The 5 stages of the family cold

Today I have a wonderful treat for you all. Pattie Reaves who blogs over at After the Couch has taken over today. Pattie is a new mom and one of my best momma friends. 

Not only is she working full time and doing a stellar job with baby Felicity, she’s training for a half marathon this spring too. I love the peek into her life she offers with her “my days” posts and she’s not afraid to call it the way she sees it

Take it away Pattie! 

Hi! My name is Pattie and I blog over at another Bangor Daily News blog, After the Couch. I started my blog over four years ago when I started running with the Couch to 5K program, and it changed my life.


I lost almost 50 pounds after I started running.

I’m not writing EXCLUSIVELY about running now, since I became a mom this summer. My little girl, Felicity, is about 7 months younger than Natalie’s daughter.

Me and my favorite running partner on Christmas day.

Don’t get me wrong — we still like to run.

Natalie has been such a trailblazer and supportive friend for me in this journey. So of course I jumped at the chance to write a guest blog post. 🙂

The five stages of the family cold

I just went through the most traumatizing experience. Far more traumatizing than childbirth.

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 10.18.05 PM

I mean, at least the nurses are there to help you when you give birth, right?

Shortly after all of the excitement of Christmas, the Reaves’ family settled into a nice, uncomfortable, miserable cold. I’d like to say we’re on the tail end of it now, but it’s been 21 days of misery.

Stage 1: Denial

It started when the baby had a few bad days of sleep. Honestly she’s had like, a few bad months of sleep, but these days were particularly bad.

Now, you have to know my husband. Seen this meme?


In our relationship, he’s definitely the mother on the right and I’m the father on the left. Like, the day before this, he was convinced that she must have frostbite because he read Diane Atwood’s post on it and her cheeks were red. So on this particular morning:

Her father: I think she’s sick. Something’s wrong. We need to take her to the doctor.

Me: No. You’re tired. She’s just going through a phase. She’s not sick. I’m not taking time out of my day to go to the doctor. If you take her to the doctor, YOU’RE doing it on YOUR time.

Then I proceeded to tell him I don’t have the energy to put up will all his worrying and he needed to chill out.

So he takes her to the doctor that day and we find out she actually has a pretty bad ear infection.

Her father: 1, Me: 0.

Stage 2: Anger

So the ear infection actually turns out to kinda be a thing. Like she’s miserable and she won’t let you put her on her back so there are many sleepless nights for the next week.


After that her father starts “sleeping” a lot more and complaining of a “headache” and “fever” and spending a lot of time making retching noises in the bathroom. Yeah right. After a few nights taking care of a sick baby solo I am about ready to kick him and the pugs out of the house.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Not sleeping for a handful of nights does funny things to your brain. But at least I’m healthy, right? At least if I can stay healthy then I can keep it together for everyone else, right?

Doctor's office selfie.

Doctor’s office selfie. We both look fiiiiine.

But then I got sick. And Felicity’s ear infection turned into a cold.

Stage 4: Depression

Then I realized how profoundly awful this bug was and that not only did I not listen to her father when she was sick, but I also was pretty mean to him when he was sick. Her father 2, me 0.

And then when I came down with it, all three of us were sick so someone had to stay up and hold her through the night. And that was the point where I thought, you know, at least with childbirth, it ends.


Also I appreciated all my friends who reminded me how much worse it can be. (P.S. Ally has a really great blog too you should check it out.)

Stage 5: Acceptance

We were on like, day 14 of this illness by the time I came down with it. I called out of work and binge-watched RuPaul’s Drag Race while nursing a restless baby and buttressing the couch with humidifiers. Fortunately her father was emerging from this cold, so he was able to take care of both of us. Her father 3, me 0.


Most of my day Friday, after our fourth visit to the pediatrician in 14 days.

I went to bed at 6 p.m. every night, gave up on laundry and dishes and didn’t change out of sweatpants for 5 days. It was glorious. Also my mom came to help me and I have no shame in saying that I practically cried in relief that I got to take a nap.

While I know that this probably says more about how easy my life has been than how hard this was, taking care of a sick family was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Ever. It’s like you’re a tube of toothpaste with every last drop of energy squeezed out and you STILL need to find JUST a little more.

So the next time you know a mom has a sick kid, give her a hug. And a double shot latte.

For more stories about staying fit when you aren’t a natural athlete — while raising kids — subscribe to Pattie’s blog at After the Couch, or like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @pazzypunk.