It’s winter time in the Midwest which means for most medically complex families it’s also a time of isolation — a time to avoid public places where viruses and germs are so easily shared.
For so many of us the common flu or RSV virus lands our precious little ones in the PICU where IV’s, nose swabs, airway treatments, and antibiotics surround us. And for the parents any sickness can lead us toward exhaustion and cripple us with fear.
Which is why it’s so important to have a game plan for winter isolation!
The months crawl by as we skip out of basic outings like attending church, MOPS, or grocery shopping; yes, mothering medically fragile children can be difficult but we must choose joy and choose creativity and make the best of our wintertime — it’s important for our own mental health and our children’s development!
Here are 5 ways I try to beat the wintertime blues when we’re in isolation:
- Country drives: when the weather is cold but we desperately need sunshine and a change of scenery we hop in the car and explore the countryside or a nearby town. Sometimes, I park by the river and hop in the backseat and read to Uriah while we watch the river pass by.
- Coffee drive-thru: Wonderful invention! Sometimes a little coffee or lunch picked up without going inside is just what the week needs! I often try to budget my fun money so I can treat myself during our daily drives to therapy.
- Initiate friendships and invite people over: Hospitality has been one of the most challenging and yet enriching projects I’ve worked on since Uriah came home from the NICU. I serve coffee and tea and friends bring any goodies they feel like having; then we play games or just visit. We live in such an isolated society and it’s important to be the initiators of friendships.
- Check out local parks and conservation areas: This is a free and fun way to get sunshine; in my spare time I like to look for conservation parks and plan morning trips with Uriah. I consider it both exercise and sensory play to get out of the house and explore!
- Order groceries online: This is another great invention and I am so grateful for it. I spent the first several months after Uriah came home from the NICU saving my errands for when Dalton was home and could watch Uriah. But that wasn’t practical; now, I order weekly and pick up our groceries on the way home from therapy.
Even though we desperately want to keep away from germs sometimes we just have to go places and that’s okay! We’ve had pretty good success with my portable jar of disinfectant wipes and Germ X I carry everywhere. I wipe down tables, highchairs, and anything Uriah may touch.
Thank you for stopping by my blog; I’m always amazed by the sweetness you give when you take the time to read about our lives and what Christ is doing in them.
And if you are a mom who spends most of her time away from people or places you love in order to keep your medically fragile child safe I applaud you and give you an online hug. I know it isn’t easy!
If ever you are lonely or need prayers please send a message! I would love to connect!
Love and blessings!