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Rules for When Mom Is Sick

I’ve been a mom for a long time.  Like a really long time. Most of the that time, I have worked from home. Between chronic illness, cancer, kidney disease, and overall feeling blah due to a thyroidectomy, I'm not parenting at my best. Thankfully, my husband is a great parent and my teenagers are pretty self-sufficient, but I didn't always have a husband! And these kids were not always teens! 😉

Typically, if you are sick you get to stay home from work, or school, but there is no rule out there that says that you get to take a sick day from being a mom. I don’t know about you, but for me, as a work at home mom, I had never really experienced sick days. I just always pushed through.

woman with tissue (how to parent when you are sick)

Not feeling well? You that you deserve a sick day, too! In order to make sure that mom gets a sick day, I have put together a great list of rules for when mom is sick.  

Household rules for When Mom Is Sick

When mom is sick: Take it easy

First and foremost, when you are sick it is important to take it easy.  When you are sick the absolute best thing to do is rest.  As moms we don’t rest enough anyway. We often feel too guilty.  In order to get better, you need to let go of that guilt and just take it easy.  I know it’s hard, but it’s important. 

It’s okay to just say “Mommy doesn’t feel good” and tell the kids that it is going to be a day of rest for you. You may not think that they understand, but they might surprise you.

When mom is sick: Parent from bed

It’s okay to just stay in bed.  You can help your kids from bed, you can tell them what to do and what not to do while you are in bed.  This is part of the “take it easy” rule that we talked about before. Staying in bed is imperative for getting rest!

To help make this a little bit easier, prepare a box or a basket of toys near your bed for your young children.  This will keep them occupied while you are resting. It is important that these toys are ones that they don’t often play with so that they stay interested in them.

When mom is sick: Play games with kids

There are games that you and your kids can play together when you are sick.  You can play doctor/patient or even a card game like Go Fish. A game that you can play from bed and it doesn’t take much effort.  Games like this keep the kids occupied while you are able to keep an eye on them.

When mom is sick: Ease up on screen time rules

I know you don’t want your kids staring at screens all the time, but it truly is okay sometimes.  Mom’s sick day is the perfect example of this. Netflix can keep your kiddos entertained for hours, as can educational games on a tablet, or even games on your phone. Give yourself a break from the mom-guilt of letting your kids have too much screen time or gadget play.  I promise you they will be fine. 

I still find it better to save the screen time until later in the day though.  I prefer to encourage the kids to play with toys in the morning and offer TV or screen time later in the day.  

When mom is sick: Let the kids cuddle with you

You know, kids actually do like spending time with their parents.  When you are sick and in bed, let them climb on in and cuddle with you.  The time spent together is nice, and the kids really like to feel like they are taking care of their mommy.  

When mom is sick: Ask for help

If you are too sick to do any of the above, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  If you have friends or family nearby, ask them to watch the kids for the day or even for just a couple of hours.  The rest you are able to get may be the key in healing up. 

On the opposite side of things: if you have a friend or family member that is under the weather, consider offering them help with their kids.  What goes around, comes around as they say and it’s good to extend grace to others. They will be more likely to extend it to you when you may need it. 

When mom is sick: Order in

If you are too sick to cook, don’t cook. Pizza is cheap and fast.  Drive thrus are the same. Or, just tell the kids to eat cereal for dinner. It won't hurt them. Do not force yourself to stand over the stove cooking when you really don’t have to. 

When mom is sick: Ignore the housework

Again, you just don’t need to spend time doing housework when you simply don’t feel good enough to.  As unfortunate as it is, the housework will wait for you. It will be there when you are feeling better.

When mom is sick: Live in one room

If you have little kids, bring everything you need into one room and close the door or block it off with a baby gate. I’m talking diapers, wipes, clothes, snacks, everything. Make it to where you basically don’t need to leave the room at all throughout the day. 

When mom is sick: Take time for yourself

Moms need sick days too! You need to give yourself a break and allow yourself the time to heal up and get better. You deserve it and your kids will actually thrive knowing that mom values her health just as much as she values them. 


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