#6 - Tips for Handling Work + Family When You Are Sick

*Cough* *Sneeze*  Repeat

Did you stick to your top three goals to get through the craziness of Thanksgiving?   I am proud to say I successfully met my work out goals, saw my two best friends and had a fantastic time being present with my family.  I was going into this holiday season feeling like I owned it!

And then I got sick.

There was a round of sickness that went through our group of friends and my husband had even managed to avoid it at the office, but then BAM! we all were sick within hours of each other!  I don't have time for this!  It's December which is generally my favorite time of year and there is so much to do - decorating, shopping, baking, oh and ya know WORK!   

Regardless of the time of year, getting sick is the worst and throws a wrench into the delicate balance of your work and family.


  • Daycare Back Up Plan: It is crucial to have a back up to rely on!  Know your daycare's policy on illness and have a loose plan in place.  Will you be able to pick up your child if you get a call that they are sick?  Do you have another family member or friend who can step in? If you have a nanny / babysitter and they are sick - how does that impact you?  Are there back up care options through work?  If so, what do you need to do to participate (most need a record of your child's immunizations and sometimes require an initial meeting and deposit.   It's ALWAYS a scramble but if you have your go to strategy it will be much more manageable.  
  • Asking for Help:  Are you supposed to run the secret santa at the office or help arrange the holiday bake sale?  Speak up and ask for help.  Let others know that your sick and just ask.  But be specific!  When you just say I could use your help, people rarely jump in but when you say:  I'm really sick and unable to set up the bake sale, would you be able to step in and get the tables set up?  Better to direct this at one to two people then a whole group as they will be more likely to say yes!
  • Self Care:  Guess what, my house is still not decorated, I have yet to shop, and baking...well let's just say the kitchenaid is still gathering dust.  What's more important is that I get well and that requires self care.  When you are sick and caring for little ones it's so hard to also take care of yourself, but you'll do a better job of caring for others if you get better yourself.  Snuggle up on the couch, find a movie and take a family nap!  Go to sleep early!  Worry about the mess tomorrow.  You'll probably feel better and it'll take half the time to clean up!  And remember - ask for help.
  • Stay Home:  No seriously stay home!  With so much technology connecting us, if you must work, try to do it from home.  Yes you are important but it's much worse if you come in and infect everyone else in the office.  Do yourself and your colleagues a favor and focus on getting better!



Mary Beth Ferrante