No matter what I do, I just cannot get used to handling a sick child. I still worry and panic and go into auto pilot mode. I pray just as hard as I did during the last bout of illness if not, even more. And for some reason I still do not trust many with my sick child. I always worry that they will miss a sign of a change in symptoms which really isn’t worth risking if that change is for the worse.
I don’t know about other parents out there but I must confess I cannot sleep with a sick child in the house. In fact that night the child will sleep with me and I shall watch them most of the night till exhaustion kicks in and grants me a few moments of rest.
Maybe you are that enviable confident parent and feel you have got it all figured out. You have a live in nanny or can split duties with the other parent, have a family member at hand to help out or have simply pulled out the Calpol, Ibuprofen or whatever and your little one is now tucked up in bed, snug, warm and the temperature cooler.
And so what will happen when the kiddo wakes up sicker, can’t play, can’t go to school, and you still have to show up at work bright and early for that crucial meeting that is a ‘make or break’ for the company’s business that day?
Well, maybe you can split duties with the other parent- or maybe not. Thank goodness for the live-in nanny, but does she care enough? Will she be as observant? But then again, she is a parent too so she must know what to do- you hope so anyway!
Or maybe, just maybe she will wake up and be ready to go to school or be lively enough to live with the nanny at home.
But then you might send her to school or let her stay home with the nanny as you go off to work, and just as you’re getting into the office, the dreaded phone call from the nanny or school nurse comes in to tell you the worst and could you please come quickly! (It could be anything from higher fever to convulsions!)
And while you make your way back to your sick child the guilt kicks in and you are thinking, I am a terrible parent who tried–and did–leave a sick child at the school/ with a stranger because I am negligent and care more about my work than my own offspring.
So, really, it never gets easier. In fact I think it gets harder because as children get older you know that as a parent you must appear to fuss less and trust more strangers with your child.
I think any parent of a school-going child will agree that school increases the chance and frequency of infection. But it has to be done anyway!