It is difficult to take care of yourself when you have a child at home. I get migraines, so I’ve had a lot of experience trying to balance caring for a child with the need to hide in a silent, dark room. Here are a few secret weapons that help me get in some peace and quiet when I’m not feeling well.
A special stash of activities
When I find craft kids, activity books or fun gadgets for a cheap price, I snag them. They go in a secret bin in my closet. I pull them out when I need my daughter to entertain herself quietly. Since they are fresh, she’s more likely to interact with them for longer than she will her every day belongings.
Lighten TV restrictions
We don’t do a lot of TV at our house. That changes when I’m sick, though. I set her up in the living room with some comfy pillows, a blanket, some refreshments and the remote. Then I go in my bedroom and shut the door to drown on the sounds of the Disney Channel. For children who are too small to be left alone or are feeling a bit needy, a tablet with Netflix and headphones (in the same room as you) works great.
Let’s “play” doctor
My kiddo was all about pretend play when she was small. I’d get her to be my “doctor.” I’d be the patient who really needed quiet. She’d doodle notes on my condition while observing me from the corner of my bedroom. I’d also ask the kind “doctor” to bring me water, a granola bar or a cool rag for my head. Kids like feeling helpful, so let them take care of you.
Don’t rule out bribes
“Do you have a headache today, Mommy?” became code for “Can I have some ice cream?” after a few times of promising her a treat after dinner if she just played quietly for an hour while I rested. Offer up a trip to the park, a movie and popcorn, a few more minutes at bedtime or whatever will inspire quiet compliance. My daughter even bargained skipping a bath once. I didn’t care if she was stinky, as long as she was quiet.
Call in the backup
Parents don’t have super powers. Sometimes we’re just too sick to take care of ourselves and our kids. That’s when calling in backup is necessary. My husband and I both had the flu this year and our daughter was going crazy of boredom. We’d been through all our tricks. I started arranging time with grandma, Auntie and her best friend. She had fun and we got to rest.
What do you do when you aren’t feeling well, but have kids at home? Tell us in the comments below.