Down for the Count: 5 Ways For Mom To Survive Being Sick

Recommendations for prevention and treatment, and practical tips on how to get rest and stay sane.


Published:

At the end of last summer, I caught a cold that developed into a six-week ear and sinus infection. After antibiotics and steroids, I finally was healthy. Even with my husband assisting, managing our household and three children was difficult.

Photos and tweets under #whenmomissick prove to me that I am not alone. When mom is sick, things go downhill. But there must be a way to make it better.

To get perspective, I spoke with two doctors about what they recommend for prevention and treatment. For practical tips on how to get rest and stay sane, I asked a few moms how they cope. Here’s what I learned:

1. Avoid germs.

Dr. Anne Barnard, a physician with Carolinas HealthCare System, offers advice about how to stay cold-free.

“Prevention is key!” Barnard says. “Getting enough sleep (seven to eight hours) and eating healthy with a variety of proteins, fruits and veggies, as well as washing hands and using hand sanitizer, can help prevent illness.”


2. Take healing seriously.

As a busy mom, it’s easy to ignore symptoms. But when illness strikes, Barnard says you must drink plenty of fluids, get rest and eat healthy to get well. She also recommends regular low-intensity exercise.

“Visit your doctor for any shortness of breath or fever greater than 102 degrees. After five days, if a fever, cough or sore throat persists, see your provider,” Barnard says.


3. Use shortcuts.

Adopting shortcuts when you’re sick can provide time for rest. “I give myself permission to relax household TV and video game restrictions,” says Cathy Mlinarcik, a Raleigh mom of four says. Other shortcuts to consider:

  • Take advantage of online shopping, takeout or a food delivery service.
  • Let the kids buy lunch from school for a few days.
  • Keep homemade or store-bought frozen meals on hand.

4. Enlist help.

“Thankfully I don’t get sick often, but when I feel my worst, my family does all it can to help me feel better,” says Carla Payne, a Wake Forest mom to two teenagers. “I know they care, but I also know they want me healthy as soon as possible!”

How can you enlist more help? Try these ideas:

  • Give your children more responsibility. Depending on their age, they can put away laundry or make lunches. Older siblings can help younger ones with homework.
  • Hire a sitter to help during critical times like dinner and bedtime.
  • Ask your spouse for assistance outside the normal routine, such as help with carpooling, homework or vacuuming.
  • Say yes to family and friends who offer help. You can always return the favor when you are well.

5. Get some rest.

Charlotte mom Faith White, who lives with a chronic illness, shares her philosophy about getting through the tough days: “Let little things slide — teeth won’t fall out if they aren’t brushed one night and the house won’t fall down if it’s cluttered and dishes are in the sink,” she says.

Fit in a nap or two using these tips:

  • Avoid taking on extra work, volunteer hours or other commitments.
  • Use a personal or sick day to rest.
  • Cancel nonessential meetings or activities.
  • Lower your expectations about laundry, dishes and meals.

“The goal is for everyone to be safe, fed and changed (when diapers are involved),” White says. “Everything else can wait for me to be well.”


Natural Remedies to Help You Stay Healthy

Dr. Crystal Abernathy of Abernathy Naturopathic Family Health Care suggests the following ways to combat illness:

  • Eat homemade chicken soup and crushed garlic.
  • Take supplements such as a probiotic and Vitamins C and D.
  • Use a humidifier with essential oils like Cinnamon or Eucalyptus.
  • Try a Neti Pot for sinus relief.

Vanessa Infanzon is a freelance writer in the Charlotte area. She is better prepared for her next illness since writing this article, and has downloaded an online grocery shopping app.

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Website »

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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
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Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
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Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
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Farmers markets are essential to the livelihood of farmers and food producers and are exempt from the Governor's Stay at Home Order (page 6). Farmers markets offer an efficient way for residents to...

Cost: free

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Farmers Market Coordinator
Telephone: 919-567-4010
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Parents, bring your child to class with you. Children 10 years...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Must register in advance. Space is limited. Parents, bring your...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Join one of our talented Mid-South Fencers’ Club coaches for a one hour virtual lesson to the fast paced and exciting sport of Olympic Fencing! This will be a FREE ONLINE class. All you need is...

Cost: free

Where:
Mid-South Fencers' Club ONLINE
125 N. Gregson St.
DURHAM, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Mid-South Fencers' Club
Telephone: 919-286-3100
Contact Name: Jeff Kallio
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It's time to play... TAKEOUT BINGO!!!  Take a screenshot or download the game board. Mark off the locations you visit. Share your progress on Facebook and Instagram using #CRTakeoutBingo. Send...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Crossroads Plaza
Crossroad Blvd
Suite 215
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Crossroads Plaza/ Kimco Realty
Telephone: 864-979-2291
Contact Name: Katie Earnhardt
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
Website »

More information

The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
Website »

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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
Website »

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Get your summer vibes going at the 1st Annual Hubb’s Beach Blast at Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, NC.  Hubb’s Beach Blast will feature two of beach music industry’s top groups, Jim Quick and...

Cost: 20-50

Where:
Hubb's Farm
10276 US HWY 421 N
Clinton, NC  28328
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Sponsor: Hubb's Farm
Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
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