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Challenge: Stretched Too Thin

To the mama whose kids have been sick since January

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Girl, I Feel You. So Hard.

Since sometime after the dust settled on the holiday wrapping, it feels like the cold and flu got together, saw the upcoming forecast for an endless winter and were like, "hold my wine".

January 16th my husband and I had our first trip away from our two kids. A previously cancelled work trip is the only reason we could afford it, having left us airfare and an AirBnb to use.

Our oldest is seven and has several behavior diagnoses, and our youngest is nearly three. Getting childcare coverage for these two wild hobos is like trying to trade someone the shaggy dog van in Dumb and Dumber: next to impossible.


My folks were champions and between them and a few cousins, we strategized to cover our four days away.

We drove away fast enough that they couldn't change their minds and flew to sunny Florida with the Ohio snow in our rearview. It was thirteen degrees with a feels like temp below zero when we left.

Our second day in Florida I woke up with every possible symptom of the congested version of the flu – stuffy head, gnarly chest cough, fever, chills, aches. Awesome. Day three, the husband falls victim.

We return to negative thirty wind chills, unburry our car in long-term parking from the snow storm we missed while we were dying of the Florida flu, and headed to get our kiddos.

Fast forward from that freezing January day – the 21st – and we are well into March with nothing but two rounds of the stomach virus, Flu A and Flu B diagnoses for three of the four of us, and a pink eye epidemic to show for it. And just when I was washing the eleventieth round of pillow and blanket sanitation cycle, I go out to find that our youngest has covered our van in projectile vomit.


Our small town urgent care needs to adopt a punch card system because we would've qualified for a free co-pay or something by now.

Mama, I know that – regardless of whether you work outside the home, work from home, or are a stay at home mom – you are spent; that kind of complete and utter exhaustion that we haven't even come up with a human word to accurately describe yet.

You have sanitized every surface in your home no less than half a dozen times. All of the sheets and covers you own have been washed and you even sprung for the hot water cycle. You are one step from buying stock in Lysol and thirty steps past the edge of insanity.

You've cleaned and cooked and cleaned some more through your own coughs and nausea because someone has to get it done for the rest of the germ-ridden creatures living in your house and the germ-x won't hand itself out! You've spent all of February wondering if you were sweaty from wiping all the doorknobs with sanitizer or if you were catching the plague too. And, girl, you. Are. Tired.

And that's okay.

We are here, lifting our barf buckets in solidarity mama.

So, tonight, as you are up until all hours scrolling Pinterest for home remedies for the flu and what essential oils can disinfect wood surfaces, know that you aren't in this fight alone.

We all hate this endless winter. Cheers, mama.

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