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Illusion of Control

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The Nurtured Mommy

By: Denise E. Bailey   |   August 11, 2022

Let me tell you about a super-spreader I know. She tried her best, wore a mask, washed her hands, and always used hand sanitizer. She got vaccinated and boosted. She kept her kids home whenever they had a cold or flu. She’s gone through 100s of tests in the last 2 1/2 years. Her intention was simple, to be responsible for her family and to society.

She feared it hurting those she loved. She never wanted to spread it around. She was scared to get it. She believed the initial CDC recommendations that the vaccinations would end it all. She spent a lot of time contemplating whether she should or shouldn’t attend an event. She judged others' actions (way more in the beginning) and at times questioned people’s intelligence (again, way more in the beginning). And…

She got COVID and unintentionally gave it to seven people in her family over the Fourth of July holiday. 

Everyone is okay. Those unvaccinated got it worse (yes, some of her family members chose to not get vaccinated and she still loves them). However, her unvaccinated four-year-old twins got it the mildest (one twin didn’t even get it). Her vaccinated six-year-old got it too. And her mom, who she was trying the hardest to keep it away from, never tested positive. 

She is ME and I learned a lot through the experience. I learned the stories in our minds are scarier (thankfully) than reality. I learned that most of my family knows I didn’t mean to spread it and that I feel horrible for being the super spreader. I realized that even when we try our own personal best not to get it or spread it, it happens. In the days prior to testing positive I ran the same errands I do every week (and with a mask on). 

A tremendous amount of my time and energy went into worrying. And when I stopped worrying as much, my time was occupied with trying my best to avoid it. Ladies and gentlemen, parenting got a whole lot harder in March of 2020 but we’d be lying to ourselves if we attributed it only to the global pandemic. In truth, life got harder because we can no longer believe in the illusion of control that we thought we once had. 

The only plans we can really make going into another school year is to surrender to the journey of navigating colds, flus, stomach bugs, and, unfortunately, COVID. It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Commit to finding the calm in the storm because if we keep waiting for the challenges to end then we will continue to suffer.

Be kind to each other. We are all trying our best however that looks and, trust me, you don’t know the solution to this virus (no one does). I am so grateful for our health and that we are on the other side. I know that’s not the case for everyone. Looking back, would I get vaccinated again—yes! Would I have worried as much about something I have no control over? No! 

Quick Update: At the time this photo was taken, both myself and one of my daughters still had a faint line. I tested negative the next day and my daughter a few days after me. 


Denise Bailey is a coffee lover, over-sharer, and truth seeker who is dedicated to vulnerably discussing the not so pretty parts of this amazing role. She is inspired by her three daughters to help women manage their expectations, let go of perfectionism, and lean into their enoughness. Denise is working on becoming a published author while simultaneously helping her husband launch his Impact Fund. 
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Illusion of Control Read >>

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