Positive Parenting this Winter: Keep Sick Kids at Home

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Winter Woes. 

With all the recent snow in the Northeast, it is not easy being a career mama and trying to get to and from work, manage school closings and then on top of it all, potential illness in the family. Most companies only offer a limited amount of PTO, and Massachusetts this year has passed new law to include an additional 40 hours of “Earned Sick Time” that can be used for yourself or an sick family member, which will help in most cases attempt to battle the long drawn out winter woes of managing a family and career on top of a multitude of variables. This will be effective July of 2015, and hopefully will make a difference for most of next winter. It is to say the least, a step in the right direction.

Until then, do us all a favor, and keep your sick kids home! I have been at the other end of the spectrum and I agree that it is totally annoying to have to miss another day of work when your child is sick. It comes full circle, your kids are sick, you get sick, you miss work, your kids go to school and other kids get them sick, you miss work, everyone is healthy —and round and round you go again.

My advice is, get over it!

We send our child to daycare and posted on the walls are a variety of potential infections in the school; strep throat, stomach bug, flu, etc. It is horrifying to think that parents are having their infected children attend school or in general, bringing them to the grocery store, playgrounds and other public places! Most schools require immunizations, but with the recent influx of parents claiming that it is their right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children, claiming non-medical exemption and/or religious reasons, the gap has widened to a real dangerous situation.

It is not your right to infect our children. 

I was a new parent once, and I get that the link to autism and vaccines is a scary thought. I asked my pediatrician for advice and she was outright angry at my question. I did my own personal research and determined that the risks outweighed the rewards of not immunizing my child. These diseases are REAL and DEADLY. We changed pediatricians to a family friend (the same Doctor that cared for me and my siblings when we were young). The entire tone changed when we discussed immunizations, and there was a sense of trust. We just went for it, and  immunized our son with the MMR shot. Unfortunately, he was the 3% of the population to exhibit Measles symptoms of a temp of 103+ and spots all over his body for 2 days straight.  I can remember his fast breathing and nursing him with a cool cloth throughout the night, scared $h!tless at what was happening before my eyes. But the truth is, it was a MILD version of the full blown disease and it was scary! I cannot imagine denying him the immunization with potential for contracting this deadly disease later in life or even worse, spreading it to other children who have not yet had immunizations. He just received the 2nd round MMR vaccination this past week with no issues.

Vaccinating the Baby, From a sketch by Sol Eytinge. Photo from the holdings of Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine—Harvard Medical School.

Immunizations are essential to a healthy community & society.

Cynthia Leifer, is an associate professor of immunology at Cornell University and a 2015 Public Voices Fellow at the Op-Ed Project. In her most recent article in CNN, she explains a valid point;

The unfortunate reality, however, is that more and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children for nonmedical reasons. Some refuse vaccines on the grounds of religious beliefs; others refuse on the repeatedly disproved argument that vaccines contribute to autism. Their high-risk decision not to vaccinate endangers not only their children, but also those who can’t receive the vaccines, and even those of us who have had the vaccine a long time ago, and depend on herd immunity.

Regardless of the reason why parents choose not to vaccinate their children, it is important for the rest of us to realize they are making the choice for all of us, too. By not vaccinating their own children, they increase everyone else’s chance of getting a preventable childhood disease like measles, whooping cough or even polio. Just last week, a 25-day-old baby died of whooping cough, which, like measles, is also spreading unnecessarily in the United States due to the decrease in vaccine rates.

Just like the drunk driver who makes a socially irresponsible decision that can endanger not only his life, but also the lives of the other drivers and passengers on the road, parents who choose not to vaccinate their children put everyone else at risk.

We can each play a part in protecting children by making sure parents understand their responsibility to vaccinate their children and the potential consequences on all of society if they don’t.

Positive Parenting.

We often look for simple solutions when parenting, managing a career and trying to coordinate childcare. Throw deadly diseases in the mix and it can seem daunting. Blissfulmamas outlook is to remain positive when trying to “balance it all” but we are realistic in understanding that we can’t be positive at every moment, and all the time. We can however, make positive choices when parenting our children. I personally have made the choice to immunize my children and keep them home when they are sick to reduce the risk of infection for others. To me, its a no brainer.


dsc_0013Blissfulmamas is inspired by living in the moment, embracing the chaos and enjoying the crazy wonderful ride of motherhood. As working professionals, we really do have it all! Come as you are and embrace it. Families are like snowflakes, each different and unique, no two the same. The antiquated idea of the perfect roadmap to raising a family, balancing a professional job, and everything else in and between is long overdue for a make over! Blissfulmamasis a networking community for working mamas with a positive outlook, looking to collaborate with each other on career advancements, job opportunities, managing and organizing family life, without forgetting about the long overdue personal “me” time. Our goal is to act as a positive outreach for working mamas and be a place where working mamas can collaborate & find resources, all available on the go!

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