Caring for your sick child is exhausting even for a super mom but I have a few tricks up my sleeve for you. I found myself in this position last week and I hope to bring a bit of hope and some tips to keep the day moving along with your sanity intact.
You know those days when your child is fighting a cold, too sick for school but seems to be a ball of energy at home. Those days can just suck for a parent and you may be left feeling like throwing in the towel. Next time your house is turned into a sick warden, try a few of these tricks to save your sanity.
Sleep is a Must
Your little one will put up the biggest resistance for sleep but we all know that rest will heal. Instead of forcing traditional naptime on sick days I opt for movie time rest. The living room quickly becomes a slumber party with blankets, pillows and a movie. My daughter picks the movie and we snuggle into the sofa together. Usually within minutes she is asleep and the healing powers of rest begin. Take the opportunity to get a bit of rest too, it could be a long day and night ahead with caring for your sick child.
Have you ever noticed that a day home with a sick child can feel like 3 days rolled into one? I work outside of the home so on sick days 10 am can feel like 3 pm. It’s funny how your little one can go from weak and cranky to full-fledged wild child before lunchtime. Its days like that I wonder how the daycare teachers manage to keep their sanity.
Avoid child boredom and mommy meltdown by setting up mini activity zones around your house. Keep your child busy with light activities throughout the day to take their mind off feeling sick and help you take a minute to rest.
I find this trick extremely helpful on days when I’m caring for a sick child with a cold. She’s tired, cranky but not bedridden. If I’m not careful I find myself getting tired, cranky and crabby before the morning snack.
Keep the activities simple and use the supplies you already have in your home. Our favorite activities that won’t make a giant mess:
- Play dough station
- Legos and blocks
- Coloring books
- Paint set and white notepad
- Tea party time
Tested trick – set a timer on your phone and move to the next station after the buzzer. This keeps it fun and new for your child. My daughter gets so excited when there’s another activity to tackle that I find myself getting some rest in between the “activity zones”.
Change of Scenery
When weather permits I aim to spend a bit of our sick day outside to uplift our spirits. Soaking up Vitamin D and some fresh air are healing for the mind, body and soul. Just a few minutes every other hour or so during the day will make a difference.
When I’m feeling depleted and my child is getting antsy I find a few minutes on our front steps or backyard to be pure magic. A change of scenery combined with fresh air really can turn the day around.
Tested trick – giving medicine to my daughter has been a piece of cake until this last cold. The morning dosage was a losing battle with purple cold syrup on the carpet, a cat running away terrified and a wild child on the loose. In an effort to avoid another mess on the carpet I opted to move the medical station to the back steps. The simple move is my new lifesaver. She was almost excited to take her medicine and kept saying it was cool to be outside.
Take care of yourself
Stay hydrated, fed and avoid burnout while making your child as comfortable as possible. Don’t try to cram in household chores between the activity stations or naptime. It’s ok to let things slide because you don’t need to be the next sick one! Sick days pretty much turn our home into a tornado and I’m absolutely ok with the mess.
Stay healthy all!