All moms know that sick days are not part of the benefits package of motherhood. All moms also know that sick days are an inevitable part of life, though. Unlike employers, children tend not to understand why mom canít do all of the things that she normally does or, if she manages to accomplish her daily routine, why her demeanor is different.
One of the best markers of your son growing up is his increased ability to fend for himself in various areas of life. The day he can dress himself is a happy one for you, as is the day he can feed himself. When he can find ways to amuse himself without coming to you for ideas, you begin to feel a level of freedom that you havenít since he was born. It is when you get sick, though, that you realize how much your son still depends on you for, well, everything! What is a mom to do, then, when she is unable to perform her daily functions the way she usually does? How can she still make sure her son is taken care of?
Depending on the age of your son, it is highly likely that he will be able to take better care of himself when you are sick than you might think. The best thing you can do to prepare for a sick day is to have a few key things prepped in advance.
Even a toddler can serve himself a snack if he knows what he can have. Keeping a snack bowl filled with easy-to-serve snacks on a low shelf in a pantry or cabinet can be the best thing you ever do as a mom. When you are sick, you want to minimize the amount of running around you have to do. The more things your son can do for himself, then, the better for you. Not having to provide constant snacks for a young boy can be a major time and energy saver any time.
In order to give you the freedom to lie on the couch when youíre sick, relax your TV-watching rules so that your son can be in the same room with you, but you donít have to actively parent. A few extra hours of mom-approved TV will not hurt your son, and it is guaranteed to give you the rest you need.
Invest in a few audiobooks. If your son is used to you reading to him with any frequency, then the sight of you prostrate on the couch may be, to him, an invitation to read with you. Solve that problem by putting an audiobook on that you can both enjoy. Your son is still being read to, and youíre able to get some rest while still being with him.
If you have a son who still naps, extend naptime on each side. In other words, put him to bed early and donít get him up at his normal time. In order to make this idea more palatable to your son, put him in bed with you. The novelty of it (assuming you donít co-sleep!) will make the extended time far more acceptable to him, and you can be assured of his safety and contentment so that you can nap yourself.
Being sick is an unfortunate part of life. For moms, though, these sick days are a real challenge. In retrospect, your sons grow up way too quickly, but when you are sick and desperately wishing for a more self-sufficient child so you can just be sick, itís easy to believe that your son will never be able to see to his own needs. It is possible to slow down and take a sick day, though. Whether your son is an infant, a toddler, or older, the more you plan ahead for a sick day, the easier it will be actually to take it when you need it.
Taking it easy or shirking your maternal duties for a couple of days does not make you a bad mother. To the contrary, admitting that you need to give your body time to heal makes you a better mother in the long run. Your son will be just fine following an alternative schedule for a couple of days, and heíll be that much happier to have you back in top form when youíre better!