seeds and nuts, cheese, hommus... It tends to keep us going a bit longer and keep everyone feeling cruisy. Lots of water to keep refreshed and I try to find time for a warm drink or something that makes me feel good.
Plan to do just one thing : One productive thing. Like put a load of washing on, or cut my finger nails. Although the only thing that's really important is that everyone's happy and comfortable, I always feel so much better if I've achieved just one thing. Today I washed the dishes! Woo!
Creative stations : I open the art/craft cupboard and pull some art materials out and leave them on the table for the owlets to find and make something with. Or I put some bubble liquid and bubble blowers on a tree stump outside. Or I leave a pile of colouring pages on a table with a bowl of crayons. Or a pile of picture books.... Something to draw them in while I'm busy elsewhere.
Accept that there will be mess : There will. And they will have had a beautiful time making it, which is the whole point.
Ask them to have a go cleaning the mess up : It can't get that much worse, can it? They might surprise you.
Rest and enjoy the time snuggling : Such precious time. Being completely needed by another person and able to fulfill all their needs with a hug. These days, although hard, pass quickly. You will miss those cuddles.
Accept help from friends : A meal or just a listening ear. It's so good to feel like you're not alone in the trenches.
Accept that the screen will be used for entertainment : Or as a babysitter for a short while. At some point, if I turn my attention away and don't have something for them to move onto, they will probably gravitate towards a screen and although I'd rather they did something else, it's ok. Perhaps it's an opportunity to snuggle up on the couch and watch something together.
Get out for a walk : It perks everyone up. Especially if there's sunshine. The owlets finally put some clothes on and so do I. We get a little oxygen, see some different things, have a chat. The energy changes and the screen habit is broken. Thank goodness for babywearing. Tiny Owlet can stay snuggled while we wander. She nods off quietly as we make our way home...
And wakes up feeling almost her old self again! We survived. And, touch wood, the rest of us are ok too. We'll run a bath , or have a shower and let the day melt away.... Tomorrow will be better. Things will get done, in time. And everyone is feeling happy and nurtured. We are so blessed.
How do you survive days in the trenches at your nest? Do you hunker down and wait 'til it's over? Do you lose the plot a little? Do you slow down and let it wash over you? Do you ask for help? How do you get through 'those' days? xx