Listen to me say this very obvious fact of life, and be prepared to accept it, because it’s a fact that people tend to fight, even though we all know how true it is:
Kids get sick.
Kids will get sick no matter what.
Wealthy kids get sick, poor kids get sick; kids of every race and gender get sick.
Kids get sick all the time and unless we keep them in a bubble, we cannot keep germs from spreading. And it’s actually good for kids to get the common cold every now and then (even food poisoning has its positive place because throwing up is a fact of life and I, for one, will not raise my kids to be total wimps when it comes to vomiting… like I tend to be).
Everyone on board with this fact? Yes? Good, now we can move on to another fact I live by that I wish others would recognize:
I don’t care if your kid gets my kid sick. I will not condemn you as a terrible mother for “letting” your kid spread his germs to mine.
Why? Because I’m an adult who understands that while it really sucks to deal with sick kids, especially if they spread it to me at the same time, it’s not the end of the world and your kid probably didn’t spread any germs intentionally. I also know how to teach my kids important things, like how to wash their hands and how to sneeze into their elbow, in hopes of reducing said germ-spreading as much as possible.
I’m so sick of moms complaining about how “so-and-so knowingly brought their kid to a play date sick” and *scoff* how could she!
I’m sick of seeing a gallery of disgusted, judge-y moms when a kid just acts like a kid. AKA when he rubs his runny nose with the back of his hand and then continues playing without mom instantly running over to clean and sanitize his entire body.
I’m so tired of moms pretending that their kids have never done the exact same thing!
So if your kid has a runny nose but you’re desperate for me to still babysit so you can make it to your doctor appointment or girl’s night out, bring him anyways!
If your kid has a low-grade fever, I understand that that’s his body doing what it should to fight off infection and I won’t punish him for it as if he’s spreading the plague to my household.
If you give me at least a 30 second heads up that your kid showed signs of illness, I’ll appreciate it and then most likely continue our play date as planned.
If he’s throwing up on my child, then yeah, I’ll probably cancel and reschedule but even then, I won’t make you feel like you’re dirty and like you do a bad job protecting your child (from micro-freaking-scopic germs, people!).
Kids get sick and we need to stop blaming each other’s children (and moms) for spreading germs when it’s bound to happen. Who knows if my kid is nauseous because of little Johnny’s snotty hand, or because of the public restroom’s door that I had to touch in order to rush my kid to the potty? Who knows if it was “that dirty kid” from preschool, or the handrail my daughter slid down on our walk tonight? Who cares? She’s sick and I’ll deal with it without focusing on negative thoughts and feelings of blame.
To be fair, because I know some of you will come out of the woodwork to point this out: I’m not talking about the small population of kids who have immune diseases or other serious illnesses who, if exposed, even the common cold could be life threatening. I feel like that’s an obvious exclusion and moms of those children have every right to be extra cautious (still not judgmental, though) when it comes to other kids and their germs. I’m just talking about the normal germs kids pass while they play, talk, sit next to each other, share lunches at school with, and pass while basically just existing every day.
Please, the next time you go on a witch hunt to find out who exactly sent their kid to church nursery with Hand, Foot, and Mouth– take a chill pill and realize it doesn’t matter who spread it. The next time you want to blame someone specifically for your child having a cough, direct that anger to the illness itself. Germs are going to spread; it’s just a fact of life. Why waste time judging and persecuting someone specifically (usually behind their back) for something that will happen despite our best intentions?