7 Murphy’s Laws When Your Kid is Home Sick

1. Kids will share their nasty brought-home-from-school germs with everyone in the whole house. Don’t even bother trying to quarantine your kid from his siblings when he comes home sick. It might be the next day, or three days from now, but he will give it to all of his siblings, his dad (hello world ending), and probably the dog, too.

2. Just when everyone is getting better (see above), you will get sick. It’s inevitable. It’s also too damn bad. You will continue to cook, clean, nurture, and entertain your family who doesn’t give a shit how sick you are. Because moms? Can never really get sick again.

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3. You child will get sick at the most inconvenient time possible.  Sitting with your head under the dryer at the salon, getting the first highlights you’ve had in eleven years? Your phone is ringing and it’s the school, telling you that your baby just puked all over the kid next to her during Show-and-Tell. Sitting in the dean’s office, working on finally getting re-admitted into college? That’s your phone and it’s the school nurse, informing you that your son is running a fever and you need to come get him right now. Third day back in the workforce and in a meeting with a new client? Yep. That’s the receptionist paging you with the daycare administrator on the line to let you know that there’s been a lice outbreak, and you need to come get your princess right now and stop by the pharmacy on the way home. Your kid will never get sick when you’re sitting around in your pjs folding laundry and watching Netflix.

4. You will always make the wrong judgement call. Though your precious cherub is acting as if she’s dying when it’s time to make the decision to either go to school or stay home, an hour later she will exhibit a miraculous recovery and bounce all over the house like a possessed jumping bean.

5. Some kids do not mind taking medication. Those kids are just as real as unicorns and the chupacabra. You do not have one of those kids. Your little angel will probably flail, wail, kick, and scream, while you attempt to manhandle her into a position that will allow you to squirt the poisoned medicine into the back of her throat. Even if this move is successful, (and it will be .001 times out of 10), it will probably be less than a second before it’ll be spit back out–all over herself, and you, and the floor. You can try to hide the medicine in her favorite drink, yogurt, or pudding, but you’re only fooling yourself if you think you will get away with it more than once.

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6. 99 times out of 100, a visit to the doctor is pointless. It’s almost always a virus, or a common cold, and there’s nothing much you can do except try to keep him hydrated. This, you are told after you have sat with your child’s cranky and demonic evil twin in the waiting room with thirty other cranky and demonic sick kids for three hours. This, you are told after you and two nurses struggled to hold your child in a twisted version of a human straight-jacket while a third nurse tries to swab your child’s nasal cavity and throat with a Q-tip the size of a Sharpie marker.

7. You will take your child to the doctor, regardless of how many times #6 is repeated. And you will go through the entire process over and over, so that you don’t feel like a monster who doesn’t care that her child is sick. And then you will go home and coddle her the rest of the day, and send her to school the next day or the day after, while you yourself are stuck nursing the illness you picked up in the doctor’s office waiting room.

Related post: 10 Murphy’s Laws of Parenting Young Kids

About the writer

Love Barnett is a work-from-home mom of too many kids to count, trophy wife, and emphatic wielder of the "Because I said so" card. You can find her unbridled perspective into the world of beer, babies, beauty, and baubles on her Facebook page, follow her on Twitter, or if you're feeling adventurous (or bored) you can check out her much-neglected blog Momma Said NO.


Jenni – Odd Socks and Lollipops 7 months ago

Boo started with a fever the night before we went awake for the weekend, we then spent the morning we were supposed to be leaving at the drs, she was poorly but not too bad all weekend and recovered for the trip home!! Sod’s Law!
All of these are so true, sadly!!

Kimberly Kochetta Polanco 8 months ago

Don’t forget always getting sick for holidays or big parties. The timing!!!

Itzel Alvarado 8 months ago

My 9 year old came from school with stomach flu…. no matter how many times she washed her hands and that I made her stay away from the baby, and I washed my hands like crazy… baby still got sick

Beka Hallum 8 months ago

Haha! Always

Lisa Kimbrough-Norton 8 months ago

Preach it!!!!!

Kyungsun Lee 8 months ago

Just…. yell at the kids ‘wash your hands!!’….

Marj Peitzmeier 8 months ago

Remembering when one broke out on Christmas eve with chicken pox. Three weeks later the other four got it. The sickest was the oldest (in college)! Mom working. The house smelled :( as one of the girls said!

Krista Murphy 8 months ago

This is all true, but when you are a Murphy it is even worse! Blah.

Anna Pierce 8 months ago

All done with sickness …. Thank God!

Erin Gaunt 8 months ago

Luckily here in Australia we have doctors that will cone to you after hours. They are the best!!

Kristen Sweatman 8 months ago

And all three of my children are unicorns!!
3,2,&1 yo!! Yes I’m lucky!!
I hope my 1 mo is the same way if/when she needs medicine!!

Kristen Sweatman 8 months ago

#7 no I will not take my child to the dr repeatedly!! I will take care of my child unless I feel it is no longer helpful!!
What’s the point. They won’t do crap unless they’re “dying”!!

Katherine H Jett 8 months ago

Def true I got sooo sick last night from my 2 year old daughter and I’m 28 weeks pregnant. It was awful but thankfully I’m feeling better tonite.

Kathi Barfield-Brewer 8 months ago

#9: The vomiting and diarrhea will begin 2 hours after you have taken Tylenol pm any your half asleep self will have to strip a bed and child, give a bath, get nasty bedding in washer, and try to remember where you put that emergency bottle of pedialyte.

Jennifer Foy 8 months ago

I have one unicorn and one fighter. Sometimes in my sleep deprived state I forget which is which and it’s really really bad.

Patt Demetri 8 months ago

They puke on everything I hate cleaning it up so I gave up I taught my son to gather up the top blanket and puke in it then its right into the washer and no mess.

Sarah Lavigne Michel Bourgault 8 months ago

#3. Yes! 5mins after returning home at 1am after a week away and a 3 hr time change all I wanted was to check in on kids and hop into my own bed. Nope. I go to check in on DD and out comes the projectile vomit. Poor kid. Welcome home mom!!

Tatum Wolfe 8 months ago

#8-you will most definitely be scheduled to leave for a work trip the day after your child comes down with whatever plague-like illness is making the rounds that month at school.

Michelle Mitchell 8 months ago

This made me laugh

Jenny Eggleston 8 months ago

#7&8 – not so much anymore, copays are terrible (or nonexistent) now!

LaKea Hayes 8 months ago

Every…single…one… X3 kids

Catherine Sabeckis Casper 8 months ago

Oh today… 3 year old at doctor last Thursday for some spots deemed early mosquito bites. Child gets 102.6 fever last night. Me… Oh shit! Back to doctor today. Nurse swabs his nose but 5 minutes later it takes 3 if us to hold him down to have his ears, nose, and throat checked. Influenza b. Rock on!

Amy Lapinski-Bartels 8 months ago

#5, always #5! Even today and they are 23 and 15!

Angelica French 8 months ago


Debbie Pray Carpenter 8 months ago

#3 I literally just gave birth to my youngest son, while my husband was on the phone with my mother who was taking care of our other children, and my oldest son was crying because he had an ear infection. By this time all the dr offices were closed so my husband had to take him to the ER. And that same some gets sick…every Easter :(

Yvonne Wood Gniewecki 8 months ago

#4. Every. Single. Time.

Jeannie Henry 8 months ago

All true!

Kim Chambers Strobel 8 months ago

They forgot that kids that seemed to be dying from pneumonia make the most miraculous recoveries just as you get into the Dr’s office making you look like a crazy mom

TeeJay Judy 8 months ago

So timely…

Kristin Bair 8 months ago

Take a mommy sick day and of course the kids end up sick too and have to stay home with you. No time for mommy to be sick.

Lynda Mitchell Williams 8 months ago

#6 – over and over!!

Luzana Cross 8 months ago


Sara Bechta 8 months ago

Yeah. This..

Amy Hildenbrandt Rogers 8 months ago

#5 is false. My son takes it like a champ, even horse-pill sized antibiotics when he was nine.

Dana Murphy 8 months ago

Don’t blame me, I married into the family!

Marva Mowad 8 months ago

Yes all true, with exception of lice, knock on wood!

Lanna Barajas 8 months ago

This is my life!

Sandi Dinsmore Smith 8 months ago


Annie Lavin Currea 8 months ago

Adding onto #6. Almost always after the doc says it is a virus it turns into something requiring antibiotics and you are back at the same office 2 more times.

Alison Smith Brown 8 months ago

Your child will get sick on and especially expensive Disney cruise and you will have to take your child to the especially expensive doctor on the ship.

Clare Reedy Delongchamp 8 months ago

And, let’s not forget that they vomit as soon as they have on new pjs or new sheets on the bed.

Debbie Beck 8 months ago

This is so true. My Daughter Just Got Over A Cold A ND AL most All Applied Including We Are All Sick now

Patty Guiney Joyce 8 months ago

#8…Your child will throw up everywhere except in the toilet or sink, and definitely not in the bowl that you place right next to her bed just in case. And it will likely happen on the freshly laundered sheets that you just put on the bed that day.

Magen 8 months ago

#7 needs an amendment. It should read that you will repeatedly do #6 because your child’s school requires a doctor’s note, $20 (or whatever your co-pay is), and a blood sacrifice to prove that your kid was really home sick and not just playing hooky!

Meghan Conetta 8 months ago

They forgot “the final puke”…..the one that sneaks up after hours of calm and just as soon as you’ve finally gotten ALL the vomit laundry done

Kristy Engel 8 months ago

…and mine has developed the skill of hiding the medicine in his mouth until I’m not looking and then spits it out. I have to now make sure he has swallowed it. He’s 20 months old.

Kristy Engel 8 months ago

Omg!! #6 was yesterday to the T. I hate strep tests and trying to hear the doctor’s instructions over my kid’s screams.

Jessica Sheehan-devereux 8 months ago

That is my life right now!!!! Sucks balls!

Rachael Carlile 8 months ago


Rachel Connell 8 months ago

#6 all the way!! #7 not anymore…I just fight the school system about policy!! Unfortunately, they need an antibiotic.

Kelly Smith 8 months ago

#2. I hate #2 but its so true!

Jason Saputo 8 months ago

My little girl is unicorn. She loves her medicine. Note that this same unicorn seems to bring home diseases that haven’t even been discovered.

Danae 8 months ago

I have always put meds in my daughter’s milk, she notices if it’s in juice and will not take it alone. HOWEVER she will let give her nasal spray for her allergies wtf?

Rebecca 10 months ago

Yes. Yes. Yes! GREAT post, and couldn’t agree more with comment #1 left in the “comments” section… Had to share with all my friends.

Sara Lynn 10 months ago

Oh yeah. Have had a 1 2 3 and posible 4 in the last week. I’m living the dream here…

Melissa Bechthold Hoehn 10 months ago

#7 is me

Stacey Ackerman Davis 10 months ago

Yep. Right now

Heather Elizabeth 10 months ago

Spot on!

Elizabeth Ann 10 months ago

#3….for my kids….its ALWAYS the middle of the night….usually a SATURDAY night, meaning the Dr is not working the next day! Ugh!!

Katherine Hunt Arabis 10 months ago

Yes #4- and doctors are almost always a waste of time.. but you don’t know, so you rinse and repeat. such is life.

Alicia Robbins Marley 10 months ago

You missed one. How about the fact that kids always undergo a spontaneous recovery IN the doctor’s office. They can be on death’s door until the doctor walks into the exam room, and then everyone wonders why you’re there.

Jen Zink-Cornell 10 months ago

I’m dealing with #4 with 2 kids right now!!! They both got me on the same day!

Rebecca Mecham Bagley 10 months ago

ROFL! And, apparently we all missed the memo that we are not ALLOWED to be sick…ever…even when we are sick! LOL

Alma Veronica Durazo Bejarano 10 months ago

LMFAO this is soooo my life right now ahahahaha

melissa 10 months ago

My kids could be half dead at home and as soon as we get to the doctors, a miracle happens and there bouncing around the waiting room as if nothing ever happened to them.

Jytte-Marie Lowry 10 months ago

The medicine one actually isn’t an issue here.
My son was upset if he couldn’t have more medicine.

All the others…..Yea. boo urns. …

Stephanie Nicole Overstreet Knowles 10 months ago

Lol my kids are unicorns! They actually take medicine very well!

rene 10 months ago

Seriously, world ends when dad gets sick? How are you supposed to be taken seriously when you make comments like this. I’ll have you know I do everything when sick and the world does not end.

Megan Heffernan 10 months ago

I’m pretty sure #4 just happened

Sherri Rabinovitch 10 months ago

Brilliant!!! And so. Damn. True :)

Heather 10 months ago

Got hit with #3 just this morning. Literally 5 seconds before walking out the door for school and work my boy pukes all over my living room floor.

Tammi Biles 10 months ago

My kids are weird. Lol. They like medicine. When one is sick and has to take medicine, I have to mix up a special “medicine” of Mille with a bit of sugar or honey for the other to take. Never ending cycle. Lol

Amy Welcher 10 months ago

I swear this school year has been horrible! ! I’m on my own for 3 weeks out of the month (oilfield family). Both kids got the flu and gave it to me so it was definitely pure unfiltered HELL. Couple weeks later we got strep. Just waiting for a stomach virus…

Stephanie LaMaina 10 months ago

So true!!!!

geminishadow 10 months ago

My daughter has always been really good about taking medicine, my son however. He screams and flails about as if we were trying to steal his kidney!

Jeannie Juhnke Farver 10 months ago

#4 is me today!! My little monkey looked, & sounded horrible when she woke up, she is one, that loves school & hates to miss it, even when she is feeling crummy. She came to me & asked to stay home. Gave her some medicine, she laid back down for a while, & is now acting & being her normal self.

Leslie Schneider Boen 10 months ago

#3. Always getting those badly needed highlights.

Row 10 months ago

and everyone knocks on the door while in the bathroom and asking you,”what are you doing in there” or “are you done yet”?
and when you finally come out..
no one really needs you but they just want to see you there….All The Time!

Meghan Schaeffer 10 months ago

My youngest sneezed in my face on Saturday and I knew it was only time until I caught the crud. I felt like a walking incubator all day.

Candice Conrey 10 months ago

This has been so true, especially this year!

Elena Shabat 10 months ago

The part of going to doc office is pointless cause virus. But you will go everytime. Sound familiar.

stacey 10 months ago

#4, always #4!

Sbmommy 10 months ago

Don’t forget you will have no sick time or alternate daycare or sitter when they are sick.

Kimberly Garcia 10 months ago

Reading this in the doctor’s office waiting room. Too true, isn’t it??!!


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