Navigating Sick Days Stress Free - Vommat

Navigating Sick Days Stress Free

We know that parenting can be a rollercoaster of surprises - both good and bad. One minute, you're planning the perfect family outing, and the next, your little one falls sick. Or you've got a busy day planned with all the kids at school only to have it upended before it starts when someone needs to stay home sick. It almost feels like your day has been stolen, doesn't it? And then you feel guilt for thinking that way. We can't help you with the complicated emotions that come out of those situations but we can help you with some strategies to help make that scenario a little easier to deal with. We've got you covered! Here, we'll dive into some mom hacks (as well as some good old fashioned common sense) that will help you navigate those unexpected sick days with grace, flexibility, and hopefully less stress.

The Power of Preparedness

Stocking Up on Essentials

It's hard to predict when sickness might strike. Sometimes there are clues like sick classmates or a school-wide email of warning and sometimes its out of the blue. Having a well-stocked sick day kit can save the day. Here are some suggestions:

  • Thermometer (make sure the batteries are working!)
  • Children's pain relievers (a few different kinds so you can alternate doses if necessary)
  • Tissues, Vommats, face cloths for a wet compress
  • Hydration supplies (e.g., oral rehydration solutions like coconut water, Gatorade, or Pedialyte)
  • Comfort items (favorite lovies or blankets)
  • Sanitizers - gels for hands, wipes and sprays like Lysol for surfaces

Create a Backup Contact List

Think about a typical week and figure out who, in a pinch, you may need to lean on for help if you're unable to stay home or if you need important errands run. Maybe check in with them and ask if they'd be willing to take on that role if you needed them and if so, you've got a backup. 

Build a Sick Day Routine

Develop a basic sick day routine to help maintain some sense of normalcy. Plan quiet activities (OK probably just TV and tablet, right?), comfy spots, and easy-to-prepare meals for your child.

Nutritional Strategies

Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

Having a well-stocked pantry with non-perishable, kid-friendly foods can be a lifesaver. Think about items like canned soups, crackers, and applesauce. My mom would always make little tiny pastina pasta in chicken broth - yum. Just a couple things in the back of the pantry will come in handy when you need them!

Hydration is Key

Staying hydrated is crucial when kids are under the weather. Offer a variety of fluids to entice your child, including water, juice, coconut water, Gatorade or Pedialyte. If they're not super interested in drinking, you can always try the popsicle route! (Another thing to have in-stock during sick season).

Nutrient-Dense Foods

Depending on the illness, their appetite may be funky or nonexistent. Try to serve nutrient-packed foods that help boost the immune system, like chicken soup, yogurt, and citrus fruits. More things to have on-hand should you need them, are we noticing a pattern here?! If they're fighting on the healthier stuff, sometimes giving them anything they are willing to eat will be the right answer (according to me at least). 

Maintain a Calm and Comforting Environment

Set Up a Cozy Sick Day Zone

Create a comfortable, designated area where your child can rest and recuperate. Include blankets, pillows, and their favorite books or movies. Depending on how they're feeling, they may want to lounge all day on the couch or be more mobile. The important thing is to keep them comfortable and allow their bodies to rest. If there is vomiting as a possibility, using a Vommat on the couch or bed will keep the stress levels down when you don't have to worry about WHERE they yak and more time can be spent comforting them as they do.  

Promote Restful Sleep

Ensure your child gets plenty of rest by maintaining a quiet environment and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule. As Daniel Tiger says, "when you're sick, rest is best.... rest is best". 

Mom's Self-Care

Prioritize Your Well-being

Remember, you can't care for your little one if you're running on empty. Make sure you're eating and drinking, too! And remember to wash your hands and try to sanitize surfaces to minimize the risk of spreading whatever virus it is to the rest of the family. 

Seek Support

Don't be afraid to reach out to your support network. Other moms, family, and friends can provide valuable emotional support and practical help. Sometimes it feels good just to hear that a classmate "just had the same thing," so you know more about what you're dealing with. 

Flexibility is Your Best Friend

Be Ready to Adapt

Sick days are rarely planned (at least real ones, right?). Be flexible and open to changes in your daily routine. Your child's health comes first, so try not to stress over things like a temporarily messy house or missing something at work. 

Learn from Each Sick Day

With each bout of sickness, you'll become more adept at handling them. Your kids will, too! Over time you'll know just what you need to have and will be able to handle the unexpected sick day like a champ.

By preparing a little ahead of time, you can navigate sick days with less stress and more ease. Remember, it's all part of the adventure of motherhood, and you're doing an amazing job. You've got this! And even on sick days, there's still room for love, laughter, and cherished moments. Good luck!!

Featured image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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