The 6 Stages Every Mom Goes Through When Her Kid Is Sick

The 6 Stages Every Mom Goes Through When Her Kid Is Sick

With a sick kid on your hands, surely you’re about to go through these turbulent stages.

By: Nicole Fabian-Weber

Even if you’re the cleanest, healthiest mama on the block, there comes a point in every parent’s life when her kid gets sick. And it’s awful. Not only is it heartbreaking to see your little one suffer – whether it’s from a sniffly nose and cough, or worst of all, an upset tummy and the barfs -- it turns your entire world upside down. Should you call out of work? Cancel plans? Is your little one’s illness the same horrible stomach bug you’ve been hearing about on the news? Ack, what if this is super serious?! Is a trip to the doctor, or the ER, in order?! Should the whole family just check into quarantine NOW?!

Having a little sickie on your hands is no fun for a multitude of reasons. Here, the six stages every mama goes through when she sees those very first signs of illness.

Stage 1: Dread. You walk into your little one’s room, or they into yours, and you can see the early signs of sickness. To the naked eye, it isn’t obvious, but to you, it’s written all over her sweet face. Maybe it’s glassy eyes, maybe it's the tiniest sniffle in her nose, or maybe it's a shade of skin that’s slightly lighter than usual. You know what’s going on. You weren’t expecting it. And the timing couldn’t be any worse.

Stage 2: Fear. Upon further inspection, you start to realize (or at least think you realize) that your child is sicker than you thought. (Or is your mind playing tricks on you?) Every little thing she does makes you wonder what on earth it is that she has.

Stage 3: Blame: You rack your brain, wondering where she could have caught this bug, and you narrow down possible culprits your child has been in recent contact with. Not cool, guys.

Stage 4: Desperation. If you don’t normally have a child who’s sick, or you’re a first-time mama, you likely take things to the Internet. You search things like “toddler vomited” or “baby congestion and cough,” and, naturally, come across only the worse-case scenarios. You call out of work or cancel your plans, because oh my gosh, this is bad!

More from P&G everyday: 9 Ways to Keep Your Kid's Illness From Spreading to the Whole Family


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Stage 5: Panic. After leaving Dr. Internet’s office, you’re scared. Anxious. Worried that your sweet, little angel has something serious. Initially, you thought it was just a cold, but after reading about Agnes3457’s horrifying experience with a runny nose on that random parenting site, you’re convinced it’s so much worse.

Stage 6: Relief. After you make it through the first harrowing hours, you’re confident that things are going to be OK. Maybe you called your doctor, maybe you even visited your doctor, but after watching your baby all morning and deciding to trust your gut, you realize that you’ve got this. Chicken soup and movies for everyone. Good job, Mama. You can relax now. (Except, of course, your kid feels totally fine now and is re-energized and bouncing off the walls.)

How do you handle your child being sick?

Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a sweet toddler girl and an equally sweet baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications.

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