Having a child in the hospital can be one of the scariest things ever for a parent, new or veteran. Our family has been very fortunate in that we are healthy for the most part and only has 2 hospitalizations for our children in 7 years.
Whethere the hospital stays last 1 day or 4 days, there are some things you can do to stay sane.
1. Relax and Unplug - Although it is not most parents dream vacation, is a great time to take a step back and realize what is important in your life. For me, it was all about cuddling relaxing. No computer, no cell phone (for a while) and no phone.
2. Focus on the ill child - I didn't find it beneficial to spend all day calling people and telling them about our ordeal. If you have multiple children, this is one time when that child has your undivided attention. Ask what that child wants to do and take the time to do it together. Whether its coloring, playing with trucks, playing cards or games, or watching movies...let the child lead the day.
3. Other children - Be conscience that you still have other children. Make sure that they feel welcomed when they are coming to visit (if they are allowed) and show them the great things that your facility has to offer. Explain what is wrong with the ill child to the other children and make sure they have their questions answered.
4. Take a few minutes for yourself - While the hospital stay is all about getting your child better, parents need to make sure that they are taking care of themselves. Take a few minutes to shower, brush your teeth and freshen up every day that you are in the hospital. Feeling refreshed will help you make sure you are making educated decisions regarding your child's healthcare.
Remember that hospital stays are temporary and doing what you can to make the stay less stressful will be beneficial for everyone in the family!