I started the summer off with pneumonia. It was the sickest I can ever remember being. Fortunately, I did not have to be hospitalized. But it took weeks to recover.
As any women with children knows, there is no such thing as a true sick day when you are a mom. There are too many responsibilities; little (and big) people counting on you. And you can’t call in sick to your family.
But it is important for you to take care of yourself and get better. Here are some coping strategies:
- Tune in Screen time is monitored very closely in our house. When I am sick, however, I’m willing to bend the rules. As long as my daughter is getting something from it, I feel less guilty about resorting to technology.
- Switch it up My daughter is just starting to read. So, I let her practice when I was sick. It was a quiet activity that enabled me to rest, while she got to practice an important emerging skill. Win-win.
- Play sitting down Board and card games can come in very handy when you are sick. Or let your kids entertain you by putting on a play, puppet show or dance party. They won’t mind if you can’t participate this time, as long as they have an enthusiastic audience.
- Get outside If the weather is nice, it would do you all good to get some fresh air. Why not sit in a chair in the shade and let them run in the sprinkler? Or color on the driveway w/chalk? Play tag in the back yard? Let them get their wiggles out so they don’t get a case of cabin fever while you are recuperating.
- Give yourself a break Even with my low sodium restrictions, I make sure I keep some convenience food on hand. And I’m not above ordering pizza or asking hubby to pick something up on the way home from work. Cooking was not something I did a lot of when I was ill.
- Call for reinforcements If you are really sick, you are going to require help. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Does your spouse or partner have enough PTO to say home with the kids? Could a neighbor or family member come over and watch them? Could they go to a friend’s house to play? As long as they are not also sick (and contagious), you should have some options.
- Save up your time If you work outside the home, it’s likely you use a lot of your PTO taking care of your children when they are sick. And hopefully you get to enjoy some family vacation time. But make sure you set aside a few days for yourself in case you need them.
When I first developed pneumonia, I could not even get out of bed. But once the medicine began to kick in, I was able to employ some of these tips to ensure I got the rest I needed to get back to being healthy.
Many of these are activities you likely engage in regularly with your children. When you are not at your best, they can be lifesavers. Don’t be afraid to rely on them.
How do you handle being sick?