Sicknotes: Five Ways to Cope With Being Ill When You’re a Mum

Sicknotes: Five Ways to Cope With Being Ill When You’re a Mum

Why is it that when your baby starts sleeping for longer than two hours at a time the mother of all illnesses slaps your arse into a catatonic state?

You’d think that now some reasonable sleep blocks of 4/5 hours at a time have kicked in (epic feeling btw, you’ll get there. I know, I didn’t believe anyone either, in fact, I resented everyone really hard for saying it) but yes, now the s word is becoming addressed, life and energy levels should surely, sore skywards…

…and yet, I feel like I’m rapping on death’s door with the muggy mess of a Spring-time cold.

The last 8 months have been filled with my own musings on how incredible the female body is, and that breastfeeding may have somehow protected me from picking up any bugs, until now. Not only is it awesome for babies but I’m convinced it has this protective quality over mums too (based on no evidence other than my own post-natal health). Or perhaps I’ve just been anti social enough to side step the germs that accompany all play groups?

Either way, now the bugs have set up their safari inside my sinuses and don’t I just know it!

Functioning on minimal, broken sleep is hardly challenging enough but throw an illness into the mix and it’s next level.

A bit like the early days of motherhood. Here are some survival tips to clutch onto:

1. Accept any and every offer of help

Be it your mum/sister/cousin/best-friend, chucking a load of washing on or replacing the cushions on the sofa, the little things can really help.

2. Vitamin C in all its ingestible forms

Oranges, lemons… fruit cake? Possibly not, but still, it’s bound to make you feel happy and that’s worth it alone!

3. Catch up on sleep

Or at least rest whenever and wherever possible (10 mins in the car, parked up, listening to your favourite radio show, it all counts towards recovery)

4. Be a party pooper

Poop all extra social engagements this week, your friends will get it. And if they don’t then chuck them off the “best”, list and call the remainder for some sympathy.

5. Eat healthily

It is such a cliche, I know, but all those extra vitamins in fruit and veg are key right now to your mum-resurrection.

And if all else fails repeat the following phrase until better, “this too shall pass”. This simple little saying has gotten me through the hardest stages of parenthood to date.


Freyja is a first time mum to baby Max, finding her way in the fog or parenthood. Lover of dogs, and running her own eco cleaning business in Norfolk, any ‘’spare’’ hours are given to writing freelance, however, there’s always time for a chat and some fresh air adventures.

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