During the first year of her life, my daughter was hardly ever sick. I used to feel satisfied that by staying at home for my daughter I was able to keep her healthy even while the kids all around were falling sick. This year was different. My daughter has had all kinds of infections – tonsilitis, multiple chest infections, ear infection, tummy bug and the list goes on. In fact, I can easily count the last few months of 2014 with the infections she had. June-ear infection, tonsilitis, August- chest infections that lasted all through aug-september, Oct-tummy bug, Nov-chest infection again, Dec-viral (ongoing). Phew! This, when she stays at home with me.
Now I have been told endless times that these illnesses are a common part of growing up and helps children build immunity against the viruses and bacteria out there. Despite knowing this, I sometimes feel that I am failing in keeping my girl healthy. Am I not keeping her clean enough? Am I not able to give her nourishing meals that would boost her immunity and prevent her from falling sick frequently? Was it my mistake to take her to the playgroup? Would she do better if she was being looked after by grandparents who have more experience? Would she be healthier in India? I am also aware that some of these are just overreactions.
Over the last two years of being a first time mom, I have accepted that guilt and doubt are and will remain my constant companions as a parent. My daughter is not the only one growing up, we parents are growing up with her too!