Coffee Talks: How to Survive Sick Days as a Work-at-Home Mom

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Hey, darlings. Welcome to another Coffee Talks post. If you’ve seen my latest social media updates, than you’re probably aware that I have been sick for a little over 3 weeks.

After being told it was a sinus infection and bronchitis, I was given medicine. I recently spent the day in the emergency room and learned I was misdiagnosed. I have the full blown flu, and the medicine I was given actually made it worse since it was misdiagnosed. Now, I want to talk about surviving sickness as a work-at-home mom, because this shit is hard.

Not only am I sick, but our entire house is now sick all at once. I was hoping the sickness wouldn’t spread, since I’m super diligent about keeping my house extra clean when it’s cold and flu season. Unfortunately, we noticed our youngest feeling under the weather a week before her third birthday. Then, it hit my husband and son. So, we are a pack of sickly people.

My heart sank at first, since we had big birthday plans for our little girl. However, I’m pretty experienced with taking care of sick kiddos while also being sick. As a stay-at-home mom who turned into a work-at-home mom this past year, I’ve developed a system for surviving these winter sicknesses.

Surviving Sickness as a WAHM

When I get sick, I don’t have a lot of help until my husband comes home from work. He works second shift, I’m legally blind and don’t drive, and we don’t really have consistent or reliable babysitters. So, when germs attack, we are all home to experience it.

I’ve shared my opinion on mommy sick days before. I know a handful of moms who just hand their littles over as soon as sickness hits them, but I operate a little differently. When I’m sick, I want my babies close by. Yes, I’m a clingy hover mom.

You can call me a control freak too, because…well, I kind of am. I like to have my babies with me for everything, unless it’s a special date night or something major like a surgery. Although, I did have my kiddos with me right after my hysterectomy. Basically, when we are sick, we are sick in our own little family herd.

When You Can’t Call in Sick

I envy the few moms that I know who have incredible family that can lend a hand when they are sick or injured. They can sort of call in sick and have backup. However, I can’t really “call in sick” as a work-at-home mom. There are ways to help work-at-home moms when sickness strikes, whether it’s the mom or the kids.

Tissues, a white mug, and black glasses are seen sitting on a white table with a black background.
1. Take a step back from work.

Sure, I hate not working. Blogging is a full time job, and taking a day off messes with my traffic, campaigns, and other things. Let’s be real, germs don’t care about your job, and you could use some rest.

If taking a day away from work will absolutely destroy you, plan ahead. Yes, I know you can’t plan for when sickness strikes. You can always be a step ahead with work though, or do some minor work activities that will still allow you to rest. Check out how to be productive during a blogging break for more tips on how to navigate taking a day off without losing traffic.

You won’t recover unless you rest, so try to take it easy. Also, if your littles are sick too, they will appreciate having as much as your focus as you can give. A break might be needed, momma.

2. Make everything more accessible.

Keep easy to eat snacks that are also easy on sick bellies. When my littles and I are sick, we stock the house with fruits, soups, crackers, cheeses, and anything that we can whip up quickly that won’t upset bellies. Juice boxes and refillable water bottles make things a lot easier on me and the kids, so we have less trips to the kitchen.

Also, I make sure that clean clothes are ready in case of worst case scenarios. Socks, blankets, and clean pillow cases are always on stand by in the closet in case one of us needs some extra comfort. That ease and those extra reserves really lend a hand for sick moms. Plus, it makes it easy for the kids to also help themselves.

3. Make a sick box.

This goes along with making things more accessible. In my magical hallway closet is a tote with extras that sick people need. There are tissues, disinfectant sprays, sheets, towels, blankets, vapor rub, and a cool mist humidifier. It’s like a self-care tote for family sick days.

Creating a tote like this will help if sickness strikes when the laundry isn’t finished and you’re too exhausted to get it done. It also prevents you from running to the store. It’s like a first-aid kit but with boogie wipes instead of band-aides.

4. Let the screen time happen.

TV, movies, and even tablets can be so helpful when sickness strikes. I’m not a fan on constant screen time, but when you’re sick, laying down and doing nothing will help you get better quicker. My littles and I get cozy on the couch with movies when we are sick, and if I need to make dinner or handle a chore, their tablets keep them resting and relaxed.

As much as I hate to say this, tablets are the closest thing I have to a sitter when I really need to take a moment. Our daughter threw up all over me during this sickness, and I needed a shower. With sick kids who just want their mom, taking a shower alone isn’t likely. I was able to set them up with some puzzles and videos on their tablets, so I could clean up. In that moment, I was so grateful for screen time.

5. Just let it all go for a bit.

I’m guilty of not always being able to do this. Keeping the house clean is always something I stress over when we are all sick, because I want to rid the house of germs. However, sometimes you have to just let everything go to hell and rest for a bit.

Letting things go when you or the kids are sick is not the end of the world, which is usually what I have to continually remind myself. Rest, rest, and more rest should be the top priority.

Superheroes Get Sick Too

Moms are superheroes, so superheroes get sick too. Germs don’t care if you’re busy or are covered in toddlers. If you can’t plan ahead, sometimes, you have to just improvise.

Personally, it feels like I’ve been sick all winter. This is the first sickness that my kids caught though, so we’ve been lucky so far. Even though I hate not cleaning or being productive, rest is so incredibly important for both our physical and mental health. If we don’t rest enough, we will just stay sick or keep getting sick.

Taking some down time can really be crucial for moms, regardless of where they work. How do you handle mommy sick days? Let’s chat.

-With Love,

Jenni

6 thoughts on “Coffee Talks: How to Survive Sick Days as a Work-at-Home Mom”

  1. Feel better soon! My family’s just now starting to come out of a 2 week battle with a cold. It seems to be a particularly nasty one making its rounds. Tylenol is literally the only thing that gets me through the days and nights, so I’m so thankful to whoever created it. I think it’s amazing you still able to be so productive while sick, but I do hope you feel 100% better soon, as well as your littles!

  2. Ughhh sending you SO much love! The creeping crud was no joke this year! I had the flu the week the kiddos had February vacation (and my brother was working), and while I try not to do to much screen time, I cried uncle and we binged watched ALL the Marvel movies. Lol. Thankfully they were pretty understanding. I hope you are feeling better! <3

    1. Oh, wow! It got everyone this year. I don’t blame ya on binging. Those movies make me happy. It’s good we’re all getting back to healthy. Sending my love!! 😘😘

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