We had an unwanted visitor over the holiday season, a couple of my kiddos got the dreaded Covid. No matter how hard we worked on following protocol and how safe we felt we were being, at the end of the day, it was only a matter of time. This uninvited visitor over-stayed it’s welcome and put a damper of the Holiday season. But like every bummer of a situation, we learned something from it.

Here are a few things I learned from covid:

No point in pointing fingers:

When the first kid in our family tested positive, the siblings turned into detectives in hopes of discovering who the original source was. Their witch-hunt came up empty, and no one could be burned at the stake for being “Patient Zero”. Our family followed all the protocols and did nothing wrong.  I understand wanting to know the source to mitigate spread, but if it’s motivated by wanting to place blame, don’t waste your time.

Kids have spent two years being trained to be scared:

It’s no wonder that when a family member tests positive, kiddo hysteria sets in. Children have missed school, activities and taken many measures to avoid being infected. So, it should have been no surprise that I heard things like “I don’t want my family to die!” and “I don’t want us to all end up in hospital!” On top of hysteria, you also get the hypochondria. Every sneeze becomes a Covid symptom. You know how when one of your kids has head lice and your scalp suddenly becomes itchy? Yes, apply that theory to Covid symptoms.

Try your best to keep it one step at a time. We can’t promise our kids things we can’t guarantee, but we can manage their fears by keeping in the moment and not over-thinking about the “what-ifs”

How do parents “isolate” from sick kids?

This may not be popular, but when your kids are sick, how is it even possible to not cuddle and comfort them? I’m not sure how realistic that mandate is. I’m more willing to get sick myself, than leave my kids alone when feeling unwell. This could explain why I’ve been puked on so many times.

What’s the right thing to do? Bring back the “Chicken Pox Party”?

Some of my kids were away when Covid hit the homefront. I was tempted to have them return home and just throw it back to the classic 1970s Chicken Pox Party. That was me waving the white flag and admitting defeat – and it made sense for my big family. BUT, with one teen anxiously counting down the days for her driving test appointment, she was not risking having to cancel. As such, we did the daunting task of separating the siblings.  

The biggest win for families beyond recovering from this nasty bug, is surviving isolation without killing each other. Stay safe out there!


Julie Cole is a recovered lawyer, mom of six and co-founder of Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless awards. Julie is no stranger to the media, having appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, HLN’s Raising America, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Denis Show, CP24, among many others. As a blogger and writer, her articles have appeared in The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail, Profit Magazine, Working Mother Magazine, Chicken Soup For the Soul - Power Moms and numerous websites. When she’s not juggling her busy family and professional life, Julie is an active volunteer and engaged community leader, who is passionate about women’s issues, mentoring young entrepreneurs, poverty alleviation and social justice.

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