I love being a stay at home parent. I love being able to play with my kids all day, teach them life lessons, be there for them whenever they need me. But. As a stay at home parent, you don’t get sick days. And those days are very rough days for me as a parent. If there is one thing I really miss from my pre-parenting days, it is sick days. You stay at home, curl up in bed, maybe read a book, watch television. Eat hot soup. Sleep lots. When we were younger, our parents would take care of us. Maybe your spouse/partner would take care of you when you moved away from home.
Post baby, as a stay at home parent, you are still a parent. You have other people who depend on you. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re dying. You still have to feed your kids, give them attention, change their bums. You can’t call in sick. I envy my husband in that regard. When he is sick, he calls in and then gets to sleep all day, be served meals in bed, and take it easy. He still helps me out, but if he said he needed to sleep all day, I would let him. Inevitably, I get sick after he does and I am left to say goodbye to him as he leaves for work after having a couple days of rest. Husbands can’t call in sick for their stay at home wives.
Of course, if it is a weekend, then Jarrett will take care of the kids and I can sleep, but, typically, I’m by myself when I get sick. Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to get sick on a day when either my mother or mother in law can come help, but that is also the luck of the draw.
Today was one of those unlucky days. I was achy, had a terrible headache and my stomach was in knots. I felt so sick. All I wanted to do was sleep. It’s not easy parenting when you can barely move. The best thing that I could do was turn on a movie, give the kids a snack, and lie down on the couch. The worst that happened was that my girls sat on me and Jack kept taking Jarrett’s stethoscope and playing doctor because “Mommy’s sick!” His diagnosis was that I had leaves on my chest and tummy. And then he gave me medicine poured from the mouth of a crocodile into a dolls behind, which I was asked to drink from. He practices a unique type of medicine… but definitely following in his Daddy’s shoes!
I was lucky that the kids were pretty good today. Of course, lying down didn’t last. There were bums to be changed, children to be fed, and then nap times right now consist of driving around until they fall asleep, so we had to load up into the car and drive around until the children fell asleep. My saving grace was that once the kids fell asleep, I parked and had a nap with them until they woke up. I don’t think I could have functioned the rest of the day without that nap.
Other options for keeping children entertained while you are sick can include taking them outside into your yard and letting them run around, try introducing a clean craft like coloring, lots of movies and tv shows (I prefer fun ones with singing. The kids sing and dance around with the songs!). If you have little ones, you can always throw them in a playpen or their cribs with a bunch of toys, a bottle of milk and taking an hour nap. The kids will be fine for a short period of time if you really need the rest.
What do you do when you’re at home, sick, with your kids?