Taking a Sick Day
by Katherine Craddock
Until last night, I had a grand Ten Step Plan laid out for coping with the demands of motherhood while being sick. I had some great advice like Get dressed. It will help you stay on your feet and Act like you’re not sick and you’ll get better sooner. I was determined to be sick AND be the perfect mom at the same time. (Insert maniacal laughter here.)
Before I could even finish writing out my Ten Step Plan, I crashed. I had a complete meltdown. Twice, actually — in one day. My body just couldn’t take Do at least one load of laundry and the dishes. And I certainly couldn’t handle Play through the pain when I absolutely freaked out while playing (sick) in an indoor soccer game, punched a wall, cried hysterically and got the first red card of my life. (I was brutally fouled, and I’m sticking to my story!)
So here is my real, tried and true advice on how to take a sick day when you’re a mom. It’s a short list.
Declare a sick day (or days) and stick to it. Stay in your pajamas and explain to everyone around that they shouldn’t expect much from you. Stay in bed or lounge on the couch. Utilize the “silent babysitter” (your TV) as much as possible. Let your kids play nurse and wait on you hand and foot (my kids actually think this is really fun). Pull out your freezer meals. Listen to the radio or watch a mommy movie. And if you feel compelled to do chores, stick to the basics: Feed and change your kids. Light housework like sorting or working on the computer is ok too. (Interestingly, though, that’s the kind of work people in the office world take a sick day from.)
Whatever you do, focus whatever energy you have toward getting better and cuddling your children as much as you can. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, it opens the door for your emotional and spiritual being to come under attack. In the end, your might not look like a “perfect” mom to family and friends, but you will be a peaceful mom. And there is nothing more perfect than a mom — and a family — at peace. Just ask my referee.
Katherine Craddock is a writer, life-long soccer player and pastor’s wife who is the oldest of nine children and mother to three preschoolers of her own. She lives in Chantilly, Virginia and is part of The King’s Chapel MOPS.