How to Survive Being a Stay-at-Home-Mom When You’re Sick

Being a stay-at-home-mom when you're sick is rough. There are no sick days! These tips will help you power through and survive!

Being a stay-at-home-mom when you're sick is rough. There are no sick days! These tips will help you power through and survive!

It happens so rarely that I forget how awful it really is. I am sick. I hate being sick, and I hate admitting that I’m sick. But good grief I feel horrible, and I’m trapped in this house with three little kids that want nothing more than to crawl all over me (and naturally Hubs is working out of town for the weekend). I love them but I just want to say “Don’t touch Momma!” I never will, though. I never knew how easy I had it when I was younger and got sick. I could stay home from work, curl up in bed, and just recover. Not now. As a SAHM there is NO getting away from my work. No more sick days. No more curling up in bed. You just have to grin and bear it. Being a stay-at-home-mom when you’re sick is rough, but I’ve found a few things that make things a little easier.

Stay on Top of Your Medicine

Whether you’re taking over the counter meds, prescriptions, or natural remedies, stay on top of your doses! Set a timer or an alarm on your phone so you know when to take them again. At the very least, jot down the time when you took it so you don’t have to do the mental trackback. “I think I took my medicine right after I gave the kids breakfast? Or was it before lunch? No idea!” Do what you need to do to remind yourself to take your medicine.

Stay Hydrated

I’m terrible at this. When I’m sick all I want to drink is coffee to keep me going, but it’s super important for your body to get real liquids. Drink lots of water, or anything really besides just coffee. Just keep drinking. Your body can’t kick the bug if it’s not hydrated.

New Movie Time!

I know I’ve said before that we’re cutting back on how much TV we’re watching, but all bets are off when Momma’s sick. The other day we watched Inside Out for the first time, and my son loves it. It’s currently on repeat, and it’s making everyone happy. Therefore Momma’s happy. It’s a great excuse for some Netflix binging. You might get tired of hearing the same thing over and over, but if it keeps the kids happy, that’s all that matters.

Sit on the Couch (If They Let You)

During the day I love sitting on the floor and playing with my kids. We all play with their toys, they come by, sit on me for a few minutes, climb and jump on me, then run off in opposite directions. It’s wonderful… unless you’re sick. This is the time when I like to sit on the couch. I stay perched on the edge so they can still get to me if they want me, but I’m up where they can’t jump all over me. The added plus to this is that it keeps them out of my face. I feel like I’m breathing the plague all over everyone.

Let Some Priorities Slip

Momma, I know there’s a ton of stuff on your to-do list, but how much of it actually HAS to get done right now? Do you really need to bake three dozen cookies for that class party, or will store-bought suffice? (Slip in a note explaining that you’re not well and most people are understanding.) There are a million loads of laundry that need washed, but does everyone still have clothes? Then they’re fine. Or get them through the washer and dryer and have a folding party later when you’re feeling better.

Actually Nap When They Nap

This goes back to life with newborns. You need to rest when they’re resting. Your body can’t recover quickly if you’re off doing a million things, so sit back and rest a little. I know that the kids’ nap time is my free time, and I use that to do all my stuff like blogging and cleaning. But this week I’ve actually been napping, and this has been helping me so much. I feel like I can actually make it through the evening and get them in bed.

Take Some Shortcuts

Make dinner in the slow cooker. Make a giant pot of soup that will last for days. Let the kids have some more independent play in their rooms. Now is the time to figure out what would make your days the easiest. If you promised your kids some craft time, maybe substitute in some play-dough instead of painting. 

Ask for Help

You can’t, and shouldn’t, have to do it all, Momma. Ask Hubs to stop at the grocery store on the way home or to load the dishwasher for you. See if some family wouldn’t mind watching the kids for you or helping you around the house some. 

I could see the writing on the wall when it happened: my son coughed at dinner one night, had a low-grade fever, and then was sick the next day. As soon as that happened I knew I was next. Sure enough, as soon as I got him better, it started with me. Now I’m just crossing my fingers that I don’t pass it on to the twins, as well. There are no more sick days. I just have to power through it.

What’s your best tip for survival as a stay-at-home-mom when you’re sick?

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About Samantha

I am a SAHM to three kids and a menagerie of pets. I love coffee, books, crafts, wine, cooking, and more coffee. Seriously, I couldn't function without coffee. Read more about me!


  1. Totally. Let things slip, getting better is more important. Let them run around a bit wild while you sit rather than chasing, definitely keep up on medication and rest whenever possible. Being sick is no bueno. Feel better.
    Julie recently posted…Gratitude and Goals April 29, 2016 #GratitudeGoalsMy Profile

  2. movies are totally how we survive when mama is sick. mine are 2 and 4, so a little more independent and understanding of when mama doesn’t feel good.
    jessica recently posted…My May Stitch Fix, #12.My Profile

  3. Such great tips! I go for frozen pizza for the kids and sandwiches for me and the hubs when I’m sick. My kids get to watch as much Ninjago and Pokemon as they want. You gotta do what you gotta do!

  4. Love this! Happy we are IG friends too 🙂

    Thanks Samantha!

    – Rachel |

  5. I feel this! I just had the flu, the 2 year old had the flu, the newborn had the flu…and my poor husband had it too! We had to take things really easy. And watch a LOT of new shows.
    Lauren Jane recently posted…College is Just Like Parenting…My Profile

  6. These are great tips, it is so touch when mama gets sick – I’ll have to remember to set a timer to take doses of meds next time I’m sick because you are exactly right. I hope you feel better quickly! Sending lots of well wishes your way!

    • That was one of the hardest things! My head was so fuzzy and tired that I really couldn’t remember the last time I took a dose, and I didn’t want to take too much. Problem solved. 🙂

  7. Ugh. It is the worst being sick when you stay at home with the kids. I had the stomach flu earlier this year, and I had to ask my parents to come over for a few hours because I just couldn’t do it. Napping when they nap, and Netflix also are key to survival.

  8. I’m sick as we speak :-(. These are some great tips. I swear being sick as a mother is the worse thing ever!!!!! I wish I could never get sick.
    Healing Mama recently posted…Marriage Fitness : What To Do When Date Night Is ImpossibleMy Profile

  9. Really good recommendations. Keeping up with momma/wife duties when you’re sick can be so hard.
    LaNeshe recently posted…4 Tips for Keeping Marriage Alive Post-BabyMy Profile

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