To start off, I’ll just say…I never made it out of my pajamas today, and, to be completely honest, never got around to brushing my teeth until 3:00 this afternoon. Yikes!
Sweet Pea woke up at 4 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m. I got up at 6 and fed her and, luckily, was able to get her to go back to sleep for a little while. I went back to sleep myself and actually sent an email to my church telling them I would be missing Bible Study today. Allergies are killer, are they not?
Sometimes it’s embarrassing to admit that (having one of those days where you’re really just lounging around), but it shouldn’t be. Some days you don’t feel as great as others (Welcome, Texas allergies). Today was just a “stay-in-my-pajamas” kind of day.
Ever seen that commercial (I think it’s for cold medicine) of the mom or dad (there are two different versions) telling their son they’re going to take a sick day (and their son is just a baby). That is the honest truth. Parents don’t get sick days with an infant in the house. So how do you navigate sick days while working from home as a mom? Here’s how I do it, or what I try to do at least.
How to Take Sick Days as a Working Mom
- Take a Sick Day if It’s Absolutely Necessary
Now, again, you won’t get a sick day from parenting, but you might be able to call in sick to work, depending on the policy your company has. Maybe you get PTO, maybe you can afford to just miss out on a day, maybe you can make up the hours later. Know the policy ahead of time.
For me, I really have to weigh my options. I’m going to try my best for the day, see what I can get done, and, if at the end of the day, I didn’t accomplish anything, think about how stressed I will be trying to make up those hours and decide if I can lose out on them for the week.
Luckily today, I didn’t feel so horribly sick that I couldn’t do anything.
2. Sleep When Baby Is Sleeping
This is incredibly hard to do when you work from home. The minutes and hours baby is sleeping is precious time you could be using to get your work done. So it’s really hard to justify taking a nap yourself because you won’t be able to get that work done. This morning, I had the option after putting baby back to bed at 7 a.m. to start working, or go back to bed myself. Because I felt so bad, I thought it would be worth losing out on some work hours, so I went back to bed for a few hours.
You really have to weigh your options. Will you be able to work better later if you are able to get some more rest now or do you think you can push through and make it to the next nap (if there is one) or until later that evening?
3. Movie Time
This might not be a popular suggestion, given our generation and paranoia about EVERYTHING under the sun. “Don’t let your kids watch any TV EVER. It will rot their brain and they’ll be stupid or have ADD or…” I don’t know what else. But, let’s be real, sometimes you need some time to relax and rest and if setting your child up with a movie in front of them is a way for you to get a moment to just relax and stop chasing them around the room, I’d say go for it.
I do think there are good limits to set for how often you do this with your kids (according to my limited knowledge so far), but it can be helpful to get that time. Sometimes that’s how I’m able to get in a little bit more work so I’m not feeling so stressed.
4. Ask for Help
I’ve definitely had sick days where I’ve just needed help. Fortunately, I’ve had family and friends nearby that I’ve been able to call for help. They’re able to come over and watch LO so I can get some shuteye or get a few hours in that I lost sleeping earlier in the day. That has been so helpful and encouraging to me that they would even be willing!
And, of course, there is always your spouse when he gets home. I try to resist the urge to just hand Sweet Pea off to my husband as soon as he walks through the door, but if I feel really bad, he understands and will help take care of her so I can rest or catch up on work.
I’m sure there are some more tips I can give, but that’s all I can think of right now. I hope that was helpful.
If you have other questions about this or other topics you want to know more about that relate to working from home, being a working mom or being a mom, in general, share those with me in the comments below! I am a new mom, so I don’t know if I’ll have the answers for you, but I can share my year’s worth of knowledge/experience! 🙂