By Lisa Nord Seplak
There is no time in the busy life of a parent for a sick day. Here are six tips to help a sick parent get through the day when the flu season hits.
- Ask for help. Have your spouse come home early from work or, even better, take the day off. Enlist the help of your mom, dad, a sibling or friend to come over for a few hours or an entire day so you can get some rest.
- Stock the cupboard. Keep supplies on hand so you’re prepared to take care of yourself. Good staples include soups, saltine crackers, bread for toast, tea and 7up. Be sure to have extra boxes of tissues, a pain/fever reducer, cough syrup, throat lozenges, vitamin C and anything else you like to help relieve symptoms.
- Have simple foods for the kids. Keep easy-to-prepare foods on hand like cereal, cheese and crackers, applesauce, macaroni and cheese, sandwich makings, raisins and hard boiled eggs. These are nutritious and easy for kids to fix themselves.
- Keep the kids entertained. Stock a craft box to keep little hands busy. Include white paper, construction paper, paper plates, tissue paper, egg cartons, stickers, colored pencils, crayons, glue sticks, feathers and play dough. Keep a shelf of your kids’ favorite books within reach and download new books onto your tablet. Don’t feel guilty letting your kids watch TV or movies.
- Rest with kids close by. Rest on the couch while your kids play on the floor next to you. Have your kids read to themselves or to you while you rest in bed, or have them make up their own stories to tell you. Relax while they entertain you with a puppet show. Arrange a bunch of pillows and blankets on the floor to make a fort or a comfy nest.
- Write down important info. Keep a list of emergency numbers for yourself or a caregiver. If you have pets, write down the details of their care. Don’t worry about chores, laundry or baths. These things can wait.