They say happy wife, happy life, well in my house it’s happy baby, happy wife – then happy life!
These past four days, my baby got his first fever. But that wasn’t the hard part. The hard part was taking care of an unhappy baby who whined and clinged to me all day long! Nothing made this poor little babe happy. And every 6 hours I made sure he had Tylenol to help him out.
On the 5th morning when he woke up with no fever and actually ate some breakfast, I was so happy! He even played a bit with his favorite toys. Ahhh relief! Until my bubble was popped when a friend asked, “Did you get him a COVID test? We can’t do play dates until he has been tested.” And part of me was dumbfounded, like how could he have COVID? This isn’t COVID? All his symptoms were like teething. I’m no doctor, but I knew it wasn’t COVID.
Then my mama bear calmed down and I realized that in the times we are now in, every symptom could be COVID. You have a runny nose? Well, maybe it’s COVID. You throat hurts? Better test for COVID! I’m not trying to downplay COVID. I take it very seriously; my family takes all the precautions and we all wear masks and do our socializing outside. The friends closest to me know how cautious we are. So, when this new friend asked me, part of me was offended. Like, am I not safe enough for you? But then I thought – well we should test because I can’t prove it’s not – and as a mother of a baby who can’t wear a mask, I would also feel unsafe being around a baby who had a fever.
Things have changed so much from before COVID. A little runny nose was still ok to play, but now you’re infectious and looked down upon if you leave the house. How we view our health has changed because we have so much more to lose with COVID. Before if we caught a cold it was a normal occurrence and part of having young children. But now things are so much more complicated. I booked his COVID test and that gave me anxiety. What if it was COVID? Did I fail? Did I not keep him safe?
I was almost defeated thinking about what I had done to cause my baby to get sick. All the scenarios were running in the back of my mind; thinking of what we had done recently that could have been the culprit.
My oldest child is 5, and she is now able to get her COVID vaccine so we signed her up to start kindergarten once she is fully vaccinated. I started to question it. Should we skip? Is this all too dangerous? But before my anxiety went into full gear my husband calmed me down. He reassured me that we are doing everything we can, and that while we are safe, we need to live. “The baby is young and healthy, like all our kids and we are so fortunate. Let’s talk to the doctor and go from there. Testing is just confirming it’s not something else.”
I took a deep breath and went to the drive up COVID test. When we arrived, they quickly swirled the cotton swab in his nostrils. I was hoping they would have been gentler, but it was over fairly quick. At least I know they got an accurate sample. Part of me is calm, it’s over and my baby is starting to feel better. Focus on the good and what I can control.
We do everything we can to protect our children, and we also need to protect their mental health. I am not a bad mom, and I know we are doing everything we can to stay healthy and safe. I’m proud of how well we have all been doing and whatever happens I’ll continue down that route. I think about all the parents who beat themselves up because their kids got sick.
We all know there are risks, so you have to be comfortable with the risks we take and know that you’re doing your best. Whatever the outcome you’re still going to take care of them the best you can and you can’t go down the list of guilt forever. We also can choose our friends. And while I like this new friend, I don’t like how she made me feel. I think I’m ok to move on. We are all old enough and have our children to think about when it comes to friends. At this stage in my life, I don’t have a problem closing the door on a friendship that doesn’t have my best interests in mind, or care about how I feel.
While I do agree testing was a good idea, I didn’t like the way she made me feel about it. To end this, I’d like to say you’re a good mom, and deserve good friends who support you. While we might do things our own way, during COVID we all are trying our best and so is the next parent, even if it’s not your way. Try to be patient and empathetic, we are all dealing with this in our own way. Do the best for your family and that’s that.