Surprise! When you’re a mom you can’t call in sick! There’s no one to call because you are the boss. (In theory, the kids might not know that part). If you’re a stay at home mom or a work from home mom then you know all about this. The workload doesn’t change but your ability to get off the couch is drastically reduced. It’s one of those ‘joys’ of parenthood.
As with any other major disaster, the key to survival is to be prepared. Here are 8 tips to help you get through the day when you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus.
1. Keep a stash of paper plates and plastic cups on hand for emergency use. You don’t want to be doing dishes, but chances are if you don’t wash them then they pile up and up on your counters until the stack is blocking access to the Cheerios box. Forget that. Do yourself a favour and use the disposable dinnerware.
2. Keep a selection of frozen meals and food on hand. Standing over a hot stove while you shake with fever is bonkers. Plan ahead and prep some food that is easily re-heated or microwave-able. You will thank yourself! You can freeze a bag of sandwiches, par-boiled veggies, meat balls and tomato sauce, chicken casserole, quiche and cake. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of not having to think about what’s for dinner. Bonus points if you freeze a meal in a foil pan that you can throw out with the dinnerware!
3. T.V. Netflix. Ipad. Just do it. Hand over the technology to the tiny humans and don’t feel guilty about it. No one will suffer permanent damage from spending a couple of days in front of the tv. Park everyone on the couch or the big bed and try to nap to the sounds of the Octonauts.
4. Make sure everything is within arms reach. Have water bottles for everyone, boxes of kleenex and wipes and snack packs. Baby wipes can handle just about anything, so make sure the garbage can is within tossing distance.
5. Make sure everyone knows which pile of clothes is the clean (ish) pile. Try to ensure everyone has clean underthings, but besides that the laundry will keep. Forever. Because laundry never seems to go away. I haven’t seen the bottom of the hamper in years.
6. Try to have realistic expectations. I’m the queen of unrealistic expectations, so I feel a bit like a hypocrite suggesting this. But whatever. Try to go easy on yourself. It’s ok if the house falls apart for a couple of days.
7. Keep a secret stash of toys or games that the kids don’t know about. New stuff is always slightly more entertaining than old stuff and they might leave you alone for an extra 10 minutes of congested napping.
8. Stories on tape or audiobooks. My boys fight less when we’re listening to stories in the car, I think it’s because they really have to pay attention to hear it. That’s a nice alternative to having the tv on all day.
Ideally you wouldn’t get sick in the first place, but to achieve that you’d probably have to never touch your children. Illness in families is inevitable.
What’s your top tip for getting through a sick day + children?