Hang in there, everybody

I didn’t think anything could suck more for a parent than when a kid falls ill. Until all my kids fell ill. And my husband too. And then I got thrown under the bug bus as well.

So here we are, four weeks into a never-ending mutating cycle of raging fevers, green phlegm, bronchial coughs, spit ups and diarrhoea.

I’ve lost count of the number of times we visited the docs. Between us we have enough meds to fit into a bread box. We also have had enough cranky, exhaustion-fuelled meltdowns and short fuses to warrant a Supernanny intervention.

Does there seem to be an end in sight? Let’s see, my helper just told me she thinks she might have a cold (NOOOO!) But the husband is starting to feel human again today (YES!) Julian’s diarrhoea seems to be tapering (YAY!) But Layla’s cough is still lingering, after two weeks and two visits to the doctor’s. And she’s had three runny diapers today (which means, AAAARGH…)

Being sick reduces us to a very vulnerable and sub-human state. Just a week ago, in my weakest state, all I wanted to do was curl up under my blanket in clean pyjamas, have my own mum rub Vicks on my back and drift off to a restorative 8-hour block of uninterrupted sleep. Instead, my husband and I had to avoid crumbling and keep it together. Because once you become a parent, life can’t stop just because your body wants to.

So what’s kept us from self-destructing?

Support from our village. Without the grandparents and helper, I think my kids and I would certainly be stewing in a primodial stinkpot of germs right now, without enough food in the fridge and three-day-old clothes still on our backs. I thank God that my in-laws and parents are always a phone call away. And I am ever thankful for my live-in helper who is around to wash my son off his 7th diarrhoea diaper as I struggle with the daughter’s and my own coughing fit.

What have I learnt from this episode?

Infection control! It took one very exasperating session with a doctor recently to remind us that with a child in nursery, a baby at home and two adults who work all day, we desperately need to maintain good hygiene and quarantine drills for minimising the spread of illnesses. That means washing hands after handling a sick child, his toys or her diaper. If you can’t avoid handling one child after the other, change out your clothes. No sharing food or cutlery. Separate bedrooms. Face masks.

I am learning the hard way that the inconvenience of prevention is nothing compared to the inconvenience of suffering a nasty bug invasion at home. Keep your germs to yourself. Better still, keep them at bay by strengthening your immune system. Your kids need you.

Keeping our CNY spirits up despite a 39-degree fever. Here’s to riding out the sick storm!

This entry was posted in Health.


  1. Eva says:

    Hey Charlene, I totally feel your pain. We just went through a round of serious eye infections that lasted 2 weeks each and even spread to granddad and grandaunt. That’s a total of like 2 months with at least one person with highly infectious sore eyes. And then came the flu. Which I caught too even though I had a flu jab not that long ago. Thank God everyone seems ok now. Stay strong, it will all pass soon. God bless all of you, and hope to see you guys soon 🙂

    • MumInTheWild says:

      Hey Eva! 2 months?! Oh man, poor grandparents, kids and you! Glad the worst is over now. Thanks for the support, praying your family keeps strong and healthy for the rest of the year too! Xoxo

  2. Melissa Rae Lau says:

    Hey Char, how tormenting! I can understand your trying times.
    My family was down w the flu bug during the CNY period after my toddler boy started sch(toddler and mum is still on the road of full recovery).
    Leaky blocked nose, feverish, cough, sore throat! When the mum is sick, things still gotta get going- Physically weak, but when the toddler vomits all over the place after a compulsive cough, the sick mum gotta gather her inner strength to clear the mess and stay positive to comfort the crying toddler. Then, I’ve got another cranky baby who couldnt sleep and drink well because of stuffy nose(haiz)
    I like you advice on infection control. To add on, I hv hand rubs at some corners of my house so that helper can use it before contacting the boys. Yes, reinforce on hand hygiene.
    I boost my helper w multivitamin supplement daily too(our primary source of help, the healthiest of all in the house). Other preventive measures are, diffusing and applying concoctions of antiviral/antibacterial essential oils, opening up all the windows in the day to allow max sunlight hoping to kill nasty germs, and separating my boys in the house (though sometimes it’s just not possible).
    Since it’s difficult to educate the toddler to wear a facemask or cover his mouth when sneezing/coughing, we made sure helper covers lil bro’s nose and mouth, and turn him away fr big bro just so to minimise contracting the bug. Lastly, use the sea salt nasal spray for baby before each feed. Hope my lil input helps.
    Thanks for sharing. I know I’m not alone in this battle 🙂

    • MumInTheWild says:

      Oh Mel, thanks so much for sharing. Sounds like a lot of families were having a rough CNY too! Your tips are awesome. Am with you on keeping everyone’s immunity strong, especially the help! Everyone should have a nurse for a mummy friend… plenty of love to the boys! Xoxo

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