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 and probiotics when your child is around others.
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!