74 answers

Bringing a Sick Child to a Family Thanksgiving Dinner - Is It Okay? or Not?

My sister's oldest son was sick with a fever, body aches and vomiting a couple days ago. Now her youngest has it. He was sick today with vomiting and laying on couch all day (he is 3). I spoke with her and she said she is still attending the family Thanksgiving tomorrow at our Mom's home. She said Mom doesn't mind that her son is sick. I didn't say that much. I had time to process it all day. I have three kids ages 8, 5, and 3. We've only had 2 stomach viruses EVER and we caught them both from her family because they attended family get-together's while ill. After thinking about it, I sent her an email saying to be sure we have lots of alcohol handy, etc because I really don't want myself, or my kids, to catch a stomach bug this time. She just emailed me - hours later - and said she's not coming to Thanksgiving Dinner because she doesn't want to hear me complain all day about her son being sick. She added that our mom is now very upset and crying etc etc...basically it's all my fault. At this point, I don't even know who is right - if anyone! I never said DON'T COME TO THANKSGIVING. I just said let's be sure we have lots of alcohol gel and have kids wash their hands a lot. The truth is - IF she does go and bring her sick son, I'm not sure I want to go. My husband is off work and the kids are off school - we rarely have this kind of vacation. I don't want to spend the rest of it vomiting and/or cleaning up vomit!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Yeah it sucks to stay home but it is the right thing to do. Last year at Thanksgiving my husbands niece brought her son with pink eye. Mentally I flipped a nut. Sorry folks did you forget I am the mom that works, who doesn't have time for pink eye.

I think sometimes people are only looking at their disappointment and not what their actions do to others.

6 moms found this helpful

I agree with postponing until everyone is well. Getting together is what is important, not the day itself.

3 moms found this helpful

yuck, my 3 kids all got it and it was ugly! And my husband was gone on a business trip for a week.......My friends kids just had it & said it was terrible too........don't go!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

5 years ago, my husband's sister hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house, but failed to mention that both of her sons had been sick with a stomach virus for the previous 2 days. We were informed of this when we got there, and she lived 2 hours away. So it was too late for us to make any other plans. End result was that everyone who came over that day got sick with it too within 48 hours - me, hubby, his kids, his other sister, their mother, everyone. SIL's reasoning was that she "didn't want to ruin Thanksgiving for everyone" but it ended up being ruined anyway by the weekend of vomiting and diarrhea that resulted. I would have rather eaten in a restaurant or gotten dinner from Boston Market than been as sick as I was the rest of the weekend.

If she brings her sick child, I wouldn't go either. I would talk to your mom yourself and clarify what you actually said, just to clear the air. I would also have another talk with your sister and just tell her it's nothing personal, but really, you don't need your kids and the rest of the family getting sick too. If she gets her feelings bent out of shape, too bad. Sounds like she doesn't have a whole lot of courtesy or common sense.

ETA: I find it hard to believe that some people on here are actually suggesting that you all go and if the kids get sick it's no big deal. Who wants to deal with themselves, AND their kids, puking everywhere and having diarrhea? Who wants to have to potentially bring their kids to the ER because they are dehydrated and need IV fluids? This is not just some little case of the sniffles! Who would want to expose their child to a stomach virus if they knew they could avoid it altogether? Really? There will be plenty more Thanksgiving dinners and other family get-togethers to be a part of! Sometimes all the hand sanitizer, soap, and Lysol in the world is not enough to keep you from catching something!

13 moms found this helpful

Your sister sucks if she thinks its ok to get everyone sick like that.

12 moms found this helpful

Okay, if that were my kid, I WOULD NOT, bring them to Thanksgiving gathering. NOT at all.
1) The child is sick. They will be uncomfortable, you or the child will not be 'enjoying' yourselves.
2) there will be a lot of people around, and they can get sick, too.
3) IF there are elderly there... or others who may have a weak or compromised immune system... it is VERY rude AND selfish, to bring a sick child, around to a gathering like that... where there are many people.
4) And the child, may very well be vomiting AT the gathering, too.
Why on earth, drag the child to a family gathering, when the child is so sick???

Now, that is me.
I think, your Sister is being very.... selfish.
If that were ME... I would stay home with my sick child.
My family would... understand. Of course.
Stomach bugs or the stomach Flu... is NOTHING to take lightly.

To blame "you" for "complaining" and using that excuse not to attend... is very.... wrong, of your Sister.
You are just concerned about your health and not wanting to catch the illness.
I would NOT want to be around, ANYONE with a stomach bug.... at a family gathering.
How.... yucky, to say the least.
I would NOT want to be around a vomiting sick, person. Either.
And I would NOT expect anyone.... to put up with it.

Your sister... is off base.

11 moms found this helpful

At this rate, your sister might be the one vomiting and lying on the couch during tomorrow's dinner. A cold is one thing, vomiting and fever is something else. She should keep her kid(s) home. I don't blame you for wanting to bow out.

Any possibility of postponing the family dinner until this weekend when (hopefully) everyone is in the clear?

9 moms found this helpful

A friend of mine ended up sick with Norovirus a few weeks ago..... she had gone to a football game, and sat next to a friend (who is pregnant), but past the nausea point....

about halfway through the game, she commented that she didn't know why she had been so sick that morning..... thought she was through the morning sickness at that point...

Sunday night, my friend came down with it... vomiting, diarrhea, everything... she caught it from her friend, just sitting next to her!

Your sister should have volunteered at the outset to stay home, or mom should have suggested postponing the dinner..... sorry you are taking the brunt of it, but you are right to protect your family.

8 moms found this helpful

When it comes to things that involve puking you should stay home - period! It's highly contagious and ruins everyone's holiday. Your sister is being incredibly selfish. I think she is disappointed that thanksgiving is not going to turn out like she planned because the kids got sick and somehow she has transferred that anger onto you.
If I were in your shoes, I would have said ok, we'll be taking a pass on thanksgiving dinner. End of story.

8 moms found this helpful

In 2009, we were ALL sick with a stomach bug and though DD and I were on the mend, we felt it was too soon to bring our illness to Christmas and we stayed home. First time in about 10 years I missed being with my extended family. But did we want to travel? No. Did they want our flu? NO. Do I feel we did the right thing? YES!! When my sister was 6, we stayed home because she had chicken pox. It happens.

Talk to your mom. Maybe try to get her to see it from the kids' POV. Nobody else wants to be sick. And, good grief, why take a sick child anywhere? Poor kid should be home with his chicken soup, wearing pjs on the couch, not being dragged to a social activity. It is just not worth it to bring a sick child to a party for both the other guests or the child. You did not say you wouldn't come, but you did make a request for the health of everyone involved. What were they going to do with him? If he's too sick to participate why bring him?

What is it with people not putting the needs of their kids ahead of themselves? Your sister is making HER problem YOUR fault and if your mom is crying, I bet it's how she handled it.

Your mom can be sad that something came up, but she needs to get over it. I would not be comfortable with a vomiting child at Thanksgiving dinner.

7 moms found this helpful

You of course are correct.

Sister should have graciously backed out and explained her son is too ill and she did not want anyone else to catch this.

This is just part of parenthood. We sometimes just have to miss out, it is not all about us.

Imagine if your mother became ill? That would be horrible too...

You could be gracious and call sister back and say, "If you want to go instead of us, we will be happy to stay home and you all go to moms."

And the if your mom becomes ill, it will be on sister, that mom became ill.
You can call your mom and calm her down and let her know you are willing to do this for the family.

Or you all can have lunch with mom and let sisters family go for dinner.

Your sister needs to grow up.

6 moms found this helpful

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