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Practical Tips to Stay Organized during March Break – Caregivers Edition

March Break is such a fun time of year! Children are on break from school, and some parents /guardians take vacation time to spend it with them at home or on a trip. There are so many fun activities and ways to spend the week – the possibilities are endless. But this fun time can also interrupt the routine that those living with CF and their caregivers work so hard to build. We asked caregivers in our community to share their best, practical tips to stay organized as a caregiver when it comes to school and vacation, and how they make the most of this time:

“When it comes to school vacations such as March break, organization is definitely key! When my daughter attended traditional school (she is now homeschooled) I made sure I had a plan for our school year holidays. I never took her out of school for vacations during the middle of the year because she had already been missing so many days due to hospitalizations. One thing for sure is that CF never takes a vacation, so making sure you are prepared and packed with all your medications, physiotherapy equipment, etc is important! Never skip treatments while traveling, I found that scheduling our activities around our treatments and physiotherapy instead of the other way around ensures that my daughter is keeping as close to our regular routine as possible without sacrificing our fun and has helped her stay on course and avoid flare-ups. Another big tip is to pack more medication than you anticipate using! I can’t tell you how many times we have had flights delayed and cancelled and didn’t have enough medication for the following days. Above all, have fun on your school vacations it’s a chance for you to have family time and relax together… make every second of this time together count.” – Melissa Gaudenzi

« Je suis mère monoparentale. Je commence souvent ma journée par l’entretien et le ménage. En milieu professionnel, j’avise mes clients de ma situation. Ainsi lorsqu’il arrive que je dois quitter mon travail ou que je ne peux pas participer à un entretien, je peux rejoindre mon garçon à tout moment des qu’il ne va pas bien… L’inconvénient c’est que je n’ai pas de chômage si je ne travaille pas… pour mon plus jeune qui n’est pas fibro-kystique, je dois toujours prévoir avec une amie pour qu’elle  vienne à la maison et le garder. Il est important d’avoir des gens sur qui l’on peut compter. » – Marie-Claire Cadieux

“As a stay at home mom & caregiver to 2 boys with CF ages 8 & 6, March break gives me a great opportunity to spend some extra time on food, physio & exercise. All are so important for staying healthy with CF. Since there is no rush in the mornings, I like to take my time cooking big breakfasts. Bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles – whatever they are enjoying these days. Take some time to plan your meals ahead of time. Make a list with dinners for every night of the week. Do this with your kids and let them be in charge of at least one dinner. They will love it! And if you decide on meals together, there is more of a chance everyone will actually eat them! Make one or two freezer meals ahead of time so you don’t have to cook every night. Do one big grocery shop while they are still in school. There is nothing worse than having to drag all of your kids to the grocery store! Stock up on favourite snacks so they have lots to grab while they are busy playing. Also, plan for some kind of outside time every day. I generally have a rule which is no video games until they have played outside for some time. Talk with your neighbourhood parents and get them on board too. Kids love to go outside and play when they know other kids are too. If yours are too young to play unsupervised, take turns watching them with the other parents. Get their rollerblades/ baseball gloves/soccer balls…whatever they are into, out of their winter hiding places. Having things easily accessible is key. Since I have a 2 year old as well who naturally needs a lot of assistance, I need the boys to be able to transition from physio to food to activities with as little help from me as possible. Lastly, since there is no rush to be anywhere, I like to take some extra time with physiotherapy and make it fun. We turn sets of PEP into challenges that could earn screen time, candies, or small toys (stocking up on trinkets from the dollar store can create a lot of excitement here!) March break is a great time for CF families to enjoy the rigorous daily routines without the rush that school days can bring.” – Sasha Haughian



Do you have insights you would also like to share? To be featured on our blog, please contact Barbara at social@cysticfibrosis.ca

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