You are currently viewing How to Juggle Working from Home When Kids Are Unwell

How to Juggle Working from Home When Kids Are Unwell

The following post is from Prerna of The Mom Writes:

source: Arvind Balaraman/Free Digital Photos

Last Sunday, I spent the entire day working on a video for a possible scholarship to an online course. I was bone-tired by the end of the day and looked forward to a long and peaceful night’s rest to kick off Monday on the right foot.


At 3 A.M, my 5-year old woke up with stomach cramps and severe diarrhea. From then on till 10 A.M, when she finally started feeling better, we naturally couldn’t sleep a wink and my exhaustion was nearing the point of no return.

I couldn’t leave her. I couldn’t leave my assignments. Yes, working from home with sick kids can be tough.

Luckily, I had 5 years of experience to draw upon and spring the following systems into action:

1. Focus on the must-do’s.

 Go easy on yourself and ONLY focus on the must-dos. Caring for my unwell daughter topped the list, and then, I jotted down the deliverables for that day and that day only. If you have more than one sick kid, I’d recommend you print out this Sick Kids Medicine Tracker Printable to help remember dosages and times and have one less thing to focus on.

2. Take a shower.

Simple, but easily forgotten. Taking a shower and changing into clean clothes is a great way to shift your mindset and help you think clearly and get focused as well.

3. Bring out the DVD’s.

I’m not a big fan of my daughter watching television during the week, and she usually doesn’t. However, sick days call for changes in the rules and we pull out some favorite DVDs. This time it was a round of Bambi, Barney and Sound of Music. The good thing is that she can watch these pretty much unmonitored, and I can use that time to make phone calls or work on something that needs my undivided attention.

4.  Outsource the overwhelm.

Juggling sick kids, client calls, projects with deadlines means I rely even more firmly on my “outsource the overwhelm” rule. For cooking, for instance, I make simple meals for my sick child but for us, we order in, if we don’t feel like having the same bland meals that she is having. I also have hired help to clean the home and days like, these I’m even more grateful for the help. I don’t get involved in tasks that don’t need my personal attention and try to focus only of my daughter, my work and my rest.

5. Seek support.

But sometimes, outsourcing isn’t possible. So, I always seek support. My husband pitches in with household chores like, doing the laundry while I settle our daughter or take my shower. I have a supportive circle of friends who lend a helping ear or a shoulder to cry tears of exhaustion on. Support in any which way is welcome. And don’t be afraid to ask for it.

How do YOU manage working from home when your kids are sick?

Prerna Malik is a mom, a wife, a writer and woman who believes in being postively productive, parenting with love and creating a home that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences with productivity and parenting at The Mom Writes.