The worst part about being a working mom, in my opinion, is that Isla gets sick. Constantly. I know that SAHMs battle the occasional bout of sniffles, too, but when your kid goes to daycare every day, it seems like the runny nose never really ends.
It occurred to me this morning that every time Isla has had shots since I went back to work, she’s had a cold at the same time. 4 months? She was sick. 6 months? She was sick. 7 month booster? She was sick. And that’s not counting all the colds in between.
We’ve been fortunate in that none of her colds have come with a fever or any serious side effects, and at least during the day, Isla is usually pretty happy for a sick kid. She screams when you come after her with kleenex, and naps might be a little more fraught than usual, but all in all, she’s too busy to really notice that she’s sick.
At night, though, things go downhill fast. She has a hard time falling asleep and then staying asleep if her nose is stopped up, so there are frequent wake-ups and they tend to run long. It’s not like Isla sleeps long stretches to begin with. We typically still get up twice a night with her, and she goes down at 6:30-ish and is awake again by 6:30. When she’s sick, she’ll wake up 3, 4, 5 times…before midnight.
We try to head off problems by starting off the night with a dose of infant tylenol, giving her saline drops, and suctioning her nose. (Oh, the screams.) Then we crank up the humidifier and plug in her Vicks nightlight thing that makes the entire room smell like Vicks vapor rub. Then we pray.
She pretty much always ends up in the swing before the night is out. I’m going to be very, very sad when she outgrows the swing. Kellen has been discussing a swing that will be big enough, we can use it until she’s out of the house. We don’t use it very often at night anymore, but when she’s sick or teething, it’s indispensable. It’s the only thing standing between us and being absolutely useless the next day.
The only time I really regret working is when Isla is sick, because I feel like we’re subjecting her to all these germs by sending her off to daycare. But. Work is necessary from a financial standpoint and important to me in terms of emotional wellbeing, and Isla absolutely loves her daycare, so I never feel guilty about the fact that she spends 3 days a week with someone who isn’t Kellen or me. She loves the family she stays with, and I love that she has so many people in her life who genuinely love her and whom she genuinely loves. I just wish she didn’t get sick so much. It’s hard to see her so miserable.