Chances are you remember that episode of Sex and The City where Miranda finds out she has an STD and has to make a list of all of the people she’s slept with, only to have to turn around and call them all to let them know the horrifying news that they too need to get tested. You know, that all ’round good Samaritan slutty heads-up phone call.

F. U. N.

Just the thought of making “that” phone call is absolutely mortifying. Luckily, I never had to during my dating days, and since those are far behind me, I figured I was officially in the clear. That is, of course, until those filthy disease-bag children of mine went and branded my forehead with the Scarlet Letter I’d managed to avoid during my previous disease-free, child-free, care-free life.

Here they are, the little angels – cute right?

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease… ugh the dirtiest words to come out of my mouth since, well, ever. I’d take calling a random list of men to tell them to get tested for “XYZ” over calling my group of mom friends to tell them to be on the lookout for blisters all over their beautiful children any day.

Calling guys in your 20’s, sure I imagine it’s embarrassing. You may end up with a tainted reputation, but in a week there’s something new to talk about, everyone’s been tested, treated, and people move on.

But mom friends who I adore, who I worked hard to find? Moms with kids who get along with my kids? Moms who I get along with regardless of our kids? Moms who drink with me and laugh with me, who tell me things will be OK (and have the power to make me believe it)? Moms who help watch my kids when I need a last-minute saviour? Moms who get me? Moms that mom-friend dreams are made of… calling them to announce that my child, the one who played with their sweet angels last week, the one who shared his water bottle with every kid at our play date, was (unbeknownst to me) incubating Hand Foot and Mouth Disease while his big brother was contagious with Strep throat? That is beyond mortifying.

They don’t call us mama bears for nothing. We protect our babies with everything we have. It’s why we get so crazy about CIO sleep training vs co sleeping, breastfeeding vs formula, baby wearing vs stroller (haha yeah, that’s a thing!). We all want to be doing this parenting thing right and keeping our kids healthy is a huge part of that. No one wants to be friends with the kid who gets other kids sick. I mean, sure, we all say we get it, it happens, it’s no big deal! But when you are the one calling to inform another parent to be on the lookout for symptoms, here’s what you need to know…

  1. Give yourself grace. It really does happen and no matter how shitty you feel that your disease-bag child spread their germs to someone else’s perfect child, that other perfect child is a disease-bag too. They all are! If your friend doesn’t get it now, she will eventually. No one escapes motherhood without a few communicable disease run-ins.
  2. Know what your kid has and try to be helpful. We were dealing with a pediatrician confirmed case of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. Luckily, I knew when my kid was exposed so I could tell the other parents when to start looking for symptoms.
  3. Even though it happens and you have nothing to feel guilty about, apologize. The words are going to come out of your mouth no matter what anyway. Say them, accept forgiveness, and move on!
  4. Invite your friends for a kid free drink so you can both escape the craziness!

The call sucks but just like with most things that make up this new life of ours, we learn how to get through it. We countdown the minutes to the next dose of Motrin, enjoy the “sick babe” cuddles, pour a glass of wine and get ready for the next curve ball our beautiful children are sure to whip right at our face tomorrow!

Keep up with photographer Brittany Knapik on Instagram or check her out online.

Featured Image by Julia Macerola aka @vividfridays


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