Another school day, another kid home from school.
I wish I could say this was a rare thing—having someone home sick—but the truth is, it’s kind of the norm around here anymore.
This time of year is tough, not only because the days are still shorter and the weather is still colder, but because it seems like, at any given moment, at least one person in our family is sniffling or puking or headaching or coughing . . . or all of the above, honestly.
I hoped beyond all hopes that Christmas break would give everyone at school a chance to get healthy and return to school with fewer germs, but here we are just a couple of weeks into the second semester and already home with the crud. I suppose it’s just the reality of having young kids (especially young kids in public school).
Being mom to sick kids while also wearing all the other hats—homemaker, chef, scheduler, comforter, employee, entrepreneur, friend, volunteer, whatever—is tough.
I don’t know about you, but I have Cloroxed everything.
I have been diligent about doling out vitamins, pushing water, and ensuring everyone gets enough sleep.
I have watched the weather and taken everyone outside as much as possible for fresh air, sunshine, and a break from the cabin fever setting in.
And still, today I have a coughing kid on the couch watching endless episodes of Dance Monsters while I try to cross things off my to-do list. It hurts my heart to see any of my kids not feeling well, and it’s so defeating to feel like my efforts to keep them healthy are useless.
I am frustrated and exhausted, but I also know I’m far from the only one. So many families are dealing with the same thing right now.
Since I don’t have a secret potion to offer you here to help everyone stay healthy, I’ll offer this instead: Solidarity. Encouragement. And the reminder to be kind to yourself.
It isn’t anything we’re doing wrong that is keeping our kids caught up in this cycle of sickness.
Spring is coming and with it warmer days and hopefully fewer germs. We can do this, parents.
We will make it.
I know you feel like you’re drowning at the moment (I do, too), but in between wiping noses and taking care of your million other responsibilities, make it a priority to find at the very least 15 minutes in our day for YOU. Maybe it’s taking a warm bath, reading a few pages of a good book, or hiding behind a locked door somewhere eating a candy bar. It really doesn’t matter what, as long as it gives you a moment to breathe.
Above everything, recognize how amazing you truly are.
For the rest of their lives, your kids will remember how it felt to be comforted and loved on by you when they felt their worst—and that matters more than words can say.