I used to kind of enjoy sick days. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no masochist, and I certainly don’t love coming down with the stomach flu or any serious ailment. But a mildish cold or a case of the sniffles? To me, it’s the perfect excuse to play hooky from work, soothe my soul with chicken soup, and catch up on some mindless daytime television. Then my daughter came along, and I realized sick days would never be the same. At two-years-old, she has no concept or understanding of a sick day. She expects Mom to be fully functioning and ready to rock at all times. In sickness and in health. So, in parenting solidarity, I’d like to share my desperate measures and methods for surviving sick days, WITH kids.
Puzzles, colouring books, and playdough are your best friends on sick days. Let the little ones focus on their creativity and concentration while you’re dying on the couch. And try not to worry too much on the mess they’re probably making. Leave that for your future healthy self to deal with.
You know that tub of ice cream you keep in the freezer for Sunday night dessert? Or your secret stash of potato chips for after the kids go to bed? Bring those special treats out of hiding and let the kids indulge a little bit while you lock yourself in the bathroom.
Middle of the day movies
Embrace couch time and cuddle up with a family friendly movie. No, it’s not as good as watching soap operas and talk shows, but it should buy you at least an hour of quiet with the kids.
Sick day themed imagination games
My daughter loves the idea of taking care of me and playing doctor. She has happily spent hours pretending to take my temperature, the dog’s temperatures, and every single one of her stuffie’s temperatures. Turn your sickness into a game and let the kids use their imaginations to become tiny and adorable caretakers.
When all else fails, I turn to Netflix. When I’m healthy and on my parenting game, we’re pretty strict about tv time in our house. But I do what I have to do on sick days. There’s no shame here. And if that means watching Paw Patrol for an entire afternoon so I can take a nap? So be it.
So, those are my shameless survival methods for sick days. What are yours?