What's the deal?
We've had three illnesses this year from our church nursery. Ben has had a stomach bug, an upper respiratory virus, and now we're dealing with high fevers and waiting to see what rash appears to see if he has Roseola, Fifth Disease or Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease. The poor kid is miserable, and so are we. Running a tepid bath and giving a toddler a Feverall suppository at 1am to bring down a fever of 104.4 is NOT my idea of fun at one o'clock in the morning.
We KNOW that he's gotten each of these in the church nursery. How do we know? Because people talk. Because I hear on Wednesday about how glad another mom is that her child is doing better, because they were soooo sick on Sunday, and she was worried that they wouldn't do well in the nursery.
I understand that parents who work need day care. I understand that for a cold, mild illness or similar that taking a day or three off work is not always an option. But come on, people, church isn't mandatory! You're not going to get docked pay because you stay home with a sick child! And let's be real - not only is it not fair to other parents, is it really fair to your child to take them out when they aren't feeling well? Is it a good idea to expose them when they are already sick to other germs that could make them more sick?
Don't get me wrong. My entire family is very active in our church, and my husband is working on his Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) and will be a pastor himself in a few short years. So I am not insensitive to the strong desire and need to be involved in church and attend services. But I will not take my child to church when he's sick, no matter what previous committments I have. In fact, I think that being in ministry makes me MORE sensitive to parents who bring sick kids to church. When one child comes in with something like roseola, it exposes ALL the kids to it, and that can lead to a lot of sick kids in the following weeks.
I ask that you really think about it. Before you take your sick child to church this week, ask yourself how you will feel if your healthy child were to pick something up from another child while at church, because their parents decided not to keep a sick child home.
As for us, Ben is staying home this week. I don't think it's right to expose other kids to his virus, especially while we wait around to see what's causing his high fever.