The Mom Spiral

You woke up this morning after 8 hours of undisturbed sleep with the sun shining and the birds chirping. You take a hot shower and get dressed for work. You skip into the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of coffee (or tea, in my case) and make breakfast. Just as you finish your cup of tea, the kids come down for breakfast already dressed and ready for school. Your morning goes off without a hitch and you even get to work 10 minutes early!

Then, at 10 a.m., you get the call. Johnny is projectile vomiting and you need to come pick him up from school. You grab your bag and rush to your car. Your shoe gets caught in the sidewalk and you break the heel off your shoe. You run over a nail in the parking lot and get a flat tire. AAA fixes your tire and you make it to school to pick up Johnny (albeit an hour later). On the way home, Johnny throws up all over the back seat. Your day has spiraled down into the dark abyss of motherhood that you can never prepare for… you have entered The Mom Spiral.

OK, so there is nothing you can do to stop days like this from happening, but you can do a few things to minimize the pain (emotional, physical, work loss) that these days can cause.

  • Make sure you have an emergency back up plan. What if you are at a client site on a day like this and you are 2 hours away from your child’s school? Make sure the school and you have a list of people that you could call (with all their contact #s) at your fingertips to pinch hit for you.
  • If you work from home or from your car, create an “Office Day” folder or task list. This would be all the phone calls you need to return, the memos or emails that need writing, reports that need reviewing, professional reading or all the things that you could do easily while sitting home with a sick kid all day.
  • If you work in an office, find a way to have remote access to your computer or if you work on a laptop, bring it home. Create a “Grab and Go” folder of all those same types of things listed above. Don’t wait until a day like this happens to create this folder!
    Create a cold/flu season kit. Keep it stocked with all the things you would use while sick: pain reliever, throat lozenges, thermometer, nose squeege, super soft kleenex, pedialite or gatoraide, etc.
  • Create a kids sick day kit. A couple of new DVDs, coloring books, crayons, sticker books, books or other things your child can do easily unsupervised or with little supervision so you can still get a few hours of work in.
  • Keep some easy-to-eat-while-sick foods. When your kids don’t feel well chances are they won’t want to eat the leftover Italian sausage hoagies from last night’s dinner. They want apple sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken noodle soup or just some plain noodles.

We know that these days will still happen, but by following these few simple steps you can set yourself and your child up for sick days that are a little less painful and at least slightly productive for you. And, don’t worry, this too shall pass! There is always a chance for a perfect day tomorrow!!

If you liked today’s article, you’re welcome to use it in your own ezine or blog as long as you include the following blurb: Certified Professional Organizer, Tara Donohue Rudo, CPO, helps families, individuals and mompreneurs focus on what is important. Get her FREE weekly tips and advice at

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