You may or may not have gathered from my norovirus post that I’m a germaphobe. Norovirus is my #1 enemy but I’m squeamish about pretty much all germs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not uptight about dirt. I love that my kids come home from school with hands that are dirty from planting flowers and playing outside. That’s a good germ exposure. But places full of kid-borne viruses? That’s a big no on my list. Sure, it can be a little inconvenient at times, and, some people may think you’re a bit wacky, but here are 5 reasons why it’s good to have a germaphobe friend.
1.) She always knows what’s going around town.
People like me, we have finely tuned hearing to pick up on the words “strep”, “flu”, “vomit” and anything else describing a harrowing “childhood” illnesses that parents eventually get too. Whether it’s realizing she’s seen 8 posts on Facebook from friends about being up all night with Ebola or randomly overhearing other people talk about how they just got over Mad Cow, she’s in the know and can alert you about what’s out in the community.
2.) She’ll never invite you to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese.
Even the most laid back moms I know give a nervous laugh and sweat a little when the words “Chuck E Cheese” come up. It’s a well accepted fact that Chuck E Cheese is ground zero for all illnesses in a community. I’m pretty sure somewhere deep in the franchise documents it tells you which viruses come standard with each location. We all know those games have never been thoroughly and properly cleaned (this is a sharp upgrade of the ball pits of the 80s and 90s which were only slightly cleaner than playing in a public toilet.) Your germaphobe mom friend has got your back though. She’ll never put you in the position balancing the risk of Bubonic Plague versus their child being the only one not going to the party.
3.) She always gives full disclosure about any and all illnesses before a playdate.
Once I arrived at a playdate and the hosting children had noses running so badly that their older brother was screaming “mom! we’ve got a snot problem.” My complete and utter shock prevented me from coming up with a polite exit plan and 2 days later I got an email from the other mother saying “oops, we had RSV, sorry, hope y’all don’t get too sick.” I think we all know how this one ends.
Meanwhile, before a playdate with a germaphobe mom, you can rest assured she will tell you the last time that anyone in her home was sick, as well as any illesses to which they have been recently exposed. If the playdate is for noon and someone’s nose starts running at 11:30, trust she’s going to text you and let you know that it’s entirely your call if you wish to proceed. It’s the golden rule, but for viruses.
4.) She’s got all the good cleaning supplies and knows which ones to use when.
She knows which cleaners kill flu, and which ones kill norovirus, and which ones don’t do much of anything except make your house smell a little better. And, when you’re out and about, if you can’t make it to a sink to wash your hands, she’ll know when it’s appropriate to use a hand sanitizer, an antibacterial wipe (which she buys in bulk on Amazon, of course), or if a regular baby wipe will do the trick. And, if you’re really lucky, she may just offer you some of her stash when you find yourself in a bind.
5.) She makes you feel less crazy.
As parents, we all have our issues, be it food or screen time, or germs. But the germaphobe moms usually stand out as the crazy ones (even if we don’t care if people think we’re crazy). Like pretty much all parents, she’s just trying her best to do what is right for her family.
So, don’t judge her too harshly. After all, you may need her help to know what’s going around and how to get rid of it.