Survival Tips for When the Whole Family is Sick



Recently, my husband and I both came down with a terrible stomach virus. You know the kind of illness that debilitates and leaves you lying on the bathroom floor. The kind of illness that brings you to thank God that you bought the cushier and softer bathroom rug from Target. The kind that puts life on pause.

When it was just the two of us, being sick was not an issue. We could retreat to our individual corners of the house moaning, groaning, and napping in peace.  However, that all changes when you have children. No one prepares you for how close you come to the apocalypse. And so, that is where we found ourselves – on the verge of the world ending, hiding in the bathroom, as our invading toddler ran and played.

Now a proud survivor, I realize that though these times are difficult – they are also workable.

Here’s how:

The Day after Tomorrow

Gatorade. Crackers. Chicken Noodle and Creamy Tomato Soup. Hot Tea. These are the essentials that are used the most often when my family is sick. With a stroke of luck, I had actually stocked the pantry with most of these a couple of days before we got sick. Having the essentials on hand versus having to run out and buy them was a lifesaver. What does your family like to eat, drink, and use a lot of when they are sick? Create an Emergency Sick Kit for your pantry that includes all those things – including YOUR favorite things. The next time someone, or everyone, falls ill -your emergency sick kit will save you both time and energy.

The Dark Netflix Rises

While we were sick, my husband and I put up the baby gate, turned on some Netflix and moved as little as possible. This was our reality. But, this was also absolutely necessary in being able to heal. As a mother – the guilt has to be put away in order to invest in a little self-care. For me, that means not feeling bad that my son is confined to being in one room or that we haven’t spent good quality time with him. It also means we do a lot of rule breaking. The heater gets turned on. The child runs wild. I wear leggings every day. Do what you have to do to survive. And in my opinion, do it with style. No guilt trips and no expectations – the first priority is to get better.


My husband and I deal with our illnesses quite differently. I find myself tending to his needs far more than I take care of my own. So when we are both sick with an active toddler on the loose – the only way we can each survive is by honest communication, taking turns, and lots of grace.  Maybe some boundaries have to be set in place at the beginning of the day or maybe this comes naturally to your relationship- either way, have a plan that sets you BOTH up for success. If you are on your own, be willing to ask for help. I know it can be hard to reach out to others in times of need, but that is what community is for. Be specific in what you need assistance with as others won’t be able to read your mind. Perhaps you need a couple of hours without your children, or help in making dinner that night, or maybe just someone who can help around the house. Many people want to give, but often don’t wan’t to step on toes. Give them the permission they need, and get the recovery you need.

Clean Impact

Clorox Wipes are a woman’s best friend. I like to have a huge pack on hand for special occasions like these. After a sickness has swept over our home, my husband and I clean everything from the door handles to the bed sheets. Not only does this have the obvious impact of ridding your house of lingering viruses, but it also starts the family off fresh. To not just physically freshen the house, but also clear the mood, I will diffuse my essential oils, light some candles, and get some music playing.  After such traumatic events, it’s important for the house to get some care too.

How does your family prepare for crisis like this? What do you do in the aftermath to start over? Share your tips here!

Previous articleThanksgiving Day Outfit Inspiration
Next article{Costco Mom Hour :: Recap} and Reasons to Join Costco
Wife to a bonafide mountain man and mama to two toddlers and a newborn babe, Tabitha doesn't find much margin for boredom. When things get crazy, as they often do — Tabitha fervently writes down what keeps her pressing on. She believes that every messy minute of motherhood is worth the daily fight and will stop at nothing to pursue God through it all. While often quite wordy and long-winded, you can count on Tabitha to be completely transparent and brutally honest when it comes to life and everything else in-between. While she’d rather meet you over a cup of coffee on her front porch to share the lessons she's regularly learning, you can also visit with her over on her blog or Instagram. Her personal blog, Tabitha Panariso, is a space where you can find her writing on faith, motherhood, and daily life. You can also find her capturing the everyday rhythms of life on her Instagram, @tabithapanariso