It’s THAT time of year. That time where you wonder if you or your family is ever going to be healthy again. Chances are you’ve spent the last few weeks (months) passing a cold back and forth and back again, as the colder temps make it hard to keep anyone healthy for longer than twenty-four hours.
I remember when my kids were younger, around 5 and 2. I felt like I needed a punch card for my pediatrician’s office, I was there so often. As I sat on the “sick” side of the waiting room, I would daydream that the punch card reward would be something fantastic, like on the tenth visit I’d get a full body Swedish massage or an uninterrupted night’s sleep. I would have been ecstatic with either at that point.
It’s so hard when your kids are at that toddler age and can’t tell you how they really feel. There were nights when my husband and I used to sit and watch them like a hawk. Is their fever going up or did it finally break? Is the fever dangerously high? How is their breathing? Since my kids were prone to asthma, I would sit and count their breaths – are they slowing down? Are they more shallow than they were fifteen minutes ago? Should we go to urgent care? Is there an urgent care open at this time of the night? What should we do?
It’s normal that we as parents second guess every decision we make when it comes to our child’s health. It’s also normal to get to a point where you are completely exhausted, worn out and feel like your family will never be healthy ever again. Not only have you been to the pediatrician numerous times, but you’ve kept the kids home from daycare, rearranged your work schedule and lived on soup and crackers. Your “normal” daily routine seems like a distant memory you miss like an old friend.
I’ve been there, we’ve all been there and when you’re in middle of it, it feels hopeless. You will make it through. And luckily as your kids get older, their immune system does get strong enough so that they don’t come down with every cold they are exposed to. You can actually go months without visiting the pediatrician! But until that magical time, know that it’s ok that everything is not getting done. Being sick is a signal to slow down and rest. The rest of the to do list can wait.
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I started writing this blog because I wanted to have deeper conversations beyond "How are you?", "Busy", with other parents. Over the years I've shared personal stories, articles, authors and topics to facilitate conversations with parents about the joys and the challenges of parenting.