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Mom’s Code Chronicle #4 Save her When She’s Drowning Part 1 of 2


Moms need other moms. It’s a simple fact, and a complicated truth. Because it’s hard for moms to ask for help, to admit we are drowning. But once in a while, the white flag needs to be raised. Even our bones feel weary and we get prone to disillusionment, like when a mob of parents stampede children at an Easter egg hunt, trying to get the most candy.

My working mom friends want someone to inform the cold and flu season that its time is up. Our kids are still dropping like flies and it’s a bad strain this year. We need the illnesses to stay within their cycles! Allergy season’s biggest punch is around the corner. We’ve exhausted our back-up plans. My friend Elise said, “I had no choice but to ask my mother-in-law for help and now she’s extracting her payment in blood. Two days of babysitting my sick kids equals six months of extreme and unquestioned intrusiveness and all can do is smile and be grateful.”

Last weekend, my oldest daughter went to a weekend camp sponsored by her school. The camp was cold at night, hot during the day, and the bare bones accommodations provide a place to sleep. Period. I picked her up and she informs me in a nasally and gravelly voice, “My throat hurts.” We stopped to get over-the-counter medications. I ran her a vanilla foam bath. I made a homemade pasta dinner. She went to bed early with enough Mucinex in her system to kill a baby rhinoceros. This is ‘thwarting a potential illness 101′ for moms.

She woke up the next morning and said, “My throat still hurts.” She had no fever and didn’t want to miss her math test. I said, “Call me in an hour and tell me how you are.” She texted me that her throat hurts but she can finish the day. After school, wants to tell the track coach she is sick so he’ll know she’s not faking. I text her back, “I need you to get well. No track.” I’m not sure if she is exhausted or sick. Later in the day, she texts, “Kylie had strep and still came to school last week.” Ugh. I have four kids, two dogs and my husband is traveling. I don’t have time for a strep epidemic to hit my house. I call in some reinforcements and leave work.

My mom friends rally to help me. I spend two hours in Urgent Care while they pick up my other three kids. My daughter tests positive for strep throat. To be honest, I have to ask what it is. It is a bacterial infection. It is contagious. She takes the shot to the butt over the prescription medicine. One trip to the pharmacy saved! I celebrate. Just kidding. My thoughts travel down some random alleyways. “I’ve got to fetch my kids. They’ve missed two sports practices and piano lessons. A plus is we caught the strep early. A minus is she will be quarantined to her bedroom. Little sister moving into my bed. All bedding washed. I was serious about sticking to a diet this week. Pizza is now on my diet because I always need pizza when I slip into survival mode.” My daughter snaps me back to reality. “Mom has anyone ever died from pain? I feel like there are razor blades in my throat.”

Click here to read part 2