The winter comes every year and every year your kids get sick. If it is bad and you have multiple kids then the virus will run through the house slowly and by the end you and your spouse want to die!
This winter has been mild in Ohio and really it is just getting started. Already though our kids have thrown up, had fevers, coughs, runny noses and strep throat. Our family is not atypical so I imagine many of you have had similar experiences. The stress is up because your missing work or because your spouse is exhausted from all the extra time invested in kids. Stress also comes because your schedules thrown off and your not getting much sleep. Sickness in the family always wears a family out!
Dads what if we realize that this is a time to bond with our kids and a time to be a hero. Okay wait before you write me off as “special” here me out.
Two tips to be the family hero when sickness invades:
1. Commit to serve the kids without it being an interruption.
This is a time when your kids just want to be cared for, held and need your attention. They just need you to sit with them and help them find comfort. I know it throws our schedules off and keeps us from keeping the house clean, weird smells even start to invade our homes. The pay off is priceless though. Your kids feel and experience your love for them and they grow in confidence that you will always be there for them. Isn’t this just what our kids need. This sounds easy but it is tough when all the outside pressures exist. Determine ahead of time that you will not see this as an interruption but rather a blessing. A blessing that you get to tangibly show your kids how much you love them.
2. Commit to serve your spouse however she needs.
If your wife is the one the kids want to comfort them then she is going to be exhausted. More than likely she won’t get much sleep at night and she is going to feel awful. She will probably feel dirty all the time with all the throwing up and the snot. This is the opportunity to step in and be the hero. Serve her in whatever way you can. This may mean bribing the sick kid so you can hold them while mommy goes and takes a hot bubble bath. Or it may be that you are doing the laundry to keep clean sheets and clothes around the house. Perhaps it is running out late at night to find medicine or calling your wife to tell her you are bringing home dinner. The idea is to lower expectations and release the pressure she already feels. Your wife will she your commitment to the family and be deeply encouraged. The pay off again will be priceless.
Realize the key in all of this is to do it willingly and voluntarily. Your wife and kids will ask for your help when they need it but will probably feel like they are bothering you. They know how busy you are and don’t want to be a burden. If you can serve them voluntarily and when they don’t expect your family will survive the winter invasion of sickness. Not only will your survive but your family will be stronger and the love between you and your wife will be even stronger.
Commit now to be the hero when the sickness invades by serving your wife and kids with a generous spirit and you will come out the hero!