To stay-at-home parents: when did you feel well enough to watch your children again?

My husband was diagnosed with VM yesterday. The doctors gave the standard response of a two week recovery - but from what I've read today it looks like that is unlikely.

He is typically a stay-at-home dad to a 1 year old and a 2 year old - so very little downtime. If you are a stay-at-home parent who had VM, how long did it take you to feel well enough to care for your children all day again?

I don't have a lot of daytime help and am trying to figure out the best strategy to let my husband heal. I wish I had the money for day care until he is 100% well but I don't.

If it matters, in addition to the headache and nausea, he had many of the "stroke-like" symptoms including numbness on one side of the body, memory problem, and speech problems.

Thank you very much.

3 Replies

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  • Hi there I'm so sorry to hear about your poor sick husband. I have a 16 month old who had just turned one when I was diagnosed with VM. I would normally be at work with baba in the crèche and although I would have loved to spend the extra time with him, it was April before I was even well enough to collect him early from crèche, I just had no strength and wasn't able to watch him or play with him properly which I found very upsetting. I think it was mid April before I was able to get him early afternoon and be able to look after him until my husband came home. I went back to work end of April and have been sick several times with tonsillitis and various things. It is really only the last few weeks feeling back to myself since January. So if possible try and get someone to help you with the kids to give your husband proper recovery time. I slept most of the day for weeks. If you have any questions please come back to me.

  • I am so sorry to hear this. and how lovely of you to be seeking out help for him. I had VM this March. I am a stay at home mum, with my own business. My business has severely suffered, well stopped all together. And i still struggle daily to look after my little boy aged 3. My partner was out of work to start with, so i was very lucky that for the first few weeks, I was able to sleep and rest guiltlessly! but he started back at work about 5 weeks ago now. I feel a complete burden to him, he has no understanding of how i feel. and thinks I am milking the 'I have been very ill' card. On his days off I have to beg him to get up with our son, and do the household things so i can sleep. Its awfull I fell such a burden, and waste of space. and to top it off i hate not being there for my son, i feel like my life has come to a stand still. The past week or so I have been feeling much better, and had a few days out with my little boy, and doing more. However two or three busy days will do me in for the next few days. The only advice i can give you is to be as patient and understanding as possible. Also i have had memory problems, speech slurring, eye sight loss, i was re-admited about four weeks ago now. Turns out I had encephalitis aswell. perhaps look into this. Hoe his recovery goes well, and a stress-less for you as possible. xx

  • Hi, I felt I just had to reply to your post. I'm a stay-at-home Mum and had Viral Meningitis in January this year. My little girl is 3 and my baby was only 4-1/2 months old at the time and is 9 months now. I can only advise on how things were/are for us, but remember everyone is different. With such young children I will say that you're probably in for a tough old road ahead, but please believe me that it will get better, it will get easier, and you just have to try to stay strong and try to get through it as a family. I'm not trying to scare you, just reassure you that no matter how tough it gets, it will improve.

    We were very lucky indeed that my parents are retired and helped us out enormously-don't know what we would have done without them! First and foremost, ask anyone you can for help, and accept all offers of help. My husband has had to take some time off work, and work more flexible hours (we were very lucky his company were great with this!)

    I was unable to do anything for 2 weeks. I was then unable to look after my children on my own for at least 4 weeks after that, and my parents came up everyday. I didn't leave the house for 5 or 6 weeks-completely impossible! I got up to do as much as I could, as I missed spending time with my children, but sometimes even half an hour feeding my baby and then I would struggle to even walk back upstairs! This is a very nasty illness-don't underestimate it! I felt like such a burden on my entire family (in fact I posted a question myself about that very issue if you're interested in reading about my experience and the responses I received!)

    I also found that I kept thinking I was better, would step back into my usual busy routine with the kids, and then find myself unable to move or do anything and be back in bed for a week-it keeps tricking you! I'm not a lazy person, and I feel I've fought very hard against this illness, as my baby was so young and needed me so much, but sometimes your mind is willing, but your body just says no!!

    I would say after about 4 months, the good days started outweighing the bad, and things became a bit easier. Even now after 5 months, I have to be careful what I do, as the extreme fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and killer headaches can sneak up after a busy/stressful few days!

    I'll reiterate my advice of accepting any help you can, and say that you will all just need to take one day at a time-remember that yesterday is gone, and maybe tomorrow will be easier!

    I really do wish you and your family lots of luck with your husband's recovery, and I'm sending lots of love to you all.

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