Taking a sick day used to sound so fun. You get to drink 7-Up, shuffle around in pajamas, and spend all day watching movies. Great, except for the part where you feel terrible.
Once you have kids, being sick becomes a whole new reason for concern. There are no paid sick days for moms, and sick babies are pretty much the saddest thing ever. The photo is Lane with a cold on Christmas morning last year.
I’m trying to go into cold and flu season prepared this time. Here are a couple of things I’m doing to keep us healthy:
1. A ridiculous amount of hand washing.
Maybe 10 to 15 times a day with a bar of soap, plus whenever we come home after being in public. I think hand washing is what protected me when my coworkers refused to take sick days. (Which reminds me… people, please take sick days. No one wants to worry every time you cough in the next cubical or sneeze on their stapler. It’s not worth it.)
When someone in our family shows the first signs of illness, I go around and disinfect the germ-prone surfaces with isopropyl rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. I wipe the light switches, door knobs, phone, keyboard, faucets, and anything else that might have hidden germs lurking.
3. Salt water.
My granny’s remedy for sore throats is tried and true: dissolve a spoonful of salt into a cup of warm water and gargle with it. The salt cleanses and helps soothe your throat. If you do it a few times when you first start feeling a sore throat, it can keep it from getting worse.