How to Cope with Your Kids When You’re Sick


Raising children is a difficult enough job as it is, but if you’re feeling unwell, it becomes even more of a challenge. When they get older, you would hope it would become a little easier, and that they may be able to give you a helping hand; but with younger children, you don’t have much choice but to keep going, no matter how rough you feel. Some people rarely get sick, but for others coughs and colds, headaches, and stomach flu are all too common, and increasingly there are parents trying to live with chronic health conditions too. How can you do the best for your kids when you’re sick while giving yourself the chance to recover?

Look after yourself

The first rule of coping when you’re sick is not to get sick in the first place! That might sound a little facetious, but the point is that we can always do more to lead a healthy life and if we take care of ourselves we’re less prone to catching illnesses. It’s the stuff you probably already know; eat healthily, drink plenty of water, take regular exercise and reduce your stress. Getting a regular check-up is also a good idea to make sure you’re monitoring the underlying signs of ill health and managing them. Time is the usual excuse given for not sticking to a healthy lifestyle, but if you find yourself using this as a reason, you need to think about your priorities. None of what you do will matter if you become seriously ill, so you need to put your health first and make every effort to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing.

Self-care when you’re sick

Many of us soldier on feeling unwell for extended periods of time, hoping that the problem will resolve itself and that a doctor’s appointment won’t be needed. Sometimes it’s perfectly possible to self-care, for example, if you have a cold then a few days rest, good nutrition and plenty of fluids should sort you out. It’s usually not necessary to visit the doctor for these kinds of minor illnesses, not least because there is very little that they can do for you. Antibiotics aren’t effective against viruses, only bacteria, and in most cases, your own immune system is best placed to deal with your cold.

Getting professional help

However, there are times when you should visit your doctor, and by delaying you will only be causing yourself unnecessary suffering. Chronic symptoms such as acid reflux, migraines, or pain that doesn’t get better need to be checked on, and in many cases will be easily treated. If you have recurring urinary tract infections and cystitis, then contact a specialist clinic such as this one: Urologists are experts in all things relating to the urinary tract, kidneys, and bladder, and these types of problems are quite common in women, so it’s worth paying a visit to a specialist doctor for an assessment. You’ll find that specialist clinics have the most effective treatment options available and are best placed to diagnose your problems and offer relevant advice.

Getting help from friends and family

You might feel reluctant to ask for help, but your friends and family will probably be only too pleased to assist you in whatever way they can. You can always return the favor if they are unwell or need your help, so try not to see it as being a nuisance or a burden. One great way to get help without inconveniencing anyone too much is to get your friend to take the kids to school for you. That way you can make the most of staying in bed resting, knowing your children are safe at school and you don’t need to get out of bed if you feel very sick. Transport, cleaning and laundry, a bit of shopping, and cooking meals will all help you stay resting and healing while you’re regaining your strength. If you have a partner, make sure they help out as much as they can, relieving you of too many chores so you can rest and recover. It will be in everybody’s interests to have you back on your feet as soon as possible, anyway, and some care and thoughtfulness is the best way to speed up your recovery.

Looking after the kids when there’s no one else to help out

Sometimes you may find you can’t get any help, so you’ll need a strategy to get through the day with minimal stress and disruption for you or the kids. If you have to get them to school and there are no other transport options, then at least go back to bed or rest properly in between the school runs. You do need to be sure you are safe to drive of course, and if you are dizzy, lightheaded, or in any way impaired then don’t drive, even if it means the kids have to stay home. If they are at home, you’ll be grateful for tablets, television and video games to keep them occupied. While too much screen time is not advisable in the normal course of the day, this is an occasion when you can make an exception. Books, jigsaws, games, and crafts are all great ways of keeping kids amused, so encourage them to try some of these activities. They will be quite likely to want to spend some time with you, but avoid overtaxing yourself, and stick to quiet reading or easy games if you feel up to it.

Illnesses are a part of life, and kids need to learn how to help and care for someone who is sick. You can teach them a lot about understanding illness and being compassionate when you are ill, and these are important life lessons for them to learn. You can also talk to them about why you’re ill, how you got sick and the best way to treat that type of illness, so they learn about infection and the importance of hygiene. Most importantly, don’t forget to reassure them that you will be ok, because seeing Mommy sick can be quite distressing for children. Let them know you’ll soon be back to your old self with a bit of help from them.