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I was never sick until I had kids.

Healthy from birth, I always felt lucky I had such a strong constitution. I did not need flu shots or medications. A bit of tylenol was the only drug I used and that use was infrequent. I never had the flu, headaches, colds or coughs.

And then I had kids. Now, every winter I lose my voice for at least a few days; I suffer nausea at some point during the season; I will experience a runny nose and headache a few times between November and March; and I need more sleep than usual. Each year my children will get colds, coughs, a touch of the flu and periodic headaches. Their dad gets the worst of it, always being at both the front end and the tail end of the sickness such that he suffers twice as much as we do.

I am not unique in this suffering. Every parent with children seems to experience the same. In every hockey rink I notice bleary eyes, stuffy dripping noses and a grey palour on a number of the parents. Thus far there is nothing I am able to do to prevent this suffering and none of the parents I know have any solutions either.

There are multiple reasons I am looking forward to spring, not the least of which is a return to health. In the meantime, I'll whisper to my kids to stop fighting and hope they can hear me.

I was never sick until I had kids

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