Basically, moms are like our everyday superheros. Even during a cold or flu, mom keeps her cape on. The hardest thing I’ve learned about being a mom is that there is very little down time when I’m sick. I’m a stay-at-home mom, so my house, my kids, and my husband are my job. Luckily, I don’t have the complication of figuring out sick leave and missing paid days at work. There’s no doctor notes or anything to worry about, but that doesn’t mean I can lay in bed and get the rest I need.
I know a few moms who are always sick, myself included. I’ve witnessed certain moms hand their kids over to family and baby sitters so they can take the time to heal whether it’s sniffles or full blown stomach flu. I’m the opposite of this. I’ve always believed moms don’t get sick days.
I’ve witnessed moms pawn off their toddlers because of a headache or sneeze. I’ve seen moms not get a full 8 hours of sleep, so they hand their kid over to a family member so they can spend all day in bed. I have continued to parent even hours after having my right ovary removed because of cysts. It didn’t make me a better mom. It didn’t make the sniffle mom any less. It did, however, teach me about self care.
I have learned that being a good mom means taking care of yourself. I don’t believe you should put yourself first, but I also don’t think you should completely forget about your physical and mental health. That being said, I’ve been fairly sick the last few days.
I have a few mom hacks for when you need a moment but you’re still momming. Not all moms have the ability to call family or take off of work.
1. Adust the Schedule. If you’re run down for whatever reason, tweak your schedule in your favor. Instead of two small naps, I made my toddlers stay awake and just take one longer nap. It helps me rest with them and still do the few odds and ends that can’t be skipped.
2. Find Easily Contained Activities. My husband saw the fatigue on my face while he was getting ready for work. So he came up with a fairly decent plan to distract the kids. He gave them a few boxes to play in. It really helped keep them content with less mess for some time. They made forts, colored in them, and pretended they were boats. They even used them as tables for snack time.
3. Rest and Stay Hydrated. When I say rest, I mean skip mopping your floor and sit whenever you can. Water is your friend. If there is housework that absolutely cannot wait, then go slow. If you can, focus on the kids and leave the laundry in the basket.
4. Cuddle Up. I understand not wanting to spread germs, but I’ve come to accept that we will all get it anyway. On super sick days, we find movies and set aside some lazy time. We all have our own blankets, and it gets cozy. Toddlers won’t always sit still through a movie, but it’s worth a try.
5. Be Prepared. If you can’t run to the doctors, have some over the counter medicine ready. Try to stay away from anything that will make you sleepy during the day. Also, keep vitamins around to support immune health.