When mom is sick, it can feel like the whole house might just fall apart. Several days worth of tasks will build up and the other inhabitants start to realize that there is no elf who puts laundry away, limits screen time to keep the kids from turning into zoned out zombies and cooks the myriad of meals that miraculously grace the table three times a day.
However, even as moms, we’re entitled to a sick day now and again. If that instills immediate fear in you, check out the three tips I live by to survive when mom is sick. Because after all, the only way to get back to the never ending dish pile is to get better and that takes rest!
If you’d rather listen to these tips, check out my podcast episode below where I give 3 Tips to Survive when Mom is Sick.
Throw the Rules in the Trash
When mom is sick, the family needs to do whatever they can to get through the day. Screens, lots of messes and unlimited snacks. So push the resident mom guilt aside and just get through the day.
A few days of screens and extra sugar will not ruin your kids. But if you try to just push through being sick and keep the day normal, you’ll most likely just prolong it. Give your body the rest it needs and lay down on the couch while the kids binge on Daniel Tiger and goldfish.
During prolonged sicknesses, the ones that run through the whole house but don’t hit mom until the very end, it can feel like your kids have been sitting in front of the t.v. for eternity. Still! Let it go, that;s just life sometimes. If you have two solid weeks of lounging and snacking, it still won’t matter in the long run. Give yourself the grace you’d give to your best friend.
Use Those Convenience Services
During the pandemic, I think most of us tried a grocery delivery service at least once. Personally I’ve used Instacart religiously for the past three years and I truly wouldn’t know what to do without it. But I’ve heard from some of you that it’s not your bag.
Since someone else is doing the shopping for you, you don’t get to choose your produce and if you don’t put in a substitute for every item you might end of with some dodgy items. Which I completely understand, it took me a while to accept that not everything would be as great as if I had picked it and that I could put notes on dairy products that said “Please don’t get any that have expiration dates that are less than a week away.”
That being said, when mom is sick, I implore you to settle with good enough and just get your groceries and meds delivered. Your family will survive with a few bruised apples and the name brand cereal substitute for one week. Best of all, they’ll be able to keep that rigorous snack schedule going.
Seriously, just get in the habit of having things be “good enough” when you are sick and your family will never even question it. Consider it building resiliency.
Especially if a sickness has stuck around for awhile, say if the flu went through your whole household but it took a full two weeks, we can start to get down on ourselves about not bouncing back quick enough. Don’t do that.
Instead, lower your expectations. Here are a few things you should not do when you’re sick.
The “Mom is Sick” Don’t List
- Clean. Routine deep cleaning is a definite no-go. Daily tasks like dishes and toy pick up can be done by someone else.
- Cook. Order food with zero guilt.
- Laundry. You are going anywhere- it can wait.
- Homework help. Email the teacher that you’re sick, you’ll get to it everntually.
Give Yourself a Break
Ultimately the main theme running through these tips is to just give yourself a break and let the spinning plates fall. Lean harder on your partner, enlist the help of convenience services or just live in filth and squalor for a week. (My preferred method:)
You’re a good mom even when you don’t keep the train running 100% of the time. And you’re a better mom when you show your kids what true self care looks like.
Taran is a self-proclaimed undomestic mom. She thrives as a stay-at-home-mom by consistently carving out time for herself and practicing realistic self-care. As a busy mom of 3, she knows that if mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy! With a focus on how SAHMs can carve out time for themselves everyday, she teaches fellow SAHMs how they can do the same.