There are plenty of less-than-pleasant moments that accompany motherhood, but I'd argue that having a sick kid is the actual worst. As parents, we do everything we can to try and keep our kids from becoming ill or feeling pain. Most of us choose to vaccinate our kids, others will try herbs and supplements or other forms of alternative medicine. But, sooner or later, no matter how hard you try, your kid will get sick, and it will suck. It'll be awful and it will be exhausting and it will leave you thinking some very real, sometimes hilarious, always understandable, things.
When your kid gets sick — say, with a cold; something not life-threatening but definitely unpleasant — it's hard to stay positive. For one, it's devastating to watch your usually happy, energetic child turn into what can only be described as a zombie baby. They're tired and somewhat lethargic and would rather sleep than play or get into trouble. While the snuggles may be nice, you know they're not feeling well and you would gladly trade their calm demeanor for their usual mischievous behavior if it meant they felt better. Secondly, it's difficult to not assume the worst and fear that your kid is suffering from a more serious illness. The mind is cruel sometimes, you guys.
Then, of course, you can't help but think of how exhausted and stressed out you are. While your kid and their health and comfort are a top priority, it's worth noting that when your kid is sick, you're also miserable: They're not sleeping so you're not sleeping; They want to be held so it's almost impossible to get anything else done. You don't want to complain about how hard it is for you (because you're not sick, your kid is), but it is difficult and there's snot everywhere and oh my god you just need to vent before you lose your mind.
Which is why, whatever it is you're thinking while your kid is sick, it's OK and it's normal. You're allowed to feel overwhelmed and stretched thin, because you are. You're also allowed to think these 10 things, because motherhood has plenty of challenges, but taking care of a sick kid is the most challenging.
"I Need To Google Their Symptoms Immediately."
I don't know what it is is about moms and wanting to Google everything when their kids are sick, but it's a thing. It's like we have some kind of masochistic urge to bombard yourself with unnecessary, anxiety-inducing information, but it's very real. When your kid gets sick and you have yet to call the pediatrician, you pull out your phone and Google symptoms. You know it's a bad idea, but you also need clarity and maybe this time you can find something helpful in the middle of the possible cancer scares and panic.
"Why Do I Ever Google Anything?"
But, of course, you don't, because Google is evil when it isn't being helpful, and now you're more concerned than you were previously. There are too many illnesses, from minuscule to severe, that have the same tell-tale symptoms, and your imaginations aren't kind to us when our kid(s) isn't feeling very well. You swear to yourself that you'll never Google anything again, but who are you kidding? You'll be on the Internet the next time your kid sneezes.
"We Should Go To The Hospital, Just In Case."
It's hard to keep a worried mother away from the emergency room, even when she knows better. Your mind spins and you go to the dark place where reason and logic fall at the mercy of fear and some horrible stories that you've heard and/or been told. You want to wisk them away and demand that they be seen so you can help them feel better as quickly as possible. Then, of course, you remember that our country's health care system is a dumpster fire and going to the emergency room is expensive, so perhaps a call to your family doctor and/or pediatrician would be a far better decision.
"This Is My Fault. Somehow."
When your kid is feeling miserable, it's difficult not to blame yourself. Germs happen and, believe it or not, getting a cold is beneficial for your kid's immune system. But still, it's hard not to think back and wonder if there is something you could have done, that would prevent your kid from feeling ill. Maybe if you dressed them warmer or didn't let them play on that playground or fed them more oranges? We're mean to ourselves. We're quick to take responsibility for something that isn't our fault. Like, this isn't new information. As always, we need to do our best to shake it off. We obviously did not get our kids sick (unless we literally did give them our cold, in which case, yes, you are clearly the worst mother in the history of all mothers).
"I'm Never Going To Sleep Again."
When your baby is sick and isn't sleeping well, that means you're not sleeping at all. You know that it's only temporary, but sometimes it difficult to see the light at the end of a tunnel that's crowded with coughs and snot and high fevers.
"I'd Sacrifice Sleeping Ever Again If My Kid Could Just Get Better."
Then again, you wouldn't mind losing sleep for the foreseeable future if it meant your kid could feel better instantly. There's nothing worse than watching your kid feel miserable, and that includes sleep deprivation.
"How Does A Tiny Human Produce That Much Snot?"
No really, where does all that snot come from? There's no way that tiny body can produce that much mucus, but somehow it happens and it gets everywhere and you would be impressed if you weren't mildly annoyed.
*Aggressively Bathes In Hand Sanitizer; Desperately Sprays Disinfectant Everywhere*
Disinfect. All. The. Things. You go through a list in your head of what you need to wash and what should just be burned and how many Clorox wipes this is going to cost you.
"This Is That Kid At The Playground's Fault."
Should you be blaming an innocent child for getting your kid sick? No. Does that stop you from doing so, because you're so exhausted and your kid isn't getting better and why did you let them play with that kid on the playground?! They had a runny nose, after all. This was bound to happen.
"Wow, I Wish My Immune Systems Was Like That."
And just like that, when you think it can't possibly get any better, your kid turns a sharp corner and they're perfectly healthy. It's amazing, how strong a kid's immune system can be. Whenever we're sick, we are inclined to look for a quick fix; some pill or syrup that will make us all feel better as fast as humanly possible. But usually, our bodies benefit most from fighting off an infection by itself, so that it can fortify itself against future infections by producing necessary antibodies. Is it easy to nurse your kid through an illness? Definitely not. It's the worst. But unless it's a severe condition or a particular circumstance, our kids are best when we let their bodies to the fighting for them. *Casually opens new bottle of sanitizer*