Who Takes Care of Your Kids When You Are Sick?

Updated on December 28, 2010
T.S. asks from Dallas, TX
23 answers

Okay so i usually am the one taking care of DD even when im sick because of DH's work schedule. He works 5p-5a and he works four nights a week, plus his off duites and he is on the SWAT team as well so he gets called out at any time...long story short,he is always working. Well, recently i found out i was pregnant and was soooo sick with MS that he had to stay home for a couple of days to take care of DD. Well, i ended up miscarrying at 7 weeks and he stayed home a few more days to take care of me and DD, he is GREAT when he helps but he is hardly ever home. My question, how many of you moms have been so sick like with stomach flu or vommiting or diahrrea and you had no choice but to take care of your children? That really scares me..it hasnt happened yet..besides the MS but i am so frightened that it will hit me in the middle of the night and DH cant come home....how do yoiu deal? Any tips, or even remedies, ways to keep my baby girl from not getting scared of mommy being sick?..My DD is only 18 months btw...so she still requires attention. I have family that live close but everyone works:(

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answers from Chicago on

yup. talking to ralph on the big white phone with 2 kids. not fun. i leave fun vomiting messages on my husbands voice mail though LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

dear T.,
i agree with the great posts below, and will only add new info:
when I get sick i also do a great deal of 'take out' and grocery ordering from a local market etc. anything else to make life easier.

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answers from Johnstown on

My sister has MS. She has a caretaker come in through the state/county to help her for several hours a week. You may want to check into that.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I will keep it short and sweet... Me!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

When my son was an infant I once had him strapped in his car seat for 3 days in the bathroom so that I could throw up and pass out as needed. Wheee. Food Poisoning. That was fun.

That was the worst, however. Esp as kiddo has gotten older he has been an absolute SWEETHEART when mommy gets sick. He also gets spoiled to bits when I'm sick. Last time I had the stomach flu 18mo ago (at age 7) we had a Pink Panther Marathon for 2 days straight. Strep = Doctor Who Marathon last spring. And when I hurt my back this fall we played Halo Reach for over a week.

I found it's easier when they're little... about the age of yours... because you can put them in a playpen and have a whole stack of what's "needed" (diapers, formula, food, garbage can) right there. When they get older... you have to trust them more. But every time my son has risen to the occasion, and been an absolute darling.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I have the same situation because everyone in my family works. My husband works more than 40 hours per week. Usually when I'm sick (thankfully that is hardly ever) I just keep going. I'm always to take time off from my jobs when my kids are sick so when I do feel bad I have to go to work. What I do at times when I'm feeling really bad is put in a DVD and set on the sofa with the kids or they play in their room and I lay down in bed without going to sleep. I had stomach flu once it was so bad that I could not get out of bed but I was alone with the kids so I got up.LOL
You will be surprised at what you can and will do when you are alone with the kids.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Yeah, that sucks. I sometimes have to care for my kiddos when I'm sick but I'm lucky enough to have my mom who lives really close and if I'm under the weather (and recently had surgery) my mom can usually help out quite a bit. If you don't have family that are available, I would actually suggest calling upon on of your close friends if possible. No one likes to put others out, I get that, but honestly, wouldn't you care for someone's kiddo, at least 1 day, if they were sick as a dog?! I know I would, mostly for my really close friends, but it sucks to be sick and have to worry about someone else! I have gotten very close with 2 other SAHMs I met right after my daughter was born (and is now3) and we often rely on each other to step in if we need help when one of us is sick, or one of the kids is sick and the sibling needs to come over or if we have a doctor's appointment, or whatever! Friends help us get through the tough times!! ;) Good luck, hopefully you won't have to deal with it any time soon!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My son is 19 months old. Last month, I got VERY sick. I don't know if it was the stomach flu, or what. But it was violent. It came quickly and didn't last long enough to even see a Dr. BUT, when I had it I was beyond miserable. I have no one to help with my VERY active son. I don't know how I took care of my son...I just did. He was not scared of me being sick. I explained that mommy wasn't feeling great, but I would be good as new soon and everything was OK. That was enough, for him. He was very patient and seemed to understand to be a little more quiet, for me. Your daughter will surprise you, she will be good for you. I made it through and don't remember anything specifically that I did. I put a movie on, which I don't normally do, that helped.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Wichita on

yep, that's when DVDs are your friend. A week or so ago I had a pretty bad stomach thing, and we watched lots of dvds, backyardigans, wonder pets, rudolf the rednosed reindeer, whatever. And my dd was very sweet about it, bringing me the remote or whatever dvd she wanted to watch next, and playing with her toys in the living room while I was alternatively on the couch or in the bathoom. She spend the evening shushing daddy because mommy didnt feel good.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yeah this is just one of those crappy things that comes with being a mom. For the most part, when I am sick I just deal if hubby has work. I lay in bed or on the couch and just play movie after movie for dd. I bring toys or whatever in here to have her entertain herself. I don't care if its messy or whatever. At 18 months I would probably set up shop on the couch and gate the living room if you can (or any other comfy room in your home) so she can't get out if you fall asleep. make sure its baby proofed and play movies, let her have snacks, have tons of toys to amuse her. When she goes down for nap let her sleep as long as possible. Actually the fact that your hubby works nights is great because then you are only talking about toughing it out a couple hours til your little one is in bed for the night! Then you can be sick and she'll be asleep anyway. Also I let her eat whatever if I am that sick--toast, applesauce, cookies, just easy stuff I don't have to cook. If you are deathly ill, then hubby takes a sick day--which sounds like he has done already so no worries there. There has only been one time in over four years that I have called my hubby at work and told him "I don't care if you have an important meeting with God himself--get your butt home now!" He showed up within 30 minutes, but I was really really sick and my daughter was too. Don't worry too much about what-ifs, just cope the best you can and know you have dad to rely on in an emergency. All moms go through being sick and taking care of their child, you''ll be fine. I never really worried about frightening my daughter--being sick sometimes is a normal part of life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

this has happened to me many times, as we have always lived away from family and we move alot so we don't have long-time friends in any location. I've learned that if you can find one or two people who are sorta friendly and willing, you just have to swallow your pride and ask for help. If they seem unwilling, don't press them but if they are willing, thank them profusely. They might even feel flattered that you trust them, and my guess is that they are more than willing to help because, let's face it, we all like to feel useful.

I'm so very sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I hope you can find some peace.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

After my 3 surgeries last year, my sister only helped out with one, and that was when I had shoulder surgery and took my daughter for the night, until my arm wasn't numb anymore. Then I had to take care of her (and let me tell you, that was almost impossible...and it sucked beyond belief!). I don't get any help from anyone, so I do it all by myself. My dad is in AZ for winters and in the summer hes always with his wife or doing stuff for himself, so he doesn't help out much. My mom works fulltime, plus she has to take care of my stepdad. My sister, doesn't work...but won't help me out, even though she always wants my help. And my daughter doesn't have a 'dad', except me...I am the mom and the dad.

When I'm sick, unfortunately my world doesn't stop for even a second. I put on my happy face and take care of her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Make sure (if you don't already ) have one room that is really, really child proofed. For me, it was the living room. Everything was safe and gated in. It was like a giant playpen! That way if you have to run to the bathroom, you know she is safe. Keep books by the couch. Lay and watch cartoon, read books. Lay on the floor with toys etc. Moms always find a way to get through! Only one time in my entire 8.5 yrs of mommy hood, was I really so sick that I couldn't take care of my baby. My son was just over a year and had the flu. He thru up about 8 times in one night, so needless to say I didn't really sleep at all. The next evening, I got it. Not only was I sick, but I was also very tired. Hubby took over that evening.



answers from Denver on

I have been sick to the point I couldn't take care of my babies only 2 times in the last 11 years I have been a parent. My husband is a great guy and helps a ton but as far as throw up, he is useless. Basically if me or any of our children are throwing up, he will begin to throw up at the sight or smell of it. He cannot overcome it, we have tried many times so it is just a fact. On top of this, my husband works a ton and travels with his job quite often so we are a lot of times left alone.

All that being said, I am pregnant with #4 right now and when I was 12 weeks pregnant, all three of my kids came down with the puking flu, within 6 hours I had it too. So if you can imagine a 2 year old, a 4 year old, a 10 year old and a 40 year old pregnant woman all puking together and so achy we were unable to hardly move. I couldn't even get up to get a glass of water and had to crawl from my bed to the bathroom to throw up. It was a nightmare!!!! My options were to start calling around to see who could help us because obviously my husband would not be any help and I plain could not even get to my babies to help them throw up or clean up. ARGH!!! Luckily my mother came to the rescue.

She works full time at a VERY demanding job, but was gracious enough to understand the severity of the situation and took a family sick day to come take care of us. By the next day, we were all done puking but still super sick so my husband stayed home to care for us.

What is comes down to is as mother's we don't get a break when we are sick unless it is extenuating. Maybe you just need to see if you can get a group of friends or family that can be on call for you. You might be surprised who will be there for you if you really need it.

Also remember, in a couple years your DD will be older and will be able to meander a bit more on her own if you are sick. Sometimes they even like to help take care of you.

Good luck!



answers from Philadelphia on

well twice when i was so sick i could barely move my husband took a day off both times from work..all the other times i took care of them and prayed they didnt catch it.



answers from Dallas on

Being the wife of an officer as well, although mine hubby isnt SWAT. I understand what you go through. Its very hard. I have 2 girls of my own. When and if the time comes that you are that sick this is where you need to get a group of officers wives that you can trust and they will help. You will need help with your child so young. We have to help each other out.

Hopefully this wll not happen. I am also very sorry for your MS. My prayer are with you.



answers from Norfolk on

When my kids were younger and I was sick just put them on the floor and have the TV on and just let them play around me with all of the toys. They would play by putting blankets on and off of me, play in my hair.
When time for food. I kept it really simple. So I wouldn't be on my feet a lot. You can always order take out or even call a friend to bring some food over if needed.
In the winter time I buy in bulk the juice boxes anything that can be given to them quickly in case I just can't do it.

To get over it quickly keep Gatorade and such in the house so you can stay hydrated and naps. Lots of sleep if they let you. Laundry and stuff can get done quickly once your better.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I have been *that* sick very few times. O. time, I was so sick that my mom came over & I was in bed or puking for 24 hours straight. That was about the worst. Otherwise I deal and still keep on as usual.

I second the idea for pay pen (pack & play), crib time, safe, childproofed room/area, etc. That's really all you can do.



answers from Dallas on

I am a single mom....only me to take care of my kids no matter what. I had a tia some years back and could not go to the hospital until the next day because no one to care for kids (I have one with type 1 diabetes)...you just DO it - playpens, baby gates, TV whatever...the only way your daughter will be scared is if you act fearful in anyway - you just can't do that to her. BTW, I have the real MS (multiple sclerosis) so you add that to the mix....you just do it because there is no one else......and sometimes you do it because it is your job, not someone else's - unfortunately as adults/parents we don't get the luxury of being taken care of like when we were kids - we take care of ourselves.....hope this helps



answers from Oklahoma City on

I am a SAHM and I had the stomach flu last month. My son is two and I still took care of him the whole time. I even made dinner everyday (carefully as to not contaminate the rest of the family). I came down with the illness on a Tuesday night after dinner. Spent the night throwing up. Woke up on Wednesday and took care of my son all day. We mainly watched TV. Made dinner that night and cleaned like the dickens the next day! By Thursday I was out and about again, thankfully it was just a 24-48 type bug but I have been more sick and have had to care for him myself.
My son didn't seem to notice I was ill. I just tried to take it easy and since your daughter is getting older, you could read to her, watch a movie, play with playdough....those are low key things to do.
That's part of why being a SAHM stinks sometimes, no sick days :)
I am sorry to hear of your miscarriage.



answers from Dayton on

My oldest is 5 1/2 and I've only had my husband call in sick to work one time for me (other than labor). I couldn't get out of bed after the most violent stomach flu I've ever had. Then he ended up with it too - it was awful. I take care of them when I'm sick even with 2 grandmas in town because I never want to pass on what we have. Lots of TV, cereal for dinner, and bed for them as early as possible (he works 24 hour shifts, so there isn't a break at dinner time either). Kids seem to sense when you need them to be extra good and rise to the occasion.



answers from Washington DC on

I'm so sorry for your MC and I sure hope you're feeling better.
My husband just deployed for a year and we just moved to a new place, so I don't really have close friends or any family nearby. I got food poisoning or a stomach flu 2 weeks ago (it was a bad day...a car accident, a medical scare with my son, and projectile vomiting and fever for me!) Anyway...I had the same thoughts...how am I going to take care of them when I can't stand up without passing out. I am afraid I don't have an answer for you...but somehow we survived it and it was luckily only about 36 hours of complete misery...but it is comforting to know that we all made it thru ok. You can do it...



answers from San Francisco on

ME!!!!!! ALL ME. Surgery. ME, Flu- ME you get the point. I just take care of myself the best way that I can, let go of ALL expectations of how my day should go etc. and just go with the flow. Don't stress on the small stuff or even the big stuff. As long as we don't have to make a trip to the ER for bleeding, concussion etc--lol I have made it through a good sucessful day! I don't worry about the house or anything else except for the absolute things that need to be done. Take care of my kids and take care of me.

As far as making sure she doesn't get scared, when you are nauseated etc-tell her--mommy doesn't feel good right now, mommy's tummy hurts- mommy is going to feel better really soon. and try not to show her that you are worried or anything like that-be matter-of fact and straightforward so she knows that everything is ok. I even made up a funny vomit song---that my kids sang when I was sick so they could get comfortable about me being sick etc. Do whatever you have to do to get through it.

Hope you feel better soon!


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