When you’re a father of young children you will inevitably discover the foolhardy endeavor of taking a sick day. This holds true for whether you work at an office or are a stay at home Dad. Sure you can plan to take time off to recuperate. But when you have young children residing in your humble abode, their expectations of receiving undivided attention remains unfettered by a parent’s state of health. One can certainly attempt to hide from the kids, but they will find you. I have a theory that the Daddy demand increases in proportion to just how under the weather the Daddy is feeling. It’s almost as if an internal switch is flipped on within these beloved little beings that compel them to “break him now!” And without hesitation, utilizing precision like efficiency, they do. Unless, of course, you are prepared for this contingency.
In the spirit of the holiday season, I’d like to impart a much needed glimmer of hope. I’ve developed a simple yet effective strategy to manage your kids demands as you battle with your ailment.
A Dad’s Sick Day Strategy
Children are extremely receptive to snacks. In fact, almost any time of the day is a good time for snack time. Give them child friendly healthy snacks that will take them time and effort to eat. Pasta, a Sandwich, a bowl of cereal, etc.
Keep Them Occupied with Activities
Kids love to be active whether they admit to it or not. Have them engaged in activities which require their attention to detail. Create a project making use of crafts. Break out the play-doh. Drawing is also useful as is coloring. Be specific in what you request. That’s the key to extending these activities from brief distractions to Daddy napping nirvana.
If they are able to read or identify pictures, then by all means, have them gather up a stack of books and get whisked away by their imagination. Turn it into a contest of who can read the most books. The reward can be a healthy snack. It all ties in.
I know, it’s a crutch. And sometimes a poor one at that. Yet there are fantastic educational programs that will engage your children. Think about having a few videos on hand that will captivate their attention. Also, make use of on demand tv or your dvr for the same purpose.
Send them to the Grandparents
No one will respond quicker to the needs of your offspring then their grandparents. Just don’t abuse this fact as they most likely are already providing a tremendous amount of support to you and your wife in taking care of your kids.
You’re married not just to your wife, but to her family. They may or may not love you but your children are a lock for unconditional love. Pick up the phone.
Ultimately the best defense against getting sick is a healthy offense. That translates into eating well, getting proper sleep, exercising, managing your stress, and keeping an overall positive attitude. But if you do end up catching a sick bug or two or three, at least you’ll have a plan of action.
Below are a couple of helpful links for activity ideas for the kids:
How have you handled being sick while taking care of your children?