Getting sick when you work at home is a pain. It’s all too easy to just keep going rather than taking the rest you need. It gets worse when it’s one of the kids who is sick, especially one young enough to need a lot of care. A sick child can really mess up your work at home day. Here are some tips to cope.
Figure Out What Your Child Needs
How much you can work will very much depend on what your child needs. A child with a cold usually won’t need as much of your time as one with a bad flu or stomach bug. Some kids are more independent than others when they’re sick. Sometimes you have to take time off to take your child to the doctor. And of course, if it’s awful enough to require a hospital stay, all bets are off.
Get Enough Rest
If you haven’t caught your child’s bug already, or if you’re sick too, you need to rest so things don’t get worse… not to mention you may need the energy for those middle of the night calls.
This isn’t always easy. My youngest is dealing with a bug right now, and it has made her clingy, especially at night, and it must be MOMMY! Such is life. It makes it harder to sleep, as there’s no escaping the cough that wakes her up during the night. Still, all I can do is try, so that I’m not in too much of a mental fog all day from sheer exhaustion. It’s much harder to be productive if you aren’t getting a reasonable amount of rest.
Relax About Screen Time
When my kids are sick, I don’t apply the usual rules about watching TV. Sick kids need something quiet to do, and TV works. My older two can even have our small TV moved into their rooms when they’re sick, which keeps them away from everyone else a bit more, and may help keep everyone else from catching their bug. Hopefully. If they fall asleep in front of the TV, no big deal.
Be With Your Child As Needed
Younger kids may need to be right by you more. If they’re going to throw up, don’t do any important work too close to them… you don’t want anything that matters ruined that way, like your laptop. But if it’s just a cold or something like that, they may just want to lean on you even if you’re working. If that works for you, let them. It’s a huge comfort to a sick child.
Inform Your Employer Or Clients If Necessary
If caring for your sick child is going to impact when your work gets done, let people know. Be professional about it. You may be able to rearrange your schedule a bit, or just let them know that things may take a few extra days as you deal with the situation at home. You can also post on your social media accounts if the time you take off makes a difference there.
Rethink Your Priorities
You may have had certain goals in mind for the day or week before you found out your child was sick. Take a new look and decide what’s really going to get done. Some things will still be more important than others, and some things are easier to delay even when they’re important.
Use Your Virtual Assistant
Sick kids are just one of the reasons why many home business owners enjoy having a virtual assistant. Things can keep going even if you can’t handle it all yourself. This may be the time to have yours do a little more work for you. Most are flexible about taking more work on, so long as they have the time available in their schedule.
If you haven’t ever used a virtual assistant, this may not be the best time to try one out, however. There’s a learning curve to using one, and it takes some preparation to hand things over. You can give it a try, however, if you really need the help.
Don’t Feel Guilty
Dealing with a sick child is one of those great guilt trips. You feel guilty because you’re working too hard, not working hard enough, not paying enough attention to your child, whatever it is you think you’re doing wrong at the moment.
Stop. You have a sick child. It’s not your fault, and you need to help your child. Make it work the best you can. You may not get it perfect, but these days aren’t likely to be make or break for your work at home job, home business or in the life of your child. And if something is that important in your professional life, find someone to help you out. Family and friends are often willing to help out with a sick child when it’s that important.