I hate when kids are sick.

As a father of two, I believe one of the worst feelings I get is when my kids are sick.  I feel awful about it because I can’t do anything to make them feel much better.  My girls are 4 and almost 2 and I believe I need to figure out a way to cope with them being sick because naturally as part of life, I have a lifetime of illnesses that I will be dealing with.

The reason this came to mind is because my oldest one is currently sick and spent all day yesterday just laying there.  Mrs. Z took good care of her, but at work, I  was thinking about her all day.  It definitely stresses me out and distracts me from other items I’m trying to accomplish.

So as an experienced Dad of 4.5 years… what are the techniques you won’t be able to find anywhere else to make a sick child feel better?  Feeding them ice cream and letting them watch movies all day.  My philosophy of being sick, is medicine doesn’t do much of anything.  The real healer is time.  Unfortunately, when my kids are sick, I get impatient.  I think I am older, I can tolerate the grogginess, fever, cold, runny nose, sore throat.  I know kids are tougher than you think, maybe tougher than adults, but as a parent, natural instinct is to protect them.  When they are sick, I feel like I haven’t done my job as a parent from protecting them from germs.  I know this is all crazy talk, but I tend to be a bit of worry wort when it comes to certain things.

So how can I, as a parent, feel less guilty about kids being sick?  How can I go about my day doing the daily functions without having a dark cloud over my head?  Since I believe I understand life pretty well, I have come to the following conclusion to try to make me feel less anxious about this particular situation.

Kids being sick is out of our control most of the time.  And my personal philosophy is that anything that is out of out control, you can’t worry about.  It’s tough not to worry, I get it.

For instance, I begin to think about the ramifications of the oldest one being sick, than the younger one will probably be sick, daycare solutions can be a problem because we don’t want others to get sick, appetites are not the same, deciding what medicine to provide to them, should we send them to a doctor.  The worries and decisions seem to be endless when you constantly think about it.

But, if I take a step back and try to think about it again.  You can’t control your kid being sick.  It takes time to get better.  If you spend time worrying, will this make your child feel better?  No, and I understand this.  You do your best as a parent, provide everything you can.  There is no magic wand I can wave to make her feel better instantly and not be sick.  I will do what every parent has the ability to do which is love her.

Max 10.01.2013

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I hate bad news…

I know when to lean on my bride to be for support and unfortunately, today was one of those times – I received a phone call today from my mom.  It started with her saying, “Max please don’t worry, everything is okay and don’t freak out.”

How am I supposed to react to something like that?  How am I supposed to stay calm when someone close to you starts a conversation like this?  My heart begins to race, I feel sick – so I need to know what is going on as fast as possible.  My mom and I have always been very close.  She raised me as a single mom and I was an only child.  The close family I grew up with have been my grandpa, grandma, and my mom.

As it seems like days go by before she tells me what is going on, I think back to the end of May of this year.  I received a similar phone call that started the same way. “Max you need to come home right away because I can’t watch the girls today,” she continued on to say “your grandma has not gotten out of bed all day and she has slept most of the day.”  I remember panicking in that instant.  My grandma has been in bad medical shape for the past couple of years and I won’t go into the laundry list of issues and medical conditions she has to deal with, but let’s just say we have been fortunate enough to have her make it this far along.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her for 29 years now and have spent more time with her than most people get to with their grandparents.  Although, I knew how bad of a medical condition she has been in recently, to receive a phone call, letting me know that they will be taking her to the ER by ambulance is still difficult.  I remember leaving work right away and coming home.  I have about a 30 minute commute home.  And I remember now as I drove how I felt and what I thought.  Is this it for her?  Will she not make it this time?  What was the last thing I said to her?  Why didn’t I go see her one more time?  What’s my grandpa going to do without her?  Is she suffering right now?  I found out that day that my grandma was going to be okay, and it was just another scare.

Back to my moms phone call.  She began with, “Your grandpa fell last night and we spent the night at the hospital.  Ambulance picked him up.”  I begin to panic and can barely breathe.  My grandpa has been like a Dad to me.  Him and I are close, as close as a grandchild can be with a grandpa.  I’m also getting married next week, the only person I need to make sure is there is him.  Is he not going to make it to next week?  “He scrapped up his knees, broke his shoulder, busted him arm and it will take 6 to 8 weeks to recover.”

Sigh of relief by me.  As bad as it is for an 85 year old to take a bad fall, at least it was only his shoulder.  It could have been much worse.  He will still be there for our special day next week.  I know my grandpa, and he wouldn’t miss this for anything.  What is the lesson of all of this?

Well for one, I know that I hate bad news… I hate receiving phone calls that start with “Don’t freak out but…”  And no matter what, it is difficult to deal with them.  But what I attempt to do is stay positive.  Stay energetic.  Don’t let bad news bring you down.  Learn a way to calm your nerves.  Take deep breaths.  Call your significant other to lean on, because these are the times that you most need each other.  So Thank You to my better half for being there today.  Tomorrow is another day.

08.28.13 – Max

Afternoon Work Nap

Work advice from a Dad.  I am a financial analyst for a manufacturing company.  One of the most difficult things to everyone’s job is finding the motivation to get going in the morning, in the afternoon and late afternoon, or perhaps late night hours.  Sometimes, you are coming back from an extended weekend on a Tuesday and have a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  Perhaps some people are just ready to go everyday, they have had their cup of coffee and are off to the races.  This happens to me sometimes but than lunch time comes around.  You have co-workers wanting to go out and eat the unhealthy garbage of fast food.  Where once you come back, you feel like your head is about to hit the keyboard.

I am also a Dad and future Husband.  When I get home from work, I use the remainder of my energy to make or help with dinner, spend time with my daughters, and love my fiance.  This makes for an exhausted person once I’m ready for bed.  Here is my advice that I sometimes do to overcome the afternoon crash or find some motivation to get “stuff” done.  Instead of running to lunch, I will decide to go to my car for a quick nap.

Who wouldn’t love a nap everyday during their busy work day?  I know when I get a chance, I absolutely love it.  I decide to put on some relaxing tones in the background and quickly I fall asleep for approximately 45 minutes.  Something that has helped me drift off and relax is some hypnosis tracks that seem to work.  Once I get my relaxation, I come back to work, I feel re-energized and am ready to finish off the day with a productive afternoon.  Although I can come back to work feeling re-energized, sometimes it seems that I can come back to work after a lunch nap and feel completely UN-motivated and feeling that the nap has actually brought me down.  This can absolutely happen but I believe if you train yourself by taking naps for a certain period of time to really relax your muscles, relax your brain, disconnect yourself from the world for even 20 to 30 minutes – you can reap huge benefits.

Not everyone has the opportunity to take afternoon naps at work.  I think it should be required.  If you don’t have a chance, is there anyway you can perhaps get it implemented at work place?  More and more companies are trying to improve the workplace to make the employee happy.  I believe giving them a chance to nap should definitely be an option.  If you have a chance to try this out instead of stuffing your face with Big Macs or Whoppers with co-workers, give it a shot and let me know how you feel.

Max 08.14.13