How To Barely Take Care of Your Children

Recently Chelsea wrote a funny post about the man-flu. And even though as moms we don’t get official sick days, we still have those days {or weeks!} where we are barely getting by but have no break from responsibility. Maybe it is the stomach bug, morning sickness, bed rest, recovery from surgery, or you are running on just a couple hours of sleep from being up all night with a newborn or sick child. We all have those days. You feel like you can barely take care of yourself and having to keep another human alive seems completely overwhelming.

I feel like I have been in a fog the past couple months due to my exhaustion and morning sickness. I have definitely not been winning any mom-of-the-year awards. We are just getting by and that’s about all I can handle. There has been no cooking, no cleaning, and few outings. The days can be long, and I struggle to come up with ways to entertain the kids. There are only so many hours that you can sit and play with the same toys, and I have not been feeling well enough to come up with elaborate activities that require more than minimal effort. If you are in a similar situation, here are some of easy ways to entertain the kids so you can make it though the day when you are feeling bad.

TV / iPad

Yep. Turn on the tv. Your kids will not be ruined because they watched too much tv while you recovered from the flu or adjusted to a new baby in the family. I normally try to limit tv time to one show a day in the afternoon. Lately, that rule has not been enforced, and I am okay with it. If you are tired of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Sophia the First or Paw Patrol, you could go the educational route. Find a YouTube video on how caterpillars become butterflies or how food is made {eggs from chickens, milk from cows, etc} or anything else age appropriate. Also check out this list of the top 10 free apps for young kids.


Arts & Crafts

By arts & crafts I mean the very basics :: paper, crayons/markers, stickers, safety scissors, and a glue stick. Nothing that looks like it could be found on Pinterest. Remember, this is all about minimal effort. My daughter has really enjoyed water colors lately too. I get out a rimmed cookie sheet and put the watercolors, paintbrush, paper, and small cup of water on it to keep everything contained. She is pretty neat and tidy with her paints, and it keeps her occupied for a while.

Busy Bags

If you have busy bags already, now is a great time to pull them out. If you don’t, now is not the time to make them. If you know ahead of time that you will be going though some tough days, check out these busy bag ideas and prepare now.


Independent Activities

I really love this felt board, this Melissa & Doug magnet set, and these Melissa & Doug water wow books. I keep activities like these put away in the closet. That way when we get them out – they seem like something new and different instead of one of the same old toys that is always sitting on the shelf.



You can electronically check out audiobooks from the Houston Public Library. There are also various sites online you can find children’s audiobooks. Or try podcasts for children.


Good luck to you on those tough, sick, and exhausting days! Don’t feel guilty for taking it easy when you need to. And if you have other ideas for entertaining the kiddos, do share!



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