Survival Mode: Sick Kid Edition

Sick days call for lots of rest, cuddles, and let’s be honest… as many movies as you can handle. Here are a few thoughts to remember on those days when you really can’t focus on anything except getting through and getting better.

What’s worse than your kids getting sick? Your kids getting sick while you are also not feeling well! When it comes to difficult parenting experiences, sick days are right near the top of the list.

These are the types of days that call for full survival mode. These are not the days to worry about dishes or laundry or limiting screen time. These are not the days to cook meals from scratch or make sure homework is done.

Most things are washable.

Whether the kids are emptying their stomachs or have decided the couch pillow are better used as tissues to wipe runny noses, try to remember that pretty much everything is washable. Start a nasty laundry pile and resolve to catch up when everyone is feeling better.

Put towels down… everywhere.

Speaking of laundry, you can never have too many towels around during a sick day with kids. If they’re camped out on the couch, cover it in towels. If they’re taking a nap, lay a towel over their pillow. Towels are easier to wash than cushions and pillows, and can be switched out quickly if needed.

You can never take too many baths.

Water often does wonders for miserable, cranky kids. Even if it only buys you a few minutes of calm, it can be worth the effort on a long sick day to get everyone in the tub! If tub time is working for your kids, you can always let them take more than one bath throughout the day. Staying clean isn’t going to hurt them, and the time in the water might just give you the break you need to remember to sip some water yourself.

 Keep tissues within reach in every room.

For the colds-that-never-end days, keep some soft tissues in every room within easy reach. This will save you having to get up every five minutes to grab another tissue for the latest sneeze explosion or child that won’t stop sniffing.

 Snack trays and water bottles count as meals.

If you aren’t feeling well yourself, making meals can feel impossible. Throwing a bunch of easy snacks on a tray and assigning everyone a water bottle for the day is a perfectly acceptable solution to meals and hydration on a sick day! Of course, if there are some family members who are still healthy, keep their snacks separate from the rest in order to avoid spreading it.

Sick days are hard. And unfortunately, when you have small children, they are sometimes inevitable! Focus on the basics, trust that you will be able to catch up later, and don’t be afraid to lower your standards for a day or two.

On sick days with kids, there’s not need to push yourself to thrive. Remember, survival mode is only temporary!

Bethany Robin

Bethany has been blogging about the struggles, pitfalls, and just plain insanity of parenting as a millennial since her oldest was born in 2015. She's also worked extensively as a doula and has four children of her own, including toddler twins.

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