My Mom's Sick Day Rules


Because she’s the Favorite….

Everyone seems to be losing their minds about Covid19. I know it’s serious– I’m definitely not making light of that. But I feel like if we’re all going to lose our minds, we should take a lesson from Big Mama and do it right.

For my mom, sick days were sacred. They were bad, sure, because you were sick. But they were also a time to enjoy some things you didn’t get to enjoy enough of with the people you didn’t get to enjoy enough of. And there were very specific rules to be followed. I thought I’d share a few of them with you so you could be sure to get them right.

1- You can only drink from the sick cup (pictured above as the tie-dye squishy cup we got from a pizza place while we were on vacation). There were 5 people living in my house, and the goal was to make sure you were the only one who got sick. The sick cup was sacred. This rule was non-negotiable,

2- The only thing you can put in the sick cup is Regular Coke (not diet– we’re not afraid of you diabetes) or ginger ale. You must also add ice because otherwise whatever you’re drinking is unfit for human consumption. And Lord forbid you try to drink milk. Absolutely not allowed. You might as well stick your finger down your throat because milk was going to make you puke just as easily.

3- You also need a sick bowl. Or grocery bag. Something you can throw up in. And don’t miss.

4- Sick days are for movies. Pictured above are 3 of my mom’s favorites: The Help, You’ve Got Mail, and The American President. Not pictured (because I can’t keep up with literally anything) is her number one pick, Kingdom Come. If older movies are your thing, she also recommended Fried Green Tomatoes, Clue, and Straight Talk.

5- You don’t get to go to the doctor unless Tylenol and Motrin have failed. Going to the doctor and hearing “you don’t need an antibiotic, you have a virus” roughly translated to “You made me waste a co-pay.”

6- Even if you don’t have a fever, or nausea, you need a wet cloth on your head. If you want to be authentic, this should not be referred to as a cloth. It’s called a “wet rag.” This is the south. It’s how we do things here.

7- You must have someone rub your forehead. This is the universal cure for headaches. If you didn’t know that, Mom says “you’re welcome.”

8- Boogers are not allowed. Vomit is pushing it, but boogers are crossing a line. If you sneeze, you’re on your own.

9- You are allowed to eat whatever will stay down. Some people think sick days are only for chicken noodle soup or saltine crackers, but Big Mama allowed tacos, chocolate pie, pop tarts…basically anything you want except for milk or ice cream (see number 2).

10- Last but not least, you have a 2 day limit. Compassion requires effort. You get sympathy, snuggles, and maybe even compassion for exactly 48 hours. If you go over a single minute, you are responsible for taking care of yourself.

I loved sick days with my mom. If you do sick days, her way, maybe they won’t be so bad for you either. What are your sick day traditions?

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