How necessary is rhythm during illness and how do you keep/create it? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 10-21-2010, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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We’re just coming out of my worst nightmare – myself and my two boys came down with gastro and my husband skedaddled to Europe for a week on a business trip. When I was with my 5 year old the baby screamed … and vice versa. Lucky mum could come to help, but she wasn’t “Mummy”, which meant I was being split in two for a few days whilst my stomach was turning itself inside out.
Rhythm? No way! Ok, this is an extreme scenario (though I shudder to think how I would have gone on my own or with more children), but I’m wondering about next time … how do you keep rhythm during sickness, and what sorts of things can be INTRODUCED into the daily rhythm when children are sick? Obviously it depends on the illness and its severity and age of the children, but it would be interesting to hear some thoughts/experiences.
Just some of my ideas and more questions:
If appetite is a goner, then mealtimes are sometimes replaced by special drink times (e.g. a special herbal brew).
Then of course there are "medicine times" or treatment times (hot water bottles, tummy rubs, etc.).
When the child simply can’t partake in any activity and says they need you to be with them at all times (and you have another that needs the same thing and the dinner needs making) how do you cope with this? In hindsight I could have said ok, I’m here for five minutes, I’ll come back in 10. And just keep that constant backwards and forwards flow.
I’m wondering about the breathing in and breathing out rhythm (for example when they’re well, doing inside/outside play, active/passive) – do you think this expansion/contraction is necessary when children are sick or do you think it’s a constant contraction. Is there a way to do this sensitively? My five year old slept a few times during the day when he was at his worst – I guess this is part of it. I tried to be conscious of having curtains open some times and closed at times of more rest. So I guess there was some rhythm.
Anyway, love to hear ideas.
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#2 of 4 Old 10-22-2010, 06:32 PM
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i'm not sure i understand.

my first aspect would be to consolidate into one space--namely my bedroom, particularly if i was sick. all sick people in one bed.

from there, you can bring in books/stories, a few soft toys, perhaps a puzzle or three, and then make ventures out to the toilet and kitchen as desired.

and that would be my rhythm.

when DS and I were sick a year ago, we spent a lot of time cuddled up in bed, making trips to the toilet and kitchen. mostly, we slept. when not sleeping, we were quietly playing in bed with a bead toy thing, or colors.

so, if i had two kids, i'd probably do the same, particularly so that i'm not rushing between two rooms or moving around a ton, particularly if i need rest too.
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#3 of 4 Old 11-04-2010, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Bit of a delay in replying, sorry. I think I wrote the original post the night before I went into hospital and am recuperating after unexpected surgery – talk about my worst nightmare of having two sick children with gastro and sick myself, temporarily minus a husband, turning simply surreal.
Anyway, yes, I guess I was after ideas for how people see rhythm during sickness and how important people feel it is to maintain some sort of rhythm. Does anyone know if rhythm can be used in a healing way during sickness? Any ideas how this might be nurtured?
Obviously the usual routine often goes out the window as one of the first things to go that seems to be the backbone of our usual rhythm is mealtimes and bedtimes. The rhythm surrounding them can be adhered to to some extent but appetite and ability/need to sleep are often very different at these times, and I often find myself winging it.
I found if we were all together all the time we would go mad, so all being in the same bed didn't work, though I did have my five year old in with me. I think older sick children also need some time to themselves. The younger one just seemed to want to be held all the time. A bit of a mess.
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#4 of 4 Old 11-07-2010, 05:02 PM
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We have a special rhythm to being sick (which is about once or twice a year around our house for some reason)
Ds (7yo) is set up on the couch next to the window with a blanket and small table near him for a cup of tea, a bell (to ring for mama), and some flowers from the garden(very good for sickness). I go about my daily routine, but if he is feeling well enough, I will do a stand-up puppet story as a special treat, or read for a few hours. Sometimes he likes to play with beeswax or do some handwork...
Ds's illnesses usually involve having a high fever for a day and then going away, so this is usually enough rhythm for him, especially if the regular rhythm of the house is still going on around him.
Some of the Waldorf-y books (Festivals, Family and Food, for one) have suggestions for sick kiddos.
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