We’re heading into winter, which means a few things. It’s getting cold, you’re gonna need to put on your puffy jackets, find some indoor activities to burn off all your kids’ extra energy and everybody’s gonna get sick.

Yep, that’s right. It’s cold and flu season. Fun times!

The worst thing about flu season is that it affects everyone— kids and parents. Even if you don’t get sick yourself, you still have to take a sick day from work to take care of your sick kids, who will just pass it from one to the other. Just as everyone starts feeling better, the cycle begins again.

Mazzy has been out for a total of ten days so far this year and each time, she has to catch up on school work and I fall way behind on my work, which is a lot of the reason that I haven’t blogged as much this year. I work for myself and often think about what would happen if I had to answer to an employer. Last year’s cold and flu season negatively affected millions of parents and their children, with a record-breaking 900,000 hospitalizations and over 80,000 flu-related deaths. Sorry to get so serious there with the facts.

This cold and flu season, I am partnering with Lysol on their One Less Sick Day program which gives children, schools and families tools to help prevent the spread of these illnesses. They are arming schools with their germ-killing products, educational tools such as Lysol Healthy Habits, and providing 10,000 American schools with free Kinsa smart thermometers, so that parents can see anonymous information on symptoms and illnesses going around. Hopefully, this will help us all detect illnesses sooner and know when to be most vigilant!

Otherwise, you can look forward to sick days that look a lot like this…

12 of the Most Annoying Things that Happen When Your Kid Comes Down with a Cold

1) Your kid announces she needs to stay home from school. You think, “Oh yeah? I’ve heard that one before.” You take her temp (just to humor her) and she seems fine. You send her to school anyway. Then a half hour after you get to work, you get the call from the school nurse. “Mazzy’s got a temperature. She needs to go home.”

2) You pick up your kid from the nurse and feel the need to tell her that you took your kid’s temperature this morning and she was fine. The nurse stares at you, like, LADY. I don’t have time for this. Then you look at your daughter who, between coughs and groans, gives you the “I told you so” smirk.

3) You set your kid on the couch, with a blanket, a box of tissues, her favorite stuffed animal and a movie. You think, maybe I can get some work done while she rests up. You give her a kiss on the forehead and attempt to walk over to your laptop, over on the kitchen counter, far away from the germs. “Mommy, I want to cuddle.” How do you say no to that???

4) You acquiesce and settle down next to your sick kid, giving her a big mama hug, trying to make it as caring and heartfelt as possible, while also fully knowing that it’s your own death sentence. She returns the love by coughing directly in your face. Excellent.

5) You lose brain cells watching 8 hours straight of your kid’s favorite show. You become completely invested in the storyline. Then, right when you are about to hit a major plot point, your kid suddenly skips ahead to a new season. You find yourself shouting something like, “Wait! You can’t skip ahead!! We need to find out if Diggy goes to Australia!” But your kid just shrugs and says, “I’ve already seen that one” and presses ahead. You go back and watch alone, later that night, after she falls asleep.

6) On the second sick day, you debate whether to take your kid to the pediatrician, knowing you will inevitably get judged. If you take her too early, the doc will just tell you to go home, have her rest and wait it out. You’ll feel like you wasted everybody’s time. You decide to wait another day. On the third day, she is still showing no signs of getting better. You decide to take her to the doctor. He reports that everything has escalated to a full blown double ear infection. A silent question hangs in the air. “Why didn’t you bring her in yesterday when we could have done something to ward this off??” 

7) You go home defeated, but at least armed with antibiotics. You settle back onto the couch, give your kid a little lecture about throwing her tissues somewhere other than the floor and try to convince her to eat some chicken soup. Then you both watch Trolls for the 17th time in three days.

8) Slowly, but surely, your younger child, the healthy one, starts to feel the effects of your diverted attention. She wants snuggles too. She misses playing with her big sister. Why is nobody paying attention to her???? You try your best to split your time between both kids, while also trying desperately not to spread the germs.

9) It’s Friday, a full week out of school, and your kid is finally feeling better. Good thing because she’s got a sleepover party that night that she’s been looking forward to for weeks. Do you keep her home from the party and break her heart? Or deal with the dirty looks from all the parents at the party when they take one look at your kid’s red runny nose and say, “Ummm…wasn’t your kid out sick all week?” You decide to take her to the party. You say to the birthday girl’s mother, “Mazzy has been under the weather this week but she’s been on antibiotics for three days and she’s feeling much better. I hope it’s okay that she comes to the party…” The mother says, “Look around. Every kid is sick.” You look over at the kids, all standing around and breathing on the cake. Every one of them has a red runny nose.

10) You go home, relieved that you’ll get a night off from your coughing kid. All is right in the world. You put a movie on and sit with her little sister on the couch. “Isn’t it nice that we get some one on one time, tonight?” She sneezes, snot pouring out of her nose. GREAT.

11) Once your little one finally starts getting better, you think— AWESOME. Now I can go back to work! As if that’s a break. You get dressed and head out the door, getting your first breath of fresh air in weeks. You go to your office and sit down at your desk, two weeks of work behind. You open your laptop and that’s when you feel it— the dreaded tickle in your throat. You are getting sick.

12) You take a few more days off work to recuperate yourself, still taking care of everyone at home, obviously. Then, just as it looks like it’s finally run its course, your husband catches it. OH NO. The biggest child of all.


This post was sponsored by Lysol, but all thoughts, opinions and man children are my own.