So, this one is for the sanitizer freaks, the cart cover moms, the “don’t kiss my kid” gals… this one is for the germaphobes. We all know them and we’ve all been there at one point or another. Hell, even I have thrown the Purell around like Oprah giving away her favorite things… “you get Purell, you get Purell, you get Purell, everyone gets Purell” when the dreaded stomach virus is being passed around. But let’s all be honest, the germaphobe moms can be down right exhausting.
Now, let’s get one thing straight, no one likes a sick kid. In fact, as I sit here writing this, my husband and I are experiencing our first bout of the aforementioned stomach bug with our 2 year old. It just so happened to hit while I was at CPR training for work. Despite my dear husband’s best efforts, the tiny human still managed to project the virus all over not one but two of our couches, the carpet, the newborn’s blanket, three pairs of PJs (I’ll admit I found it quite endearing that my adorable hubby kept putting new ones back on-I would have abandoned the task after the first hurl), and our kitchen floor. So, yes, my heart hurts for my kid and yes, we cloroxed the shit out of our entire first floor. Needless to say, I’m all for cleanliness and avoiding situations like this one. However, allow me to expand on the extreme…
I literally watched a mother spend a good 10-15 minutes getting her children in the car as she left preschool the other day. No, she was not ensuring their safety by rechecking car seats. Instead, she was standing outside in 19 degree weather, sanitizing their hands before putting them into the car. I mean come on sister, your children now have hypothermia, but your car is germ free!
How about this one: the moms who don’t believe in kissing their children when they’re not feeling well. Hmmm. You do realize that these tiny humans came out of your VAGINAS, but sure, spare yourself the sickness that they’re suffering through. AmIright?! Kids need love and affection and I’ll be damned if I’m denying that to mine when they need it the most! I’ll take a cold, the stomach virus, even the flu, if it means giving them the snuggles they need to get better.
Another favorite, those damn cart covers. Again, I can understand that we don’t want our tiny humans slobbering all over the handle to the cart where nose pickers from the cart’s past have rested their hands. Still, I cannot for the life of me understand why little Johnny needs a car seat cover, an organic juice box, his blanket, a snack cup, and his favorite talking Elmo while mama runs in to target for tampons. Relax people, the plague ended in the 14th century, and precious Johnny isn’t going to starve or die of dehydration during your quick trip to target. Unless of course you’re like me and your quick trip turns into a day long outing ending with a panicky ride home as you come up with reasons to explain to your hefty target receipt to your husband– “maybe if I throw the receipt away he won’t even notice the 12 picture frames.” But in all seriousness-save the time and energy, throw your kid in the cart and progress with your shopping. He.will.survive.
And what the hell is up with the binky wipes?! Do you mean to tell me you’ve never picked up the pacifier after it has dropped on the floor, stuck it in your mouth to rinse the germs (heaven forbid if you’re the mom who maintains a healthy distance when your kid is sick), and handed it right back to the screaming kid? You mean to tell me you actually have the time to pull these “binky wipes” out of your diaper bag, wipe the bink down, and get it back to the child before being asked to leave a public place?! I call bullshit. If I washed that damn pacifier every time it hit the ground, I can say with absolute confidence that I’d spend a good 70-80% of my life washing pacifiers.
Allow me to conclude with this: we all have a little bit of germaphobia. No one likes vomit, diarrhea, or my personal favorite, boogers. Keeping a clean home, practicing hand washing, and generally good hygiene are all very important parts of life. But don’t we already have enough to stress about without creating sterile environments for our little nose pickers? Isn’t motherhood exhausting enough without attempting to re-create the safe womb-like environment? Put down the Purell. Let your kids get messy. Allow them to play in the dirt. After all, isn’t that carefree nature supposed to be what childhood is all about?