Remember sick days as a kid? I got to stay home from school, sleep when I wanted and watch TV when I wanted… All while my parents brought me food and drinks whenever I wanted. My first sick day as a mom felt like a rude awakening — What do you mean I have to get out of bed and keep doing almost everything I normally do even though I’m sick?
I spent almost all of last weekend lying on the couch or in bed, sick. While being sick was miserable, taking sick days was fabulous. I think this is the first time since becoming a mom that I’ve been sick and able to really rest. This time, I didn’t have a baby who was still nursing around the clock and Beach Dad was able to be home the whole time. It was wonderful to get some time off and to be brought all my food, drinks, and medicines.
As moms, it’s so hard to actually take sick days. Babies still need to nurse, diapers still need to be changed, children still need to eat, and rides still need to be given. Often, we can push and push through our sicknesses for so long that we make ourselves even sicker or just deal with that lingering sore throat for weeks on end when we probably could have just rested for a day or two and kicked it.
Even though we can rarely take a day completely off for sickness, we can make our sick days much easier for ourselves with a little planning. While I got sick too early in the season to have prepared this time, last weekend was a good reminder of why I normally try to plan for sick days. And now, I’m certainly inspired to do some prep work for our sick days that are sure to come later in the season!
Here are my tips for planning ahead for those inevitable sick days:
- Buy medicines. Heading to the pharmacy while I’m sick is one of my very least favorite things. Check your medicine cabinet and make sure that you’re well-stocked with cough medicine, cough drops, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, saline spray, cold medicine, nausea medicine, and whatever else you may need. Make sure you have medicines for everyone in your family. While you’re at it, consider stocking up on kleenex too!
[If you live near a Rite Aid, they have awesome deals on more natural/homeopathic medicines for 2 weeks around this time of year. These medicines are generally safe for pregnant/nursing moms and I’ve found them to be surprisingly effective. You can get a number of medicines, cough drops, and more nearly free with their rewards program. I’ll post on my Facebook page when they’re on sale. Or, if you see the sales starting, please let us all know too!]
- Stock your pantry. Make sure you have ginger ale, gatorade, and crackers on hand. Grab some easy food for your kids too. You won’t want to be shopping while you’re sick!
- Freeze some soup. When Beach Girl was a month old, I got a terrible stomach bug and one of my friends brought me soup from her freezer that she keeps on hand for when she gets sick. I thought it was a brilliant idea and one of the most wonderful things anyone has ever done for me. Since then, I try to make soup and freeze it every Fall, just in case, and it’s been a huge blessing when I’ve gotten sick. I’ll post my favorite chicken soup recipe soon. And, if you want to freeze some extra, you’ll also have the chance to make a sick mom’s day later on this season!
- Set aside a few toys. While TV is a totally suitable option for sick days, I’d like to buy myself as much time lying on the couch as possible, so am planning to also have some toys in reserve that I can pull out as a special treat for my kids when mom’s sick. I’m going to grab a few of their toys that they haven’t played with in awhile and box them up in my closet for sick days, but I also have a few ideas for sick day activities that they can easily do while I’m resting nearby. Some of my favorites include: musical instruments, the game with the wipes box, activity bags, and some of the tips for how to entertain a toddler while nursing a baby.
So, now that you’re prepped for the bug your kids are going to bring home from a play date in a few weeks, here’s one last tip (which I’m saying to myself as much as to anyone else!): When you start getting that “oh no, I’m going to be sick tomorrow” feeling, REST as much as possible. Ignore everything that doesn’t absolutely have to get done and give yourself a break. The world won’t end if you don’t do the laundry this week and your kids will be fine even if they watch an extra hour or two (…or three) of TV today. Plus, if you’ve planned ahead, you’ve got shopping, dinner, and entertainment covered! Which, actually, is probably more than I can say for myself on a healthy day…
Do you have any ideas for planning ahead for mom’s sick days?