These days, we’re always hearing about the possibility of a major flu pandemic of one kind or another, particularly the swine flu. We’re likely to be particularly concerned if we’re mums who have young children, and from doing everything we can to keep them from getting sick.
This is obviously easier said than done! For working mums, the thought of being involved in some way in this pandemic is all we need, right now, as if there isn’t enough to worry about on a daily basis!
One of the drawbacks of being a working mum is the fact that ordinarily our schedule does not allow for much disruption. We have to continuously balance so many things to ensure that we fulfil all of our working commitments while ensuring our children are well taken care of too. When we watch the news or hear from others the (often very exaggerated) horror stories about swine flu and other potential outbreaks, this only serves to add one more worry to the already long list of worries.
If you find yourself immersed in worry, stress and guilt, it might signal the time to turn to professional coaching or online life coaching to learn from experts and fellow mums who have been there, seen that, got the t-shirt etc.
Swine flu, or H1N1, has been termed a world wide pandemic due to the potential number of human to human transmissions. It is impossible for us to know how it may affect us individually, collectively or how it may effect the systems, processes, and networks or transportation methods that we need to rely on. As such, a working mum needs to focus on what she can do to plan for the worst within these fluid parameters.
It goes without saying that the first thing to do is look at how you can make sure that each member of the family is as healthy as possible. This means keeping up with physical activity, working out, trying to manage stress, eating well, remaining hydrated and getting an optimum amount of sleep. This goes for all members of the family – which includes you! Schedules should be adjusted and habits modified. No longer is it okay to let any of these slide as we need to be as healthy as possible to stave off infection.
We may have to practise a certain amount of “social distancing,” if the swine flu spreads rapidly or mutates. This generally means good hygiene, washing your hands often, using a good hand sanitizers and as difficult as it may seem, try to get yourself and your family out of any habits such as touching your face.
Schools are of course particularly vulnerable and the swine flu is likely to spread quickly in places where children are present. Should schools be closed, you will need to be prepared for the eventuality. This will mean looking into emergency day-care, help from family or friends.
You will need to take a good look at your work situation and see if it would be possible for you to do some of it from home if needed. If your children need nursing then you cannot realistically expect a sitter to be able to this and you should be there anyway to pay close attention to their recovery.
Without going overboard, make sure that you stock up on non-perishable food and other necessities. For example, keep a stock of ready meals in your freezer if you have one. If you are in the UK, I recommend “Cook” foods, which you can order online. All their ready meals are hand cooked with no artificial ingredients. They’re not cheap, but I can vouch for them being delicious and it’s handy to have a selection in. Imagine feeling really poorly but still having to cook meals for you and your family…not conducive to you getting better! You will be grateful of a meal that you can just throw the oven or microwave and still be sure you and your family are eating healthy and nutritious meals!
As a working mum, check to see what your company’s policies and procedures are regarding a potential major outbreak of swine flu. Hopefully your company will be flexible and sympathetic. If you feel that they are not, or want more information about how to deal with an employer in your situation, you could check out coaching for women and help online.
If you or a family member falls ill with the swine flu, pay close attention to the symptoms and what your doctor may advise. Whilst the majority of cases are likely to be mild, be aware of what you should be on the lookout for and have a plan in place to deal with everything appropriately.
Amanda Alexander is the CEO of Coaching Mums. She is a widely renowned ICF accredited coach, who for more than six years, has been providing her services to thousands of working mums from across the Globe in an effort to bring balance back into their lives, help them lose their guilt, show them how to find the time to reinvent their passions, and most of all, to have fun every day! For truly inspiring articles and cutting edge professional coaching tips, sign up to receive our absolutely brilliant free newsletter “Inspire,” right now!