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Unpopular Opinion: Mommy Sick Days

Here I am, starting my week off with severe congestion and body aches in what feels like every inch of my tired, mom bod. It started with a scratchy throat the same day I noticed my oldest having a constant runny nose and low-grade fever. Then, it hit me- we have end of winter colds.

As a SAHM, I don’t get sick days. I can’t just take a day off and lay in bed. I don’t like skipping certain household duties, and I can’t just drop my kids with family members and say “see ya when I’m better.”

I actually catch a lot of flack from a few members of my family, because I don’t take sick days. I have a few relatives who pawn their kids off at any indication of illness, but I’m different. It’s not that I don’t want a break when I’m sick, I just don’t have that luxury.

I want to explain my ideas of being a mom through the stuffy noses as well as give a guide to moms who don’t take sick days like everyone else. I think that as a mom, everything can come with a compromise. Moms don’t get sick days, but I think there are ways to find rest and have the kids home with you, especially if they are sick too.

Difference of Opinions

I might catch hell for this, but bring it on, I guess. As a mom, I think you have to parent through the colds, the injuries, and all the rough patches. I think it’s important to have breaks, but I don’t think you should hand your littles over at every sign of sickness. Do I want to be in bed right now? Yes, I do. Am I going to take my kids to a sitter or family member? Nope.

Moms don’t get sick days. I agree and disagree with this. It gets tricky explaining where I’m coming from, but I’m still going to attempt it.

When I became a mom, I had no intention of having a village raise my kids. I was raised by a village. I spent weekends and even summers with friends and family. My parents had help if they needed it, but sometimes, they didn’t have anyone. I don’t knock a village by any means, but it’s not how I want to raise my kids. I want there to be consistency, because I didn’t always have that growing up.

I want support not help. Every surgery or major medical ordeal I’ve had to go through in the last few years, I’ve had support. An in-law or grandparent watched the kids during my time at the hospital. Then, when my husband brought me home, my kids came too. I wasn’t necessarily allowed to carry them around after things like my hysterectomy, but I wanted them to still be with me. I did my mom duties but with obvious limits.

Call Me A Control Freak

You can chalk it up to me being a control freak. That’s what my family calls it. I’ll be honest. I did have PPD and really bad separation anxiety. I was in therapy the first few months my son was born. So, the majority of my family thinks I’m nuts, because I don’t send my kids to their grandparents on weekends or when I’m sick. I just genuinely love having them around.

It doesn’t mean it’s easy when I’m sick, but nothing about being a mom is easy except for loving these tiny heathens. Even though my parents had help some of the time, my mom always told me that it’s my job to be a mom and that’s a job that never clocks out. Here I am, taking that advice but still getting criticized.

I’m totally okay with being labeled a control freak and a helicopter mom. I do get the occasional break and dinner alone with my husband, but we are very present with our kids. This is just how we decided to raise our kids. Every parenting style is different.

He Called In Sick

My husband is a welder. He loves his job, and he plans on being there until he retires. He gets vacation and floating holidays, so today, he decided to stay home. I’m sick, and he wanted to help.

Usually, I power through the sick days, and he comes home from work and helps as much as he can. It’s been really nice being able to relax when I feel sick. I will admit, sometimes, I push myself too hard. Having my husband home has been a nice reminder that moms don’t get sick days, but that doesn’t mean I have to go hardcore on my cleaning and SAHM duties. It’s OKAY to be sick and slow down with the kids for a day or two.

I don’t think moms get sick days, but I would never tell a mother she has to force herself to do anything when feeling sick. That’s where my views get tricky. Just because I typically pretend I’m totally fine, doesn’t mean it’s right. I just know so many moms who take any chance they get to hand their kid over to someone else, so I’m always trying to be a present parent, and that includes sick days.

Remember to Rest

Moms are superheros, but superheros get sick too. Even if I wanted someone to watch my kids, I don’t have anyone who could just watch them. For us, we’d have to find someone in advance, and when you get sick, there’s no advance notice.

I try my best to rest when I’m sick. Actually, that’s a straight out lie. I rest when my husband comes home, because he usually makes me. I tell myself that I’ll rest, but I usually panic and disinfect the whole house, which leads to a cleaning spree. Cleaning, germs or not, isn’t the rest you need when sick. I know, I’m working on it.

That’s where this post comes in. It’s not just an explanation of why I don’t have a sitter on sick days or why my husband called off work. It’s a guide. I want to give advice for moms who don’t take sick days. It’s also a guide for me, because I really need to take my own damn advice!

Take A Break

Taking a break doesn’t always have to mean taking your kids to a sitter. It doesn’t mean taking a day to sleep. I think you can compromise. There are ways to rest and still mom it up.

  • Have a movie day. I have done this when I was feeling sick, and it gives me a chance to sit with the kids and relax. If we are all sick, it also helps the tots to rest too.
  • Do the bare minimum. I understand wanting to scrub all the germs away. Today, I took Lysol wipes to all the most commonly touched surfaces, and that’s it. I could do the floors, laundry, and dust all the wood, but I decided the bare minimum was enough. Trust me, it’s killing me not cleaning more, because I love my routines. However, you can’t get better when you’re over doing it.
  • Eat smart. When I’m sick, I either want absolutely nothing, or I want to eat all the junk in my house. The cold I’m currently fighting makes me not even want coffee, which means I’m feeling terrible. I have to keep reminding myself to drink water, and not starve myself.
  • Self-care is always important. I try to practice small self-care things like bubble baths and reading. It’s important to have time to yourself as a mom, so while I’m sick, I’m going to try and take a bath and put my feet up as much as I can.
  • Stay ahead of the sickness with medicine. I hate going to the doctors. I hate taking medicine, but if I’m sick enough, I’ll do it. If I’m too sick and weak to get out of bed, I take my butt to the doctors. If I’m congested and feeling slow from being sick, I’ll take some medicine and use vapor rub. I try to always remind myself that if I have sick kids or not, I can’t do a good job taking care of them if I don’t also take care of myself.

Taking That Sick Day

Well, I’m attempting to take a sick day. My husband is home to help. I already got yelled at for trying to clean more than I should, but I took my medicine. So, I’m taking some of my advice at least. Writing this out with my feet propped up should count as self-care. So, I’m working on it. I still don’t think moms get sick days, but I don’t mean that with a negative tone.

I think that when you have kids, it’s your job to be a parent 24/7. I think being a mom is a job that doesn’t come with a nice vacation and sick day package. I’m not saying moms don’t deserve to be making a million dollars or anything. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, and moms deserve the world. But that doesn’t mean we get the world. It’s my job to wipe my son’s nose even though mine is running just as much right now. It’s my job to rock him while his belly hurts, even though I’ve made 46 trips to the bathroom already. It’s always going to be my job, first and foremost, so that’s why I say mom’s don’t get sick days.

I guess the saying should be more like moms get modified sick days, but it is what it is. So, here I am. Sick and taking care of toddlers. Feel free to share your parenting methods during those sick days. We all parent differently and that’s okay.

Hope everyone has a wonderful and healthy week!

-Jenni

11 Comments »

  1. Oh my god, it’s like we’re on the same wave length. I’ve been feeling ill today and could not take a “sick day”. I also don’t have a village and unless I’m in fear of handing the flu over to my infant, I muster through. These are some great tips on handling your day when you are feeling sick. I cancelled my errands today and my LO and I have had a quiet day at home with toys and movies. It’s not a complete day off and I don’t get to cuddle under a blanket and wait for it to pass, but it was enough.

    Hope you’re feeling better.

  2. My mom always says moms don’t get sick days. She hardly ever got the option of help when I was going no matter what she was sick with, so I believe it she could do it so can I. After all, that’s why medicine was invented, right? But I’m really looking forward to when my kids are old enough to take care of themselves and maybe make me some soup. Feel better soon!

    • Thanks for that. I’ve been told that my whole life. I will admit I’m looking forward to the kiddos being more self sufficient when I’m feeling sick like this. Thanks again!

  3. I HATE sick days. I wrote a post about how sick I felt a few weeks ago, and scheduled it. This reminded me of it. We got a terrible stomach bug from my baby’s school. For like a month. I wish someone would have helped me, but nobody did. It was the worst because both my kiddos were sick and my youngest was going through allergy issues. I hope you feel better and soon.

  4. I have a chronic illness. I got sick when my boys were 10 & 5. At first I was so depressed because I didn’t think I could be a good mom and be sick but I talked through it with other “sick” moms and realized I could be even more present than when I was healthy. Illness forced me to slow way down. Maybe I was no longer able to attend every single long band or soccer competition but I was ALWAYS available to snuggle, listen and teach my children how much self care matters. My boys are 21 & 16 now. One lives 3 hours away and I’m still his first call when he needs love and support. All moms sick or healthy have so much love to share. ❤️

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