How to Cope as a Mom When You are Sick

What you can do as a mom when you get sick. How to take care of yourself and take care of your children when you are sick.

Woman sick in bed coughing

I love being a mom. There are so many wonderful things about it. There are so many great lessons learned and many great rewards. It is great to be a mom!

Unless you are sick.

Then it is about the worst job in the world.

Am I right???

Now that I am a mom, whenever I am sick I daydream of the days I was the child and my mom took care of me when I was sick.

I remember being in bed or on the couch. Sometimes I slept the whole day. Sometimes I watched TV. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I stared at the ceiling.

I did whatever it was that I deemed good for sick me at the moment.

My mom watched over me. She kept me comfortable. I had plenty of fresh water and crackers if I needed them. I had a nice clean bowl to throw up in if I couldn’t make it in time to the bathroom. She made sure everyone who entered the house was quiet and respectful of poor, sick me.

Moms Don’t Get Sick Days

Flash forward to being sick as a mom.

I don’t need to tell you. Moms don’t really have the “luxury” most of the time of being sick.

Even if your husband is great like mine is and tries his best to take care of everything so you can rest, it isn’t the same.

You still have two year old Kaitlyn who is beside herself with grief because she just wants to cuddle with Mama and doesn’t understand why she can’t.

Your nap will be disrupted by not only by ringing doorbells, but by little faces too close to yours asking why you are sleeping.

You have four year old Brayden who also wants to cuddle with Mama, and is mature enough to understand that he can’t and why he can’t to a point, but is visibly disappointed and you feel guilty.

Aaahh! The guilt! The guilt of life continuing on without you.

Back to the kids. You have your husband asking you, just as you fall asleep, what order McKenna’s creams and such go on after a bath (McKenna has eczema).

He asks about meals and naptimes…you are sure to remind him that if you die someday, all information about the children’s day can be found on your blog 🙂

Okay, yeah, I get it. I understand being lots of degrees of sick as a mom. I know colds. Those are annoying. You aren’t sick to call it a sick day, but you feel crummy and that always leads to less patience.

I know pregnant-sick. Oh boy do I know pregnant sick. That is a bad one. That requires lots of give from all members of the family, including sick mom.

I know vomit-every-20-minutes-and-start-fainting-and-land-in-the-ER sick. Yep. Been there twice in the last two years. Last week was one of them. The other was March 7, 2008.

So as I write this, about two days ago I was in the ER. I am fine now. No big deal.

My husband was great. We were — uh — luckily? Are you lucky to be in the ER? I guess from some perspectives you are. We were luckily in the ER overnight, so the kids all slept right through it (we had my Dad come over with the kids).

But because of that (along with the vomiting), I got about 1-1.5 hours of sleep all night. The next day, I basically slept all day long.

I woke up to answer children’s questions, husband questions, doorbells, and to nurse McKenna, but that is about it. I also have a totally awesome friend who found out I was sick and brought us dinner that night, which just helped the extra stress on the family.

How moms can cope when they are sick pinnable image

How To Cope as A Mom When You Are Sick

So how do you handle being sick as a mom? Here are some tips:

Accept Help: When your friend calls to ask if she can help, tell her yes! Accept the help the people around you are offering you.

Don’t say, “Oh, I’m fine.”


Say, “That would be amazing! Thank you!”

Okay, confession, I am not great at this. I turned down dinner from another friend and I turned down the offer of my kids being watched by another friend and I didn’t accept the offer from my mom to come over for the day…

But I still think it is a great tip. And to be positive, I did accept my husband’s offer to take the day off of work, I did accept one dinner, and my parents did take Brayden and Kaitlyn for most of a day. If you know me, you know this is improvement 🙂

Ask For Help: Umm…yeah. I don’t really EVER do this unless I am asking my husband. So do as I say and not as I do and ask for help if you need it 😉

Don’t just accept help, but reach out and ask for it when needed.

Take it Easy: Take it easy as you get over this sickness. If you have a hard time sitting still like me, find some things you can do sitting down and still feel good about your day.

Read. Sleep. Take a bath. Take up crochet 🙂 At least cut back on your normal to-do list.

Take Time to Recover: I have learned, through trial and error, that if you just give your body the chance to recover, it will do so much faster than if you try to bulldoze your way back into life.

Ignore the Schedule If Needed: Sometimes when you are sick, you will be really happy for your schedule. You will need those nap times and independent play times to make it through the day in one piece.

Other times, you won’t want to worry about it so much. I personally would still keep naptime, but other than that, you can let it be a “free” day where you all do whatever.

Nap When Kids Nap: When your kids are all asleep, you sleep too if you need it.

Rest When Kids Occupied: When your kids are in independent play or something, don’t run around like a tornado. Rest. Remember to take time to recover. Do only what is necessary at the moment.

You will be more efficient much sooner if you rest now, clean later. Now, I know this is hard while pregnant. You don’t feel good for a long time and you want things done before the baby comes. All I can say is I get it. I empathize. Do what you must. Leave the rest.

Embrace the TV: If you have read my post on Television, you know I don’t like lots of TV in the day. We try to limit TV to 30 minutes a day. Sometimes 60. But if mom is sick, I don’t think there is a problem with watching more TV for a day or two. Cut yourself some slack and allow some time to relax. Let the kids watch some extra TV if you need to.

Live Guilt-Free: Don’t feel guilty! You didn’t go out and get sick on purpose. You are alive on this planet, and therefore you will get sick sometimes. That is life. You don’t need to feel guilty that you are sick.

Laugh and Move On: Being sick can be awful. Try to just laugh about it and move forward. Wallowing in self-pity won’t make you feel better.

Those are some of my tips. Please feel free to share yours!