The Common Cold: A Pit of Misery

Mummy Confession: Before kids, my thoughts towards the common cold weren’t much, but after kids, even the common cold is the most vile of things to strike my children.

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“We can’t make it today. The kids have come down with something.”
I used to scoff at those words. I used to think, “Oh come on. It’s just a cold. Sniffles and a little itchy nose.”

I take all those thoughts back now as a mum. Both being the one who has kids with a cold and kids who play with my children that has a cold.

We are currently battling the dreaded common cold in our house, times five. One of those is me. But, that doesn’t hurt as much as seeing my babies suffer through the drippy-runny noses and sore throats that take them on a roller coaster of misery. It is probably more exhausting trying to care for the sick when sick yourself, but we must carry on!

Nights are now spent waking up every half hour (because every hour with teething wasn’t  enough already), and fighting to get anyone to sleep. Cries in the night as they try to breathe, and moaning as they clutch their throats. Begging for more medicine which they can’t have just yet, and every five minutes haunted by their tiny voices saying, “I’m still stick Mummy.”

These are the times sleep exhaustion takes over and you just have to get by with each day. I’m not joking when I say I’ve been living on sleep fumes the last few days especially. With a teething baby who takes literally hours to stop screaming, and now this virus, I’m just getting by walking around to do the necessities.

Let me just give some advice to you out there who have yet to experience the misery of illnesses with children: keep your kids away. Whether they are the one sick, keep them away from other kids if possible. If you think that colds are nothing bad, you may think twice after your child is infected. It may seem like a simple sniffle, and during the day it may just be that. Somewhere in the night it transitions into an endless pit of misery and destruction, sucking the joy (and sleep) out of anything in its path. So, wash your hands, and stay away from the sick children, and introduce plenty of vitamin C when your child is around others.

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Current situation 85% of the day

I’m not saying board up the house and never leave, but the common cold is nothing to be messed with, and it’s just best to stay clear. And if your child is the one infected, be kind and let others know (and ask if they want to reschedule) rather than them seeing snot everywhere only to weep on the inside for their anticipation of their child being the next recipient of the plague.

This goes a million times over for babies, especially young babies. You may think it’s something kids get over, it just comes and goes, but even a simple cold can have devastating effects on small babies. Not only can they not understand what is happening, but they can suffer so badly they require hospitalisation. They go downhill fast.

We were once transported by ambulance for this very reason. A cold turned into a cough, and my baby couldn’t breathe properly. And let’s not mention the time my less than week old baby couldn’t breathe through her nose. Even though endless hours were spent cuddling and diligently using an aspirator.

Be kind and, unlike you have been taught all your life for everything else, don’t share. Please, for the love of everything, don’t share. We don’t want to spend our entire night cuddling sniffling balls of mess and reminding them every five minutes that sleep makes the sickness go away quicker! To parents and carers, a cold is not ever “just” a cold. It turns sane people (perspective, people) into anxious messes.

Next time you have a cold, please be mindful that, while children need to “get used to” germs, it’s probably not your job to introduce them.

What if your child is already sick? Check out these helpful tips here (WebMD resource)!

Not sure if you should be seeing a doctor, or concerned about your child? Never hesitate to even just call in and ask questions when you are concerned! Feel free to use my list of helpful Pregnancy, Baby, and Beyond resources for that!

11 thoughts on “The Common Cold: A Pit of Misery

  1. A kid having a cold is so miserable. We can take aleve cold and sinus and knock out symptoms, and kids can’t really take anything. I hate it. We stay far away from germ filled places during cold season.

  2. Yes! I understand kids are going to pick up germs and get sick. However knowing taking your sick child to spend time with other or sending them to school is wrong. I remember when all 3 of my girls got the flu while my hubby was out of town for work. That was the longest week of my LIFE!!

  3. This is exactly where I am right now with B! This cold has been so bad, it made me realise that we’d got away easy before! I’ve definitely stayed away from our usual groups but you’re right, other people aren’t as considerate 😔

  4. I can remember years ago when we didnt hav kids one of our friends cancelled plans because her son had ‘a cold’ i thought it was rediculous. .. fast forward to now and I het so stressed when my kids have anything wrong and a cold ia crap because you cant do much to help them-except be up all nighy cuddling and wiping noses. So i cringe thinking how i was. Great post x

    • mummyconfessions says:

      Yes! I know! It’s funny how as non-parents we underestimate the power of a cold! It’s terrible how bad it gets for the little ones!
      And Thank you!

  5. Luckily Dex has only had one cold so far but it was so bad I even took him to the doctors! (First visit apart from 8 week check lol, I’m not one of these mums who goes running to the GP)

    It’s horrible seeing them suffer like that. You are so right about keeping other babies/kids away when they are suffering.

    • mummyconfessions says:

      So glad your bub is a healthy one! I don’t run to the doctors for everything either, but after a cold/cough goes on for a bit with my littles, it’s just reassuring to hear “they’ll be ok” from a professional. With my first, she had gotten a cold within her first week and it was horrid! I was paranoid with my first seeing as she was so tiny.

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