As a working mum there are days when it just feels hard to keep going and to keep juggling; especially when all you want to do is retreat back under your duvet and stay there for the rest of the day because you’re ill.

This week has definitely been right up there in terms of wanting to retreat.

Taking care of yourself by Nicola J Rowley Founder of the Working Mum Association

But as with all things, I’ve had to try and balance the need to rest and listen to my body and the need to get through as much as possible within the timeframe I’ve had and to be there for my son.

By Tuesday of this week, I was down to just a vocal squeak and was swallowing razor blades. Thankfully my earlier bout of viral conjunctivitis was on its way out – but having both of those combined meant a very poorly me indeed. And it was a good reminder of how much as a working mum we still have to do, no matter how unwell we feel.

The need to get some additional support at times like these is so important. Not only does it allow you time out to recuperate even for just a little bit, but it means you’re more likely to get better sooner.

I don’t think there’s anything worse than when both yourself and your child are simultaneously struck down with the same lurgy and feel just as bad as each other. It’s at times like these that I wish we had a magic wand that could be instantly waved so everything can return to normal.

But magic wands aside, there are some coping strategies that you can adopt to make the whole illness scenario feel not quite as painful as it could be.

If you can muster the energy, move both of your duvets downstairs and lie underneath them preferably on separate sofas. It can feel like a real novelty and a bit of an adventure even for a poorly little one and it allows you to be in the same room as them should they need you.

Jelly. For as long as I can remember, no matter how awful I was feeling as a child, my mum would always make me a jelly. It’s of course a pure comfort food, but I’ve introduced the same for J and he knows if he’s ever ill, jelly will be coming. The thing is, yes, its pure sugar and water, but then when you or your little one is poorly and not eating, it’s a great way to ensure you both stay hydrated. And they will love you for it too.

I always said that when J grew up he wouldn’t be watching lots of television but if there’s illness in the house, there is a great selection of educational programmes that will keep everyone entertained. I’m thinking here of Numberblocks and Alphablocks in particular – that way at least they’re still vaguely taking on board easy Maths and phonics even if they are missing days from school.

Rest. This is by far the most important thing you can do where at all possible. Sometimes it’s easier said than done when you’re both ill, but see if your partner or a friend/family member can pop in if need be to take over on the care duties, and if you’re contagious and can’t even venture outside, then try and encourage quiet time.

I have to say that after this week, I’ll be glad to see the end of the illness, and now that we’re heading towards spring, hopefully that will be the end of the deluge of winter style bugs.

Hopefully when all is said and done, you have an understanding boss or company who has been sympathetic to your need to either work from home if your child has been off ill, or if you have too.

Illness is your body’s way of saying it needs to rest and the most important thing that all of us have, is our health. So please respect it and look after yourself as much as you can.

Sending lots of support your way… x