Saturday, April 19, 2014

To Go or Not To Go, that is the Question

The other day I was talking to someone about the fact that they were sick.  They didn't really want to be in their room, away from other people, and so were frustrated at the idea that having a fever meant staying away until they were better.

Another person mentioned to me that they had been sick with a fever recently, but they just kept going and doing what they normally do because, "They aren't the kind of person to just lay around." And I got irritated.  It seemed selfish to me.  It didn't seem noble to me to infect everyone else with their germs just because they didn't want to stay away.

Then, the other day, my youngest was throwing up.  He had been sick for three days, but no one else had been, so it was my hope that everyone else was ok and this was just a bug that the rest of us had already had.  I left him home from the outing we were going to on the 4th day, just because his tummy didn't seem up to par yet, but he was fine all day, thankfully.

However, half way through our event, another child starting acting weird.
"No thanks, mom.  I don't want any lunch.  And I think I feel sort of tired, so instead of playing with all my friends, I'm just going to go lay in the van"- for an hour and a half!  He threw up later that day.  So then I felt bad that we had exposed everyone we were around to this stomach bug and I should have just gone with my gut and declared him sick the moment that I saw him acting odd. 

If I went with my gut all the time, though, and didn't send any possibly contaminated children to anything ever, we would have to stay home a LOT! 

This all makes me wonder how the majority of other families deal with sickness and germs.  I don't want to act like a hypochondriac, but how do I wade through these waters and think of others as well as ourselves?

And when we are sick, how much do I let others decide whether to expose themselves and be in my home, knowing they might get sick and pass it on to others, versus saying no?

I usually try not to bring or send children who have a fever or stomach virus to anything until it has been about 24 hours since they were sick.  But sometimes I just don't know they are and then they are there and get others sick.

I can't stand it, though, when a parent KNOWS their child is sick and brings them anyway because they just want to be there or the child REALLY wants to participate.

Then there are those who are obsessed with being well, and if my kid coughs or sniffs funny, they cover their face in fear that they will be next.  Suddenly, I feel like I should probably stay home at all times because if I waited until no child ever sneezed, coughed, picked their nose, or sniffed, we would never be able to walk out the front door! Ever!  Yet somehow, when someone covers their face because of one of my children's bodily functions, I immediately feel guilty.  I hate that too!

Today I happen to be faced with what to do about Easter service tomorrow. One child threw up this morning, one- last night.  Chances are they are both going to be fine tomorrow.  But I'm probably going to take them and one of the kids that has been well so far is going to lose it at lunch and then I'll know that they shouldn't have gone to church that morning.  Or, as things go- if we all stay home- we are sure to all be completely well and it will have been a waste. 

You know, it's not the cooking and the laundry that stresses us moms out.  It's issues like this- emotional interactions with other people and the judgements that others form about us, that we form about ourselves, and the feeling of responsibility to get it right- EVERY SINGLE TIME that makes parenting so hard.  It's why babysitters think that taking care of kids is no big deal and then parents have a completely different feel to it.  That responsibility of, "Am I making the right call?"

So, I don't know if we will be at church tomorrow or not, but I'd love to know if other people struggle with this issue and how they navigate it.  I'm looking forward to Heaven when sickness won't be an issue anymore.  Easier decision making!

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