Family, Motherhood

When We Became The Sick Family

So, apparently kids get 4 to 6 colds a year (this is according to WebMD, but our local doctor said 5 to 7).

I don’t know about you but I am so over this cold and flu season.

I’m sick of doing all the things to try and stay healthy, and in my experience so far, doing all the things hasn’t made much of a difference!

I’m talking about all the things like: a healthy diet, limited sugar intake, daily vitamins, other supplements, hand washing, avoiding public play places, hand sanitizer. Then there’s extra more non-traditional alternative health care type stuff you can try like chiropractic care, essential oils, homeopathic stuff, other vitamins/supplements. And so far I have seen almost no difference! You know what I actually think does make a difference in how much sickness a family might get? The number of kids in the household. And this theory makes sense if it’s true that the average kid gets 4 to 6 colds a year. If you have one kid you might get 4 colds/sicknesses on a good year. But if you’re like me and have 3 kids that would be close to 20 colds a year that you, mama, have to nurse them all through (or catch yourself). If you have more than 3 kids then just keep adding/multiplying…

I wish that all my kids could catch the same virus at the exact same time so that we have a really rough week but then it’s done and over with. But no… that’s not what happens is it? It starts off with 1 kid. Kid 1 is sick for 3 days and then by day 4 is feeling better. Oh yay, we can go do normal things again. Until kid 2 starts to exhibit symptoms. If you’re lucky kid #2 and kid #3 will start exhibiting symptoms a little closer together but that doesn’t always happen. But then it comes after you too, dear. After it’s all said and done you’ve had the same cold filter through your home and it took 3-4 weeks.

Now it’s cold/flu season so it’s all worse right now (it’s almost over though, right?!). Once those 3 weeks are over it’s time to catch the next bug going around and you repeat this approximately 3 week cycle. Pretty much all my close friends with kids (friends who I don’t even live in the same community with, so we aren’t catching each others sicknesses) have been sick ALL. WINTER. LONG. November it’s croup, December is the norovirus, January is strep, February is the flu, March is RSV, go ahead and add in a few other random viral colds. Sometimes these illnesses occur closer together, sometimes farther apart, sometimes at the same time, and sometimes twice in one season. I didn’t even mention hand-foot-mouth disease, more serious things like bronchitis or pneumonia, the CRAZY weird flu strains we’ve had this year, ear infections, or other gi viruses. So yeah… I think germs are all out to get us and there’s not a lot we can do to avoid it these days. People are infected with things before we even know it and unknowingly spread it around. Clearly, I have a pretty bleak outlook on this right now.

Again, I want to mention that I haven’t seen any differences between the natural remedy/homeopathic/chiropractic going family than I have with the family that goes to the doctor and gets all the antibiotics all the time. It’s all roughly about the same. If there are differences, they are pretty minimal. So let’s not hate on each other, judge each other, make each other feel bad for not doing all the things to keep your family healthy. The odds are stacked against us. And if you’re not currently parenting children between the ages of 2 and 10 and you don’t get sick like this anymore please don’t forget that what we are going through is normal. There’s probably nothing wrong with our houses or our hygiene practices (other than 2-5 year olds are still learning the skills of proper handwashing and not putting things in their mouths) or the communities we are in and thinking or saying things about that is not going to make us feel any better. Saying things like, “Wow, I feel like you guys are always sick”, doesn’t really offer a lot of hope or comfort either. And yeah we are kind of always sick it seems. But so is every other family with kids between the ages of 2 and 10! The idea is these immunity boosting days will help them in their older childhood and adult lives. I do sometimes catch what my kids get sick with but not all the time, they are definitely sick more often than me.

We will miss Holidays, birthday parties, outings, church, school, etc! We will be SO cooped up in our houses that we will literally start to cry like a 2 year old in front of all the kids and murmur to our spouse in a pathetic manner “I miss summer.” (Ahem…confession, that literally was me 3 days ago).

But, I feel like I have a little bit of a better outlook now. Spring is almost here. Cold and flu season will go away. We might endure some sickness during the summer months but it won’t be as bad. These early years when our little mini-me’s are developing their immune systems are short and crazy. So I’m going to try to enjoy the moments I able to comfort my sick kid and stroke their heads as they cough and cry… and cough in my face…and wipe their snot on my clothes. We’ll make soup and drink ginger ale and tea. We’ll watch our favorite movies and shows and make summer plans. We’ll try to have peace and contentment in the midst of it because things could always be worse. We will decorate our house with tissues and we will have lots of pajama days.

No matter how you choose to cope with cold/flu season please remember this: It’s NOT your fault. You are NOT the sick family. We all are. Just embrace it.

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