If you listened to the fifth Pro Mom’s Club podcast you could hear that I was getting over a cold. That’s to be expected during this time of the year with the kids going back to school. But, unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the dreaded cold and flu season.
For us working moms I say “dreaded” because we already have so much to do that we don’t have the luxury of calling out sick and resting in bed all day. I still have to make sure the kids get off to school. There are meals to make and laundry to fold. The kids still need to be picked-up from football or soccer practice. And, I still have clients to see and a business to run.
In short, life as a professional mom doesn’t care how sick you are.
At the same time, if you don’t take care of yourself that annoying head cold could linger on and on or lead to something worse like a respiratory infection.
So today I want to share with you six ways that you can still be a super-mom, and attend to your health, when you feel like crap.
1. Stay healthy and listen to your body.
This should be common sense, but it’s so difficult for us to focus on our own health. But, by exercising, getting enough sleep, reducing your stress, and eating healthy you can boost your immune system. While this won’t completely prevent you from getting sick I’ve noticed that when you’re healthy physically and mentally you can fight off that nasty virus more quickly.
If you’re struggling with this, then it’s time to learn some time management techniques like delegating, setting realistic goals, and saying “no” to every request so that you do have the time to hit the gym and practice some self-care.
When you do feel like you’re starting to come down with something, don’t ignore or push through it. Listen to your body and make sure you get enough rest and fluids. You may also want to visit the doctor to nip it in the bud.
2. Keep things simple.
I get it. You still want to excel as both a professional woman and mother. But when you’re not feeling 100% it’s acceptable to ease back until you feel better.
For example, I know that you want to prepare a wonderful, delicious, and nutritious meal for your family. But it’s perfectly fine to make something simple, like breakfast, or let your children make a bowl of cereal for themselves. Or, let your husband pick-up a pizza and salad. It’s not the norm, so you’re family can survive for a day or two.
Additionally, try to reschedule your harder work for a couple of days later until. Unless it’s urgent, it can probably wait. While you’re sick, focus on softer tasks like cleaning out your email inbox or setting up appointments for next week.
3. Relax the rules — just a bit.
I know that pile of laundry irks you. I also know that you don’t like your kids spending too much time watching TV or playing video games. But, until you get back on your feet, relax the rules a little.
Getting rest is crucial if when you’re sick. And, that’s tough to do when you’re still keeping up with work, household chores, and entertaining the kids. Don’t worry about those chores for a couple of days. They will get done. And, let your kids know that while you’re resting they can have some additional screen time. Just make sure that they know that this is an exception and still boundaries for them, like turning off their devices an hour or two before bed.
4. Try to maintain a routine.
Children need a routine.
I know that all you want to do is stay in your comfy bed. But try to rally in the morning so that your kids still have a sense of normalcy. You can always rest up after the kids are off to school!
If you’re breastfeeding, and the doctor says it’s alright, you can continue breastfeeding your baby. I know that this sounds frightening, but you may be able to strengthen their immune system by passing on the antibodies you’re body is producing.
If you exercise, and are just experiencing a sore throat or sneezing, you can still get in a little workout. In fact, getting outside and going for a walk to get some fresh air is good for you. If you have a fever, aches, and coughing excessively, however, you should take a rest day.
5. Ask for help.
This is difficult for us moms, but as long as your children aren’t contagious ask if they can spend the night with a friend or family so that you can rest up — just remember to return the favor.
If you have an amazing mother, I’m fortunate to have one, ask if she can help out. My mom loves to cook. And she always makes way too much. That means my family has plenty of food to heat up while I’m resting for a couple of days. She also doesn’t mind doing some light laundry or chauffeuring the kids around. Even if I have to go to work, at least I can come right home and get under the covers.
If you’re children are old enough, then get them to help out with household chores, like washing dishes, folding laundry, or walking the dog.
As for work, ask if a co-worker can handle some of your workload while you stay home. Again, just remember to reciprocate when they have to call out!
6. Keep your germs to yourself.
Finally, don’t contaminate others!
Quarantine yourself from your family and do not go into work. I know that your kids want to be next to you, but you don’t want to get them sick — the same is true of your partner.
In your workplace, you’re already behind on work so you don’t want to risk getting someone else getting sick and having to catch-up on your work and cover for them. Besides, thanks to technology, you should be able to at least do a little work from home.
If you have any tips on how to still be a super-mom when you’re sick, please share them with us in the comments.