Life Hacks to Survive and Thrive on a Mommy Sick Day

12 Life Hacks to Survive (And THRIVE) On a Mommy Sick Day

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Mom sick days are just unfair. Like the universe was playing a gross trick or a prank gone too far.


Let me just start by telling you my own little horror story of mom sickness. 

It was almost spring- you know, in that terrible transition phase around March and April where germs thrive.

I took my cute little daughter to the play place at McDonald’s for some much needed exercise and free play. We were just so sick of being cooped up in the house.

Little did I know, we were about to be a whole ‘nother kind of sick.

It all started with my cute telling me, “Mom, sick!”

I couldn’t tell if she was really feeling under the weather or not. She wasn’t really showing any signs of sickness yet. And on top of that, I was pregnant and often nauseous, so she was hearing a lot about how mommy didn’t feel well. At first, I thought she was just repeating after me.

And then it all happened.

First, we got the flu. ALL of us. Starting with the toddler (who barfed in my hair while I was snuggling her in the night… you know, since the poor girl couldn’t sleep because she was so miserable!) and then I got sick too (oh, did I mention I was pregnant on top of all this????) and last of all dad came down with it too.

And that sucked.

But then, it got worse. 

Second, our throats started to feel tingly and itchy. Then they got inflamed and so so sore! Yep, next we all got strep throat. That lasted for a good 4 days at least…

Just when we thought we MUST be finally coming out of it, our sinuses stuffed up, headaches started, and the colds took over! 

All in all, it was like 2 weeks straight of an entire family being sick as a dog!!

That means no dishes done in 2 weeks, no sweeping the floor in 2 weeks, no cooking meals in 2 weeks, no laundry done in 2 weeks, no errands run in 2 weeks, no grocery shopping done…. 

What is a mom supposed to do to SURVIVE???

person lying on gray sofa

Life Hack 1: Explain What’s Going On to Your Kids

I’m always amazed at how much my kids actually do understand if I just take the time to talk to them about what’s going on. 

Even my little 2 year old!

When we were so sick, I told her that mommy felt icky just like she did. She was very understanding when I was slower to get her a snack or when I spent a lot more time lounging on the couch than normal.

Don’t forget to clue your kids in. Sometimes we accidentally leave our kids in the dark (which leads to more behavior problems because they are just confused), but if they just know what’s going on they can be very loving, supportive, and helpful in our time of need!

Want to hear the cutest story about the cutest kid in the world?? Check out this story from our post Scary Mom-Nightmares Series- Category: Over 60 Insanely Awesome Child Quotes.

“I was folding laundry one day and told him that I was feeling really tired. He let out an “awwww!”, gave me a big hug, and said firmly, “I take you yours bed.”

I protested- telling him that I still had to fold the clothes. He would not be swayed- “I do it myself.”

Then he took me by my hand and guided me to my room. I laid down in bed and he covered me with a blanket. Later he brought in a cookie sheet with a couple chocolate chips on it. “I bring you yours lunch.”

I asked if he could help his little sister, who was fussing. He put her in her bed with a sippy cup and calmed her right down.

That cutie melts my heart! He was only 5 years old.”

adult white American bulldog sitting on couch

Life Hack 2: Have Fun On the Couch

Moms, it’s time to get creative!

You’re out of commission on the couch, and yet your little ones need some kind of entertainment if you expect to get any rest and relaxation at all.

There’s a ton of great fun activities and games for your kiddos…. that don’t involve you leaving the couch!! 

  • Coloring
  • Blocks
  • Books
  • The “I’m the Audience” Game
    • Puppet shows,
    • Talent show,
    • Singing shows
    • Basically, anything that lets my kids perform and me be the audience so I can kick back and relax!

HABA Doorway Puppet Theater – Space Saver with Adjustable Rod Fits in Most Doorways

Clearance Sale!JPJ(TM)🍁12Pcs Hot Creative Chinese Zodiac Soft Animal Puppet Finger Toys PLush Toys

6 Plush Velour Animal Hand Puppets

Nickelodeon Paw Patrol Bath Finger Puppets

  • Farm
    • My daughter LOVES to set up elaborate farms or zoos with her toy animals. All I have to do is sit back and tell her how nice it all looks!
  • Play Dough
    • On special days, my daughter gets to play with play dough at the coffee table. I’m close enough to supervise and keep the mess down to a minimum, but I also get to rest!
  • Write a Story Together
  • Tell Stories
  • Look at Family Pictures
  • Dream about Visiting Disney Land
    • Research what princesses you could meet, what restaurants you could eat at, what rides you could ride, and more!
  • Plan out a Dream Family Vacation
    • Find out more about your kids’ interests by learning what kind of places they would enjoy visiting and what their favorite activities would be there!
  • Puzzles!
  • Try some Origami!
  • Shape Threading
  • Make Jewelry
  • Do String Art!
    • All you have to do is poke some tacks into a pin board and let your little one loop string in, over, and around the tacks to make their own piece of art!
  • Give them a Box
    • Aren’t you amazed at how kids can make something ordinary become amazing? Give your kid a box and let them turn it into a doll house, a race track, a farm, or whatever else they dream up! Give them crayons to decorate it and let the creativity begin!
  • Need more ideas? Check out Over 60 Indoor Activities for Families on a Rainy Day

boy sitting on white cloth surrounded by toys

Life Hack 3: Secret Stash of Toys

You know how kids get tired of the same old toys? That is particularly problematic when you REALLY need them to play happily on their own while you nap during a mommy sick day.

The solution? Keep a few secret, special toys that are only allowed to be played with on sick days! This keeps ’em special and exciting!! 

Here are a few ideas:

My Felt Story – Felt Board, Flannel Board, Black, 23″ x 12.5″

Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game, Classic Games, Exciting Balancing Game, Develops Hand-Eye Coordination, 12.5″ H x 2.8″ W x 2.8″ L

6 Neon Stretchy Strings for ADD / ADHD Stretch Toy Stress Reliever Fidget Toy Sensory Toys – Stretches from 13 inches to 10 Feet Long!

Squirrel Products Mom, I’m Bored Children’s Activity Book – Fun for Kids Ages 3 Years Old and Up

PlayMonster Lacing & Tracing – Dinosaurs

Soyee Button Art | Preschool Learning Toys | Color Matching Mosaic Pegboard Set for 3+ Year Old Boys & Girls | Brain Training Games for kids

BUCKLE TOY “Buddy” Backpack – Toddler Early Learning Basic Life Skills Children’s Plush Travel Activity

Haktoys Fishing Game Toy Set with Single-Layer Rotating Board | Now with Music On/Off Switch for Quiet Play | Includes 21 Fish and 4 Fishing Poles | Safe and Durable Gift for Toddlers and Kids

HABA Town Maze Magnetic Game for Ages 2+

Beiens 9 Theme Felt Quiet Books – Ultra Soft Baby books Touch and feel Cloth Book, 3D Books Fabric Activity for Babies /Toddlers, Learning to Sensory Book、Identify Skill Boys and Girls, Busy Book

Wooden Magnetic Jigsaw Puzzles Toy, DIWENHOUSE Toddler Toys Educational Travel Puzzle Games Double Sided Drawing Easel for Boys and Girls (Happy Farm)

Magnetic Fun – Cars Planes and Trains

soup in bowl

Life Hack 4: Freezer Meals…. or Order Pizza

Ok mom, when you’re sick, the LAST thing you need is to COOK!

Cooking sucks even when you’re healthy. You don’t need that aggravation.

Plan ahead by having some freezer meals ready to go! 

On top of that, I keep a few cans of my favorite Campbell’s soups in my cupboard just in case I need a grilled cheese and tomato soup at a moment’s notice.

And if that fails, it’s time to order pizza!

white ceramic mug on white table beside black eyeglasses

Life Hack 5: The Sick Day Kit

Make a “sick day kit” with everything you need for a mom sick day.

This keeps everything in one place so that you’re not searching for things you need while you’re puking your guts out. Better yet- it keeps you from having to run to the store while you’re puking your guts out!! 

Here’s a few items to include:

  • Tissues,
  • Tea,
  • Common medications,
  • Blanket,
  • A water bottle,
  • Snacks for you and the kids (you know you’ll have to share!),
  • Vitamin C,
  • Cough drops,
  • Fun games or toys for the kids (unless you’ve got a secret stash somewhere),
  • A thermometer to check for a fever,

No Touch Forehead Temporal Thermometer for Fever KIT | Termometro Digital Baby |- The Best Medical Thermometers for Infants, Kids, Adults with New Born Infant Baby Essentials Nasal Aspirator.

Essential Oil Aromatherapy Set – Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Orange, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Anxiety Relief Blend Kit for Women & Men

  • Strep Test Kit,

Dealmed Rapid Diagnostic Strep A Test Kits CLIA Waived (25 Tests per Box)

  • Barf bags,

Disposable Barf Bags and Wipes Kit With 10 Puke Bags and 10 Wipes – For Car Sick Kids, Uber / LYFT Customers and Morning Sickness Sufferers

  • Anything else that makes you feel better when you’re under the weather!

It can be easier to begin your kit using an existing Get Well Kit, like one of these, and add more of your favorite supplies until it’s perfect!

GiftTree Get Well Medicine Cabinet | Recovery Care Package For Men, Women and Kids | Gift Set Includes Cabinet, Assorted Candy, Ice Bag, Mini First Aid Kit

Get Well Soon Care Package Gift (Available in Two Sizes) … (Standard)

Get Well Gift Box Basket II – For Cold/Flu/Illness – Over 2.5 Pounds of Care, Concern, and Love – Great Care Package – Send a Smile Today!

women's gray crew neck shirt

Life Hack 6: 10 Minutes Goes a Long Way

All this is great… but inevitably, whenever you’re sick, your kids will start to feel starved of your attention.

This is my #1 struggle as a sick mom. Well, at least it WAS until I learned this awesome trick! 

It not only CURES your kids from feeling starved of your attention, it also PREVENTS them from feeling starved.

It’s called the 10 Minute Rule. Here’s how it works:

  • Every time you catch yourself feeling slightly better, take 10 minutes one-on-one with a child or play with the whole group


  • Right before every nap you take, take 10 minutes one-on-one with a child or play with all your kids. 

That’s it!

No matter how sick I am, I can handle 10 minutes of time with my kids. What I can’t handle is hours of a clingy, attention-starved child climbing all over me while I try to nap.

The idea here is that by taking time out of your sick day for your kids, they feel your love and attention. Then, you can explain to them that you’re still not feeling well and need some rest.

Since they have their “mommy attention needs” met, they’re more likely to leave you alone to rest for an hour. Ok, maybe just 30 minutes for some kids, but still!

man and woman holding hands on street

Life Hack 7: Learn to Accept Help

This isn’t easy, but it is a life changing skill!

If you can learn to ask for and accept help when you need it, you’ll find that life’s burdens aren’t so bad, that there are good people all around you who are happy to help out, and that you have much more support than you ever knew. 

Next time you’re sick,

  • Ask for someone to pick up your groceries for you via Walmart pickup. You can still pay for them, all they have to do is swing by and bring them to you!
  • Ask for help with the kids. Healthy kids can go on play dates or someone can watch them while you nap. Family members, friends, and your partner are often willing to help, they just might not know what you need.
  • Ask your partner to take over some of your usual chores, like cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc.
  • Arrange carpools for your kids so that you don’t have to drive them to school or to their various clubs, sports, and activities.
  • Tell others what your needs are. You’ll be amazed at the solutions they think of! You never know what another person’s resources and skills are. They have a lot more to give than you might know! 

man wiping mouse with tissue paper

Life Hack 8: PREVENT Sickness with this Magic Vitamin

Elder Berry is a wonderful, magical vitamin.

I first head of it from my sister-in-law.

Her husband was going through a major career change- starting with an intensive flight school to learn how to be a pilot.

It was important to his family that he do well in school and finish school as quickly as possible because they had no income until he finished school and started working as a pilot. 

For him, sick days just weren’t an option!

Sound familiar?

So how did he keep healthy through this vital time for his family?

Elder Berry!

He took this vitamin every day to prevent sickness, and successfully navigated a flu ridden fall and spring without getting sick once! (In fact, it was the same spring that my family got our terrible flu, strep, and cold 2 week illness!)


His wife took it as soon as she started feeling something coming on, and reported that she was almost instantly cured of any illness that might be coming on.

They also gave the vitamins to their kids if they came down with something and reported that colds, coughs, and the flu seemed to end much quicker for their family than other families in the neighborhood.

Want to try it out? Here’s a link for your convenience!

Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies, Herbal Supplements with Vitamin C and Zinc, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, 60 Gummies (Packaging May Vary)

person holding remote pointing at TV

Life Hack 9: Let the Schedule Go

It’s ok if the schedule/routine/typical rules get a little more flexible when you’re sick. 

No need to stress about if the kids go to bed right on time…. or maybe a little earlier than normal if you’re like me.

No need to stress if you watch an extra hour of TV on a sick day. Or an extra few hours of TV on a sick day.

No mom guilt! Give yourself a break! 

Life Hack 10: Self-Care the Crap Out Of Yourself!

Yes, sickness is a time to take care of yourself. So do whatever it takes to feel better!

Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to let your needs go unmet. To the contrary- you are a vital piece to keep your family functioning. Without you, all hell breaks loose! That’s even MORE reason to take care of yourself! 

Do you need a long bath? Make it happen mama!

Do you need a nap? You can have one!

Do you need some time with Netflix? Do it!

Do you need a Popsicle, a bowl of soup, a piece of toast, a glass of orange juice? Get it!

Is self-care tricky for you? Try this great resource!

Free Self Care Guide 2

Life Hack 11: Stay Home. Period.

Mom, I know you’re in charge of a lot of things. You shop for the groceries, you run the errands, you get your kids everywhere they need to go.

It’s time to put your foot down. You need to stay home.

If you go out, you’re just spreading your sickness around to other families and, heaven forbid, other moms! 

I know, we all know we should stay inside, but sometimes necessity drives us out the door.

If you find yourself feeling obligated to leave the house, it’s time to ask for help!

This is healing time. Not errands time. 

Life Hack 12: See the Silver Lining

Yes, sickness sucks. Especially for a mom.

But on the other hand, you have a good excuse to sit still and take a break! 

You get to sleep! And lay around! And relax!

That’s something! Take that in and enjoy! After all, you don’t get to lazy around most days.

You don’t have to fight and struggle your way through a mommy sick day. You can crush it! You’ve got this- these 12 life hacks make a mom sick day totally do-able. 

These 12 tips saved me during my 2+ weeks of sickness- including the flu, strep throat, and a cold one right after the other.

They can save you too!


Mrs. S



Who is Mrs. S… and why do people call you that? 

It’s my favorite nickname! That’s what all my students call me!

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’ve worked with children from ages 0-18, some with mental illness, some with disabilities, some with Autism, and many with behavioral problems.

I also worked as a parent educator!

All that doesn’t hold a candle to my best experience with children- being a mom. Want to learn more about me? Click here! 

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