Do you ever want to call in sick? How do you take care of your children when you’re sick?
It was Tuesday morning around 9:00 in the morning and I was in a terrible mood and running late, which is not like me.
I happened to get behind the one and only work truck on the road that was not driving 100 mph!
Instead, we were going 25 … in a 40! Any other day, fine! But today I was running late.
You see I joined this bible study a few weeks ago and I probably chose this one for all the wrong reasons. This was the only class that was less than 2 hours long and only ran 6 weeks instead of 8. Hey, don’t judge! This is my first bible study!
All of the women are great, but they are all older than me and they are all there and ready to go at least 15 minutes early. After getting my kids on the bus and eating, I am lucky if I get there before 9:30. Which is when it starts.
So back to Tuesday morning …
I was walking really slowly into bible study and there was another woman on my heels. We were both running late, but she was trying to be “courteous” and not pass me on the stairs. So I turned to her and said, “you are welcome to pass me, I am slow this morning. Getting over a cold,” and I did that thing with my hands where I run them in a circle in front of my face like that would help her understand.
And that is what I thought, that I was getting over a cold. My sore throat started on the Sunday before, I felt fine Monday, and then by Tuesday just a little tired and grumpy. But I was getting over it.
I remember thinking how awesome I was because I only had my cold for 3 days! God was probably laughing at me when I had that thought because…
Little did I know.
Tuesday night things got really bad again and I woke up Wednesday with another sore throat but also everything else that goes along with it. The stuffy nose, headache, body aches, you name it, I had it.
My kids are both in school every day…thank goodness because I have had this horrible cold like thing going on now for about a week.
My limbs feel like they are made of lead and my head and nose feel like they have been stuffed with, well….lots of gross stuff. Which is exactly what is in there. Yuck!
I got to thinking about the days when my babies were home with me and how awful it was to be sick with little ones home.
Getting up at night with your baby when all you want to do is take a Nyquil and sleep!
Having to play and be fun, nice mommy all day when your head is pounding, your throat hurts and you just want someone to love on you for a change!
So I decided to put together a list of things that can help you get through those awful days when you just want to go back to bed! Because as a mom, you don’t have the luxury to call in sick!
Keep in mind that I am writing this while I am still sick, just woke out of a Nyquil coma and the fog has definitely not cleared yet. So if things don’t make sense, blame the Nyquil!
Since you can’t ‘call in sick’ when you’re home with kids…
Tip 1: Take medicine
I know a lot of people don’t want to take medicine because maybe it makes you feel funny or foggy or you just don’t like taking over the counter meds. But since you can’t call in sick, if you want to make it through the day, then you just gotta do what you gotta do sister!
Sudafed for the congestion, an antihistamine for the sneezing and runny nose. Advil for the aches and pains. Get it into your system and get it in there early!
Another great thing to try is a nose spray like Nasonex or Flonase. Or if you like the more natural side of things, try a Neti Pot or a saline nose spray. They will help reduce the swelling in your sinuses so you don’t have as much pressure up there.
Tip 2: Make sure you have help
At night, you may normally be holding the reigns when the kids wake up crying because dad has to go to work in the morning. But guess what, this one time, dad can help out. The more sleep you get the faster you will get over this illness. And then he will be off the hook again!
If you just can’t muster up the energy and you truly need a ‘sick day’, if dad can’t help out, then try asking a friend or family member for some help. If not at night, then during the day so you can lay down for an hour and sleep.
Tip 3: Take advantage of Electronics!
I know everybody wants to keep their kids away from electronics. Heck, I do too. It is seriously an addiction my kids have!
But when you are sick, electronics may be the closest you come to calling in sick! Electronics can be your BEST friend! Find something they love to watch, listen to, or play… give them a snack they can’t choke on and a sippy cup filled with anything to keep them happy. Tell them they cannot leave the room. Then tune out for a little while, while they are occupied! You don’t have to be the perfect mom all the time!
Tip 4: Keep your phone close
Just in case of an emergency, keep your phone close to you. That way if something happens with your kids or with you, you will be able to call someone without walking across the house!
Tip 5: When you are up, make it count!
When you are sick, whether it is with a fever or you just are sick and don’t want to get off the couch, you need to make every movement count! Ask the kids if they need anything while you are up and tell them that once you are laying down again, that you will not get back up to get them anything.
Tip 6: Just let it go!
Seriously, let everything go for a while. I know you still have to take care of your kids when you are sick, but everything else can most certainly wait. You do not need to clean up, cook dinner, do laundry, or run errands when you are sick! Just rest! Then you can get back to it as soon as you feel better.
Tip 7: Figure out what helps
I know that when I get a sore throat I like to drink hot tea with honey in it. And since I don’t like drinking caffeine in the afternoon, I will switch over to hot water and honey. Either way, the honey always seems to help my throat.
BUT, my kids are nothing like me! Go figure!
My daughter likes drinks with ice when she has a sore throat and my son likes just plain old hot water all day long.
The point? Figure out what can help you get through the day. Oh and gargling with salt water works for a lot of people, so maybe try that!
Tip 8: Try out some herbal remedies
I am allergic to echinacea, but I do use some zinc supplements if I start to feel a tickle in my throat. I also give my kids Elderberry and vitamin C supplements when I or my husband are sick in hopes that they won’t get it…and vice versa.
One to try:
Elderberry is supposed to be great for strep prevention. We normally use Zarabees but the drug stores seem to run out a lot, so now we are trying a brand called Joyspring. It scomes as gummies for the kids and they like the flavors. An added bonus is that these gummies also contain Vitamin C and Echinacea to help fight off illness and speed recovery.
Tip 9: Stay Hydrated
Make sure you keep sipping on liquid all day long. That will keep all of that congestion flowing out of your body instead of hanging out in your head and chest longer! Which could actually lead to a worse problem…a sinus infection!
Tip 10: Run a humidifier
A humidifier is essential in your home during the winter. I know when I am sick, I always run a humidifier in my room. Same if my kids are sick. It helps a great deal to keep lips from getting chapped, and your throat getting dried out in the middle of the night. I like the cool mist humidifiers because they don’t seem to get gross as fast.
Tip 11: See the Doctor
If you are feeling really bad and don’t seem to be getting better, then it is time to call or go see the doctor. The doctor may be able to give you an antibiotic, or steriod for whatever you are experiencing. If you have the flu, they can give you some Tamiflu to hopefully help speed recovery.
Tip 12: Order Food
Remember, you are taking it easy, so either call dad to pick something up on the way home or call in a pizza. Either way, you need your rest, so do something simple!
Tip 13: Teaching time
I realize that teaching your kids when you are sick is the last thing you want to think about, but teaching your children how to treat someone who is sick can help teach them empathy.
Explain to them that mommy is sick and she needs their help and love today to get through it. Then when your kids are sick they will know that you are showing them the same love.
I hope these tips help you out the next time you get sick and have those little ones running around!