You know it’s gonna be a difficult day when the first thing you learn upon waking is one of your children has a fever and can’t go to school. Then you remember it’s grocery day and there’s no food for an extra mouth at home all day and, horrors, no medicine for aforementioned fever. (Not to mention you’re on the last roll of toilet paper.)
After dropping other kids at school, you rush to the grocery store, speeding down the aisles ‘cause sick child is riding in the cart clothed in pajamas and wrapped in a snuggly. While you’re rushing you hope you don’t go over budget because there’s no time coupons. You’re back home before 8:30 and still haven’t had any coffee.
What’s a mom to do? The above scenario happened to me today and I realize it probably happens to other mom’s as well. Here are some tips to help.
For the work-from-home & stay-at-home mom
- Call an available friend to come over to assist you so you can get some work done. Not only will that person be able to handle your child’s needs, but you can take a break or have lunch with a friend.
- No friend to call? Then use your on-call babysitter. This involves preparation beforehand. If you need someone inquire at your local college’s job placement department or career center. If no one is available they can place your “job opening” in their job announcements. Tip: Pick a college or university that has child development, child care or any similar courses/major.
- Make a home-sick basket. This one also requires preparation. Buy a basket or container from the dollar store and fill it with new crayons, construction paper, string, scissors, clay, tissues, children’s lollipop lozenges, cough drops, small stuffed animals, markers, small notebooks or journals. Consider including DVDs, new games, novels or magazines for teens and soft, sensory items for pre-schoolers.
- Take the day off. If you’re on deadline try to finish quickly and if it’s not due that day take the time to hang out with your child. Watch movies, eat ice cream or even take a nap together. If you have other children it’s a great time to spend one-on-one time.
- If you’re married and your spouse works see if it’s feasible for him to take a half day. Asking for help is important. Having him come home early will give you a break to refuel for the next day … just in case your little darling is home multiple days.
See #2 below for another idea.
For the working mom
- If your children attend daycare and/or you have a job where taking off isn’t feasible then you probably already have a babysitter. If it’s a young teenager who’s also in school then you’ll want to have two on-call caregivers. Consider your babysitter’s mother or older sister. See #2 in the previous session for more info.
- Grandparents live nearby? If you know they’re able to handle it call to see if they’re available, even if you have to pick them up. Grandparents like to feel needed and will be excited to help out and spend one-on-one time with their grand.
- Take half a day off and do #5 above.
- Take the day off. Check out tip #4 above for more info.
- Work from home. You may not get as much done, but you’ll be able to work and take care of your child.
These tips may be different depending on your child’s sickness. When everyone is healthy again and schedules return to normal don’t forget to reserve time for yourself. You’ll need to refuel for the next time someone needs extra special attention from Mommy.