Mom’s Sick. Now what do I do?
Tips for Kids of All Ages
So mom's sick and Dad is gone to work? You want to help, but you have no idea what you should do.
Let’s start at the very beginning…
That’s a very good place to start! Is your mom awake? If so you can go to her room and ask her a few questions. If she is asleep, don’t wake her. She needs to rest to recuperate. If she does not get adequate rest it will take her longer to recover. Here are some questions you will want to ask her if she is awake, and it is a good idea to have a pen and notepad. Remember to write down her response, because it might be a lot to remember.
- Is there anything I can get you? (write down her response)
- What can I do to help you feel better? (write it down)
- What things need to be done that you can’t do today? (you got it…write it down)
- Other questions as pertains to your own individual family (see paragraphs below)
After you take notes you might want to give your mom a bell or something else she can use to get your attention. Mom might need to call for you when she needs a new box of tissues, a glass of water, or an extra blanket. If she is feeling poorly, she won’t want to yell. If you both have cell phones or iPads you could also assure her that you will be available to her via cell and that she can text you her requests! You could also smile and tell your mom that you are going to be there for her and that you will help her as much as you can then quietly leave the room. Believe me, if you do this, you are gonna score some major points with mom!
Before you leave the room here are some tips she might like to make her feel comfy:
- Hand her the tv remote and any other remote available in the room
- Give her a glass of room temperature water.
- Put a box of tissues and a small trash can within reach.
- Plug her phone into the charger and have it within reach
- Collect a few books and magazines and place them near her bed.
- Close the curtains or blinds and dim the lights or turn them off completely, depending on her preference.
- If she has a robe, place it on the end of her bed in case she needs to get up, if she is feverish she could get the chills.
- Fluff up her pillows and tuck her in like she does you at bedtime.
- Do everything with a sincere smile and a good helpful attitude.
If you have siblings, it is highly important that you make every effort to get along with one another while your mom is sick. If she can hear you arguing and fighting, she will feel more stressed out. Stress actually lowers one’s ability to fight off illness. So, be extra nice to each other and try to overlook it if your sibling does something that bothers you. Nothing shows mom how much you care about her well being like a peaceful environment. This is definitely not a time to have your friends over. If your neighborhood friends come by, tell them your mom is not feeling well and you will play with them another day.
In addition to keeping the peace with your siblings, you will want to keep noise to a minimum. This means lowering the volume on the music, television or video games that you might play while she is sleeping or resting. It may not sound that loud to you, but when someone is sick, things really do seem louder and more intense. Also, when someone is not feeling well, it can cause them to feel irritable or grumpy. Try to overlook your mom if she seems less than cheerful. This means don’t take it personally if your mom is a little grouchy towards you; it’s most likely not something you are doing, but simply the fact that she feels bad and is helpless. Moms are used to doing things for other people so sometimes it can feel awkward or upsetting to have other do things for her.
If you have pets or animals, you should definitely take care of them right away. Make sure that they have fresh clean water and a serving of food. If this isn’t your usual responsibility, you’ve probably seen your mom or dad feed and water the pets before, so try to remember how they did it and where they kept the food. If you absolutely cannot recall, get your notepad and write down your questions, such as: “Where is the pet food?” or “how do I take care of Fluffy?” When you go in to ask your mom the questions above, you will also want to get instructions from her on how to take care of the pets. After you receive your instructions, make sure you follow through.
If mom is sick on a school day, make sure you get your homework done and let her know that you have completed all your assignments. If you need help with your homework, there are several ways to get what you need on your own! Here are some great instructional websites that you can utilize until your mom can tutor you again:
Let your mom rest as much as possible throughout the day. Wait for her to make requests and if it seems like a long time, you could peek in to make sure she is resting comfortably, but try not to wake her. If she gets bored (yes, laying in bed does get extremely boring after the first 6 -8 hours) offer to play games with her or ask her if she would like you to find her something to watch or read.
Your mom probably does a lot of chores around the house, so when she is sick, it is safe to say that most of these things probably aren’t getting done. Do you have chores? If so, complete them to the best of your ability before anyone tells you to do them. If you don’t already do chores here are a few things you can do to make it seem less overwhelming when mom gets back on her feet:
- Pick up and put away things that are out of place
- If you are allowed to do so, check the mail and keep it in one place
- Replace dirty towels in the bathrooms and kitchen (put dirty ones in the hamper or wherever your family keeps dirty towels)
- If you know how, put all of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher or wash them but only if you are allowed
- Make up your bed. While mom probably won’t see it until she feels better, you never know when she might get up and look for you. If she sees you made your bed without being told, her heart is going to overflow with happiness!
- Don’t let the trash cans overflow. If you are big enough to take it out, you should do so. Also, it is important to replace garbage bags so the trash cans don’t become gross and messy.
- Clean up any messes you make right away. This includes all those peanut butter and jelly sandwich crusts you left on the table, the pizza boxes from where dad ordered pizza for dinner, the dog food bag you pulled out, the games you played, the Wii remotes, the fort you made in the living room, and the pillows you pulled off the couch.
If you can drive, you should definitely OFFER to run errands for your mom or pick up any items she might need. Does she usually pick up the dry cleaning for the family on a certain day? Is the refrigerator empty? Are the bathrooms out of toilet paper? Maybe your little sister needs a ride to ballet class or little brother needs a ride to karate. If so, these are little tasks that you can do for mom to really help her. Offer to do these things for your mom and add that you don’t mind doing these things for her. Whatever you do, don’t act like a martyr or show your exasperation at having to do something you usually don’t do. This will only make your mom feel guilty for not being able to do these things herself. No one wants to feel sick and guilty! Being a mom, I can tell you that no mom wants to be laid up in bed unable to complete her daily tasks. Given the choice between doing housework or being sick, I would much rather work all day!
Some EXTRA things you could say or do to really score bonus points:
- “I’m sorry that you feel bad, I’m going to help as much as possible.”
- “We are going to get you feeling better soon, Mom.
- “If there’s anything I can do for you, just ask.”
- When mom does ask for a favor, respond with “it would be my pleasure”
- Offer to rub her shoulders or feet.
- Love is a verb, it’s an action, so doing some or all of the things listed above will demonstrate to mom that she is loved. Saying, “I love you mom” is a way to let her know for sure!
Last but definitely not least, you could offer to pray with and for your mom. Pray for healing and restoration for her and that she will trust and lean on God during this time. Ask for His peace and tell Him your worries. God cares for you, and He cares for your mom. In I Peter 5 God tells us to cast our cares on Him, because He cares for you. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto god. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” You could even read her a short passage from your Bible.
Here are a few passages to encourage when Mom's sick:
- Psalm 107:20
- Jeremiah 30:17
- Psalm 91
If your mom is sick in the hospital, you can still do some of these tips. Most importantly, just show your mom how special she is and let her know that you love her dearly and that you hope she gets better soon.
I hope these tips will help you to take care of your mom if she is not feeling well! If you have any other ideas or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!