A Tough Mom Call

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Manic:  Soon before show-time my daughter told me that her throat hurt.  Hmm, is this post nasal-drip from allergies or an illness?  With no fever, I went with allergies.  And I was wrong, but I didn’t know that until later.

Managed:  She did great at the show, looked good and seemed to feel great!  I thought I made the right call and felt like a good mom.

Manic:  Two hours after her performance we sat in urgent care with her shivering in my arms.  She had a 103 degree fever.  What had I done letting her perform when she told me that her throat hurt earlier?!  Now I felt like a bad mom.

If you are a manic managed mom with kids in activities, I’m guessing that this has happened to you.  Although most moms have no formal training in nursing, we have t0 make tough calls when our kids start to feel bad right before a big and very anticipated event. 

For my kid, she was delighted several months ago when a boy she knows asked her to perform a duet with him at a local fund-raising talent show.  They rehearsed several times, coordinated adorable outfits and were ready to go.

Several days before the big day, her partner came down with the flu!  With Tamiflu and awesome doting parents, he was well enough by Saturday to perform with my girl. 

However soon before the curtain rose, my daughter started complaining about a sore throat.  She had no fever and no other symptoms at all.  So, I gave her some herbal tea with lemon and honey along with a Tylenol and she was ready to go.

The song and dance went off without a hitch.  It was adorable!  After lots of applause and cheers, my 9-year-old settled in with us to watch the rest of the show.  Whew, I thought.  It was allergies after all.  I felt like a good mom who knows her kid’s body! 

But then…

A little later, she started squirming and laying her head on the table.  She really wanted to stay and see her friends and her beloved theatre director perform.  But, after intermission, she told me that she had to go…and that she needed to leave right that instant.

She waved goodbye and smiled at folks, but the minute the car door was shut, she erupted into tears of pain.  We were soon in urgent care and my dancing little girl had become a quivering and feverish sick one.  Again, I felt like a bad mom.

As I sat up with her all night managing the fever and giving her nebulizer treatments, I questioned my actions that day.  But truly, with no fever and no other symptoms, how was I to know that a mean little virus was raging in her body. 

And why did it wait to show itself after the show?!  Why didn’t it come on full force stopping me from taking her to the theatre?

Well, as mamas, we can’t waste time and energy second-guessing our actions, when we know that we truly had our kid’s best interest at heart.  And that there was no way to know that a big illness was really coming our way. 

And I have to say that she had an absolute blast doing that song and dance with her good friend.  I have watched their performance video three times to see if I missed her sick signals and I’m telling you, that kid does not look sick in that show! 

And if I had to wonder any longer about whether I was a good or bad mom, my teenager stopped me as I was carrying chicken noodle soup up to his little sister.  He gave me a hug and told me that I am a good mom! 

Then later my little feverish girl looked up at me and whispered the same thing.  Hearing my kids tell me that I’m a good mom…well it makes all the sweat, tears and hard work absolutely magical. 

If only my daughter wasn’t sick, I would have been doing a happy dance.  But instead, I was doing the mom/nurse dance that comes with caring for a sick kid.  Sleepless nights, thermometers, lots of liquids, managing fever, etc!  You know the drill!

Ok, time to sign off to go take her temperature.  Stay well out there.  We should be nearing the end of cold and flu season, thank goodness!


  1. You are SUCH a good Mom! And I know that if she had not been able to perform, she would be sooo very sad right now. So, she got to perform and the sick waited until she was done. I’m sure that’s the way she wanted it. Sounds like divine intervention to me. : )

  2. Yo did the right thing! I would have done the same thing. No fever or vomit and we proceed until further notice. LOL.

  3. I think both kids got through that performance with a big boost of adrenaline!
    Neither wanted to let the other one down. We are not mind readers…and are only human….so don’t let the Mother’s guilt eat at you. You are a wonderful Mom!

    • You know what, Lisa? My own Mom once told me that motherhood feels like a lifelong guilt trip at times! And today I was watching a funny movie with Alexis called “You Again” and Jamie Lee Curtis had a great line that said, “You know honey, when you’re a mom, you hope everyday that you made the right choices and aren’t screwing up your kid.” I got a good laugh out of that scene! Thanks Lisa. Her show partner is a pretty special boy 😉 They really did a great job!

  4. Maybe it was God’s way that her illness didn’t come on until after the show. This way the little boy, who was nursing himself back to health, got to perform too. And your daughter was probably doing her best to fight off the sickness so she could perform. You’re not a bad mom. Sometimes you just can’t tell when your kid is sick. A couple of years ago, I was debating whether or not to take my son to Urgent Care for strep throat. He seemed fine and I almost let him go play with the neighbor kids, but decided to go to UC just in case. The nurse took his temp and he had a fever of 103.9! She was amazed that he was so active for being so sick. She asked me if she could give him some Tylenol to bring the fever down as she’s unscrewing the cap, translation: your kid needs the Tylenol. Don’t stress. It happens to all of us.