The role of parent is not an easy one. We are tasked with so much responsibility. At the end of each evening I find myself questioning my abilities. I run the entire day through my head. How I could have done things better. That my daughter deserves someone far more capable than I. How I’ll cope with the following days challenges. Am I allowing her enough freedom, or not enough? Am I giving her the right skill sets to become independent? Am I too hard on her? Am I too lenient on her?
We are the caregivers for a future generation. It’s not a role to be taken lightly. It rests in our hands to raise these little people the right way. Ensuring that we have given them the right set of skills, in order for them to have the best possible outcome to start a life on their own one day. We need to ensure that we raise healthy, compassionate, confident, happy and well-developed people. But raising a child takes more than a parent or two or three doesn’t it?! It takes a village really. Family, friends, caregivers, mentors, teachers, tutors, neighbours and even strangers. We all play a pivotal role in creating successful future generations of functional adults. As a society in entirety, we are responsible for ensuring that future generations are looked after.
We have shared much of our daughters’ and our story to create awareness for others. One such story occurred this past week. Charlotte grew very ill, very quickly. One listen to her lungs by her paediatrician and we were immediately admitted to the isolation ward in paediatrics. She had contracted pneumonia in both lungs. Very bad for a former micro preemie with a history of chronic lung disease. Further tests also confirmed that she had contract ‘RSV’, which was likely the outlying cause of her contracting pneumonia as a secondary infection. With confirmation of her diagnosis I opted to re-share a prior post I had made in sharing awareness and preventative measures surrounding ‘RSV’.
So many wonderful and amazing members of our village offered love, support and encouragement. Many more shared the post to create further awareness, which in itself is amazing support and love. And as I wondered through the comments made on various shared posts I noticed a handful of interesting comments.
One comment noted that the poster couldn’t see what the big deal was. It is after all just a common cold, one which all children will have at some point. She’s not wrong with that statement, but it is a fairly naive and narrow-minded one if I’m honest. Another which struck me hard in the feels was one which stated that as Charlottes’ mother, it was my sole responsibility to ensure that she is protected from germs. Yes, thank you for pointing out that I failed my daughter. Let me add however, that while it is indeed my responsibility to protect Charlotte, it is equally your responsibility to prevent the spread of your and your little ones germs.
The comments got me thinking though. Had the objective of my original post not been clear? So I went back and read through it a few more times to see what I had missed. What I noted at the end of the exercise was that I was encouraging nothing more than basic hygiene etiquette from general functional and rational members of society, whom I presume to be capable of logical thought.
A lot of the original post focused on prevention. How to best prevent the spread of this horrible virus. Simple, basic tasks such as:
- Washing your hands regularly, especially after being in contact with known germs, viruses and bacteria.
- To cough or sneeze into the small of your elbow or into a tissue to prevent airborne particles.
- To wipe down surfaces you may touch in public spaces, that others will be in contact with.
- To teach your children to cough with a hand in front of their mouth.
- To keep sick children at home as far as possible. Yes, we all know it’s difficult and sometimes impossible. But again, revert back to basic hygiene 101, clean surfaces they come in contact with.
- By wiping your hands before you pick up a dozen different bags of pasta to see which one floats your boat for dinner.
- By confining your sick child to a baby wrap, sling or even a trolley instead of allowing them to run amock down all the aisles.
- By wiping down your trolley when leaving the store.
- By not taking your sick child to school, childrens parties, play areas and parks or to the local Spur play area on a Friday evening.
None of these are overly complicated and impossible to achieve, and all are respectful and mindful of the basic hygienic rights of all members of our villages.
So yes, as you so wisely pointed out, as much as it is my responsibility to protect my daughter, it is equally my responsibility to ensure that if she or I are ill, that I prevent the spread of those germs to you. And we expect the same respect, courtesy and effort in return. It is also my responsibility to nurture my daughters development in its entirety, this includes so much more than just her health. It includes her social development with society, her friends, class mates, adults and strangers. I have to find the right balance between her health and well being to ensure that all aspects of her development are nurtured. In order for me and for any other parent to fulfil this task successfully we need to work together to ensure that we are offering all of our children, safe environments in which to develop.
So while my daughter remains highly contagious for the next few weeks you will likely see very little of me out and about. But, if you do happen to see a crazy lady with a pile of sanitizing wipes in the store, frantically wiping down her hands, trolley, milk bottles, blocks of cheese and bags of pasta, wave your own sanitizing wipe in my direction and say hi!
You are the people who I want in our village!
If you would like to read up more on RSV please do click on the link below:
Much love from the hand sanitizer queen to all of you!!!