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I’m sitting here with my cup of tea waiting for my body to realize that we don’t have time to get sick. As a self-employed mom, my time is precious, which means I don’t have extra time to rest. While I wish I did, that isn’t my reality.
So what can you do when you’re a work-at-home mom and illness strikes. Sometimes it’s illness for your little ones and other times it’s you. And then my oh my, there are the days when the whole household is sick at once.
People tell me that to get better I need to rest. Sadly, there are no sick days for stay-at-home moms. Add in being a stay-at-home working mom and you can forget it.
Self-employed mom tips
In Ohio, cold and flu season is in full swing. This is just the beginning of dealing with being sick and being a self-employed mom. As I go through this challenge, here are my self-employed mom tips for surviving cold and flu season without losing your business.
Set your alarm for 15 minutes later
Personally, I’m finding it more time-efficient to give my body a bit more sleep in the morning than it is to pause and take a nap. I’ve been allowing myself just 15 more minutes of rest to aid me in getting through the long days of motherhood and business ownership.
If it works better for you and your schedule, try going to bed a bit earlier. Either way, even 15 more minutes of sleep has an impact on your body.
Delay projects without deadlines
Pause and take a moment to review your to-do list. Put deadlines next to each item and then reorder them by the items due today, tomorrow and then this week. Anything that isn’t due this week can wait until you feel better.
Do only what you must absolutely do today. I love checking boxes on to-do lists and because of that, I try to maximize every moment of productivity possible. But when you’re sick, this isn’t the best option for your body. Rest when it’s possible to rest, even if that means sitting on the floor playing with your kids more instead of working. This season of your life is all about prioritizing so don’t be an overachiever during illness.
Contact your clients
Honesty is the best policy. Let your clients know that you aren’t feeling well. Check to see if you can get an extension on projects you’re worried you won’t be able to complete. Reschedule calls where you can to ensure that you’re at your best when discussing new projects or new clients.
Everyone gets sick so more than likely your clients or employer will understand that you’re trying to get better. And those who can’t be flexible will go on your important list for the week that you still complete.
Hire a freelancer
This one is risky, and honestly, I’ve never done it. Mostly because I’m too afraid to hand off my work to someone else when I care so much about what I do.
But if you already have business partners or employees, lean on them a little more during this time. I realize that affects your take-home financially, but if it helps you regain your health, it’s worth it.
Call in reinforcements
If you can’t sacrifice your baby’s nap time to get some sleep, call your network of family and friends to care for your little one while he or she is awake so you can rest. Personally, nap time is my most valuable time. At that time of the afternoon I’ve been exhausted and ready to nap too, but instead there I am powering through with work.
Inviting over some friends or family to watch your little one after nap time can give you a little bit of time to rest. Plus, those loved ones will get valuable one-on-one time with your little one.
Watch a movie together
Some days, all you want to do is sit and do nothing. If your child is sick too, that’s likely all they want to do as well. Make some hot cocoa, snuggle up under a blanket and watch a family-friendly film. If one or both of you fall asleep in the process, so be it!
One day this afternoon while both me and my little guy were sick, we threw in the towel about an hour before my husband got home. We got a small bowl of Teddy Grahams, water cups and tissues and watched his favorite show.
I know all the studies on screen time and children, but I also know firsthand how he’s feeling. Watching TV is all I want to do and the snuggles are nice. Give yourself the time to just sit back, be a mom and relax. Your business will be waiting for you when you regain your energy.
My favorite cold remedies
Everyone has those tips and tricks they love to use when they are sick. Here are some of my favorites that help bring me comfort or reduce the longevity of my illness. This is certainly not medical advice so call your doctor if you’re not getting better or your illness seems to be severe.
- Airborne – I swear by this stuff. When I was pregnant and then breastfeeding and couldn’t take it, I felt so lost. I’ve found that it significantly shortens how long I’m sick and makes the symptoms less severe.
- Chai tea – Chai tea lattes make me feel so much better when I’m sick. It’s not necessarily a cure-all but it helps with a sore throat and brings me comfort during tough days.
- Microwaveable Aromatherapy Healing Neck and Shoulder Wrap – Much like the chai tea, this is not a cure-all but it does feel good. Especially while I’m snuggling my sick toddler and reading books or watching TV.
- Amazon Prime Video – There are tons of great children’s programs on Amazon Prime Video. Plus, you can get a 30-day free trial to see what’s out there and see if it works for your family.