Wondering if and when to call the doctor, what she possibly has, how much fluid she needs to keep from dehydrating and almost just as important, plotting how you can keep her in rest mode after the Tylenol kicks in, is enough to drive most any mother temporarily insane.
The next time your child is home from daycare, school or another activity sick, try incorporating these sanity savers into your day:
Keep a log book.
If you are tracking your child's temperature or giving her medicine, write it down. Doing so will help prevent accidental overdoses and allow you to provide an accurate report to your child's healthcare provider should you need to.
Have quiet activities on hand.
Print off some free activity pages at www.printables4kids.com or get out an old fashioned coloring book. Give your child a clipboard to hold her paper in place, along with some crayons, and encourage her to color from the couch.
Utilize some screen time.
Allow your child time to watch a DVD (Scholastic has a great Storybook Treasures collections that features classic children's books on DVD), play an age-appropriate video or computer game or visit a few educational websites like PBSKids.org or FunBrain.com.
Listen to books on tape.
A child who likes to do things for herself will likely love the feeling she gets from turning the pages in a book as she listens to the dramatic reading of a story. Most libraries have a collection of books on tape available for borrowing.
Offer a special treat.
Distracting your child with a special "get well juice" can often momentarily take her mind off of her discomfort. Combine a little seltzer water and 100% fruit juice and offer it to your child in a special cup or sports bottle.
Pull ideas out of a hat.
On slips of paper, write down several different quiet activities like "playing with play dough," "reading a book" and "playing a board game." When your child starts to complain she is bored, have her pull an activity to do out of the hat.
It's no secret that snuggling with mom is sometimes the only thing that will bring a sick child comfort. Get a comfy blanket, snuggle up and reassure your child she's loved and will get better soon.
Caring for a sick child can often be like riding a rollercoaster. Once you think your ride is over and your child is on the mend, it starts all over again. As you balance playing nurse, caregiver and entertainer, remember to reassure yourself and your child that this sick day too shall pass.
How do you keep your sanity when your kids are home sick? Share your tips and tricks to help other moms keep their sanity on sick days.