I am sick. I have come down with tonsillitis and after 48 hours trying to fight it over the weekend (and spoiling my kids and husbands weekend in the process) I headed off to the doctor on call and was prescribed antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and painkillers. I was also signed off work for a few days to rest and recuperate.
While I am not a stay at home mum when sickness strikes mammy it takes its toll, not only on mammy but the whole family. Our weekend resulted in very little in the way of quality family time as I crashed out on the couch. Daddy had to step in and take over most of the duties usually split or done jointly (shopping, meals, housework, getting kids ready for bed etc). Now add to that it is my husband’s birthday today and we would probably have gone out to Sunday dinner to celebrate really added to the low of mammy being sick.
So here I am on Monday, in bed (with my laptop), my birthday boy husband was in work all day and the aupair thankfully took care of the kids as she would have had I been in work. Of course the kids think it is very funny that I am up in bed while they get on with their usual day! I have only missed 1 other day of work since last September when our aupair started so this is very unusual for them. I know they will continue to visit me up and down the stairs throughout the coming days.
Now roll on another 6 weeks, and the start of my career break, and should I get sick I would be on my own – having to manage the three of them by myself and this is the reality for most Stay at Home mums – when mum gets sick there is no time off, no sick days. Life goes on.
So how do you cope with sick days as a stay at home mum?
1. Be prepared and get help – while you can’t anticipate getting sick you need to have a plan of action for when you do. For me, I will be roping in my parents and in laws, getting my husband to work from home or at the very least come home early.
2. Have some frozen meals ready – I often have frozen meals in the freezer not specifically for when I am sick but for “just in case” times and these days would be days for getting those frozen portions out!
3. Simple activities – this is one time when you will let the kids do what they like – watch tv, play with the computer or iPad or hand held games or even better visit a friends house for the afternoon!
4. Take medication – there is no point playing the martyr. If its a simple cold or flu make sure to take plenty of pain relief – as much as you are allowed and try and time taking them for the part of the day when they may be needed most. If you need something more by way of medical help, make sure and get to the doctor as early and quickly as possible – get an antibiotics or other medication you need.
5. Get well! – get as much rest as possible to allow yourself recover. Housework may suffer for a few days, the kids might get an overload of tv for a few days but in the scheme of things this is minor if mammy gets well and normal business can resume!
Roll on Friday when I hope I will be back in action and not get sick for a long time to come!