Yesterday Buddy had a runny nose and a slight cough – along with half of the kids in the tri-state region. Over night, a fever and severe cough developed, and by morning he was having difficulty breathing.
Of course I went from annoyed to totally freaked out in like 0.2 seconds. Is there anything worse than seeing our kids struggle?
As parents, I think there are actually phases we go through when parenting a child with a minor/moderate illness:
1. The “Get a Tissue” Phase
The runny nose or coughing or general beginning yuckies start, and as a parent, you become obsessed with making sure your child does not sneeze all over you dinner/his brothers/your wall. We wash hands more often. We hope the sniffles go away.
2. The “Oh Bugs, My Kid is Puking” Phase
You here the telltale “Mommy, I don’t feel good”, as your child pukes (hopefully in a container). As you try to comfort them and clean them up, you pray 1000 times over that you will NOT get whatever illness this is because it would be really embarrassing to puke on your boss at work.
3. The “I-Am-Freaked-Out” Phase
His symptoms get worse and possibly weird. Instead of calling your doctor, you decide to contact the famed Dr. Google. Five minutes later, your heart is pounding. You have now diagnosed your child with about 5 different illnesses – from mild to severe. Your husband tries to talk you off the ledge.
4. The “I-Am-Going-to-Call-the-Dr.-Even-Though-it-is-Labor-Day” Phase
The doctor identifies the likely problem. She calls in medication. She wants to see him tomorrow to confirm.
5. The “Helicopter Mom” Phase
He seems to be doing OK, but you hover over him, asking him repeatedly, “How do you feel?” and checking his temperature. I’ll helicopter for a few more days…because I can…and because I can’t bear to see my (biggest) baby so sick.
Do you go through any of these phases when you are parenting sick kids? Do you find yourself over-parenting in these times?
I began to question my helicoptering of my oldest today, when, as I was tucking him in he said to me, “Mom, I had THE BEST day with you today. Didn’t we have fun?” And yet we did nothing but snuggle, eat popsicles and soup, and watch TV in bed together. But we were together – and son, I agree, that made it a GREAT day.