The only thing worse than being sick as a parent, or having a sick kid to care for and worry about, is when both you and your kid are sick at the same time. Sadly, this will probably happen more than you could even hope to prepare for, because kids get adults sick and adults get kids sick and the cycle of germs is a vicious, vindictive one.
Honestly, only the unconditional, other-worldly love that a parent has for his or her kid, could make it possible for a sick person to take care of another sick person. The last thing you want to do when you're nauseous and dehydrated and you have a fever and you're all achy is nurse someone else back to health. You want to be the one getting soup and medication and having someone do the dirty work while you lie in bed, sleeping your way back to a clear head and a normal temperature. But you can't. Someone else is sick, and it's someone who is tiny and looking to you for help and not yet shackled to the unrelenting responsibilities of adulthood. So mothers and fathers (especially single mothers and fathers) don't let the horrible symptoms of whatever illness they're fighting stop them from taking care of their sick kid.
Sick parents taking care of sick kids is nothing new, but it definitely doesn't mean it's any easier. It's the worst. So with that in mind, here are 11 reasons why you and your kid being sick at the same time is the worst hell on earth. If you can't escape your reality, you might as well learn to bask in it.
You're Taking Care Of Someone, When You Need Care Yourself
Trying to nurse someone to health when you need your own nurse is a miserable mess. It's like a doctor trying to set a broken bone by using their broken hand. (OK, that might be dramatic but that's how it feels, so just go with it.)
Two Doctor's Appointments
Not only do you have to make an appointment for your kid, you have to make an appointment for yourself. And, unless your Ross Geller, you can't go to the same doctor; your kid needs a pediatrician, and you need a "big kid" doctor. You can't "one-stop shop" for diagnoses and some prescriptions until your kid is old enough, and when you're both sick, it feels like that day will never come.
Tissues. So. Many. Tissues.
Your home starts to look like a graveyard of snotty tissues. It's like Christmas morning where ripped wrapping paper is everywhere, except instead of presents there's just phlegm. Because both you and your kid are sick, there's double everything used to ease symptoms: double the soup, double the tea, double the over-the-counter whatever...double it all. Your home looks like a triage center.
You Pass Around The Cold Like A Hot Potato
So apparently, not only can you pass a cold back and forth between family members, you often get a new cold, as a result of an already diminished immune system. So you could get sick, then get someone else sick, then get a different kind of sick. Science! Ugh.
No One Is Sleeping
While your kid might sleep or nap more during the day when they're sick, they'll also wake up more frequently. A baby and/or toddler who normally sleeps through the night will probably wake up numerous times in need of hugs or water or because they're just so uncomfortable. So, even if your kid does end up sleeping more overall, the long, uninterruped hours of sleep will cease to exist.
Getting Sick Is Twice As Expensive
The average medical cost of a baby's first year in the United States is $3,342.00. That's just run-of-the-mill wellness checkups, like scheduled visits for immunizations that a baby would have when they're not sick. Now, just imagine how much more expensive it can be when your baby is sick, and you have to pay for additional pediatrician visits on top of the doctor's visits you'll need when you're sick too.
Pity Parties Are A Regular Thing
It's hard to stay positive when everyone is sick. Because there's not a healthy person around to remind you that this is temporary and you won't die and the world is more than just a germ-infested circle of inevitable death, you can tend to feel more negative than positive. (Just me?)
Your Kid Can't Help Themselves
If your kids are old enough to take care of and/or help themselves with a few things normally, they won't when they're sick. They feel horrible and need someone to take care of them, which means you won't get the normal break you're used to. They're too sick to do their chores, so you'll do them. You don't want your kid trying to care for themselves when they're running a fever and throwing up, so you'll do everything for them. You're back to having a newborn baby...except you're sick too.
You Can't Put Off Certain Responsibilities
I mean, you'll blow off everything you can, but sure enough, there will be some tasks that just have to get done, no matter how crappy you feel, nor how many equally crappy-feeling children you're taking care of.
Misery Really Doesn't Love Company
Nothing actually makes you feel worse than watching your kid feel bad too. When you're a parent, misery doesn't love company — and there's nothing comforting about someone being just as sick as you are. You would much rather be the only one battling a nasty flu and/or cold.
Changing Diarrhea Diapers While You're Sick Is Hell
This is hell, you guys. This is the seventh circle of hell: a never-ending cycle of diarrhea diapers, and you being forced to choke back vomit while running a 101.4 degree fever.