Creative Child

How to Survive a Parent Sick Day

by Sarah Lyons

We do what we can to avoid it, but at some point, the inevitable will happen. Mom or dad will get sick. Enjoying a quiet, restful day in bed is not an option for most parents. What’s a parent to do? Here are some tips to help you survive a “Parent Sick Day”:

Call in the Reinforcements

In some cases, the working parent may be able to stay home and help with the kids, but often this is not a feasible option. “Don’t be too proud to call in reinforcements if necessary!” says Becky Baldridge. Ask friends and family to take the kids to school or help cook dinner. Most friends are willing to help, especially if you offer to return the favor in the future.

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Simplify Meals

For a sick parent, feeding the family can be a huge challenge. Keep it simple by ordering take out, raiding the freezer, or letting the kids eat cereal for dinner. “I’ve had my husband order, pay for, and have pizza delivered from work, because when I’m sick preparing meals is impossible.” says Rodganna Avery, mom of three.

Let go of “Normal”

Many families limit the amount of screen time their children are allowed each day, but when mom or dad is sick it’s okay to relax the rules. “I let them watch TV all day and I lay on the couch and sleep. I feel better the next day because I get rest.” says LouAnn Cunningham. Allowing extra TV or video game time helps to entertain the kids so the parent can rest. Mother of six, Chrissy Roussel says “When you are sick, just focus on making sure they’re fed and changed. Let go of the ‘normal’ parenting rules for a few days”. It won’t hurt the kids to have one or two days of extra screen time, and they will probably enjoy it as well.

More Entertainment

What do you do when TV time gets old? Build a fort, get out craft supplies, or play with blocks. “I have a secret stash of toys that I only bring out when I’m sick.” says Jessi Cole, mom of three “Since they are rarely out, my kids think it’s a huge treat.” Try having the kids read a book aloud or put on a puppet show for you while you rest. When parents are sick, anything goes, the goal is to keep the kids entertained, but as quiet as possible throughout the day.

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