Sick Days and the Working Mom: How to Manage an Unwell Child When You’re a Working Mother

September 5, 2011

As a working mom, one of the most dreaded seasons is , you guessed it, ‘Flu Season’. A runny nose and a couple of sneezes is enough to get your antennae up. Sickness is tough not only on the child but also on you, as a working mother.

You need to juggle your schedule so that you can tend to your li’l patient and still manage deadlines and work commitments. How do you do it?

Here are some tips on managing sick kids and work as smoothly as you can:

Stay Watchful

Watchfulness has many benefits. One of them is that you can deal with illness well before it becomes a full-blown infection. If you notice a child sneezing and sniffling on Saturday, plan the weekend to include plenty of rest, nourishing foods and sleep to nip the cold bug in the bud.

Give Kids Plenty of Down Time

Overscheduled kids are usually more stressed than their counterparts. Stress lowers immunity and that leads to frequent illnesses. Also, it leads to exhaustion and fatigue which again, leads to illnesses. So, don’t get tempted to overschedule your kids for after-school activities.

Enlist the support of family members or friends or paid help to take care of the kids after school a few days a week so that they can just relax, read, watch a video and recharge themselves.

Prepare for Sick Days

One of the best things that you can do is to stay prepared for sick days. Here are a few ways to do that-

• Save a few days of leave to tend to an unwell toddler or a feverish baby.

• Deal with the most essential tasks at work early in the day so that should you need to rush home to a vomiting child, you wouldn’t be leaving important things not done.

• Enlist your emergency care team – a neighbor, a family member, a friend or fellow parent who would be able to take care of your sick child. However, do remember to return the favor in some way or the other.

• Talk to your manager or immediate supervisor. Ask them for their inputs on managing a sick child. Put their suggestions to use or make a couple of your own. This would keep them in the loop and not make you feel guilty about cancelling a meeting at the last-minute.

How do you juggle sick kids and workdays? Do share

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