I’m a closet germaphobe. OK I’m not really in the closet…in fact I have a one litre tub of hand sanitiser on my bench, and I carry purse size bottles with me everywhere I go. So I guess you could call me a raging germaphobe.


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I even sanitise my sanitiser bottle because goodness knows what germs were on my hands before touching it.

I hate using public door handles. I try to hold my breath in crowded spaces in case I breathe in airborne mouth germs. I stare a hole in the back of the head of anyone who coughs without covering their mouth.

So you can just imagine my apprehension around sick children.

Sick children don’t cover their mouths. They don’t care if you get sick. In fact, they don’t even know they have the power to infect you. They spread their bugs on everything their little hands can touch like a mini human crop duster.

In winter, my husband and I call Daycare ‘the incubator’. And we’re not referring to those incubators full of chicken eggs hatching little balls of yellow cuteness. No, the only thing this incubator hatches is yellow pussy coloured bubbles of snot dripping out of noses like ice cream topping. I’ve even seen them lick at it like ice cream topping too. Just try getting that image out of your head.

Please note this is in no way a reflection on our particular daycare. I can personally guarantee they maintain the highest standards of cleanliness, which is part of the reason I love them so much. But unless you follow around every toddler with a can of Glen 20, germs are gonna happen.

The first winter our daughter was in daycare we were sick for 3 months straight on a tag-team basis.

She would bring it home, we would catch it, then she would go right back and get another. It was like playing fetch with those annoying over-excited puppies who slobber their smelly dog-ball-licking-saliva all over the tennis ball.

Don’t get me wrong, I love daycare. For our daughter the pros definitely outweigh the cons. And I’m sure when she’s an adult her immune system will be so tough she will turn into the Hulk at the sound of a sniff from 150 metres away.

While I accept germs can’t be avoided completely, I won’t stop trying to avoid them! Because germs mean staying at home with a grumpy, leaky child who eats even less than they did when they were healthy. Germs mean boogies on sleeves, hands, and even in the hair (don’t ask me how because I really don’t know). Germs mean waking up 10 times a night trying to convince a toddler to let you suck snot out of their nose with a the latest fandangled snot-removal device. Germs suck.

I thought I’d be used to it by now. I thought I’d have warmed to the ‘germs are good’ attitude every parent needs to come equipped with if they’re to emotionally survive those first few years. I’ve tried, I really have. But when winter rolls around and you see some crazy lady with a gas mask and a Nerf gun full of hand sanitiser doing circles at the Shopping Centre…please tell me to suck it up and go home.

Do you have a germ phobia? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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  • No shame in wanting to be hygienic.


  • You are not alone in this at all, gems are the one thing that gets me going


  • I am right there with you love!


  • A Mum I know minded a toddler once on the spur of the moment. She wanted to change the pillow case on the pillow her teenage son was using but the child’s Mum said no, that babies need to come in contact with little germs that are not necessarily contageous so that build up some immunity. The toddler’s Mum was a Nurse. The pillowcase didn’t look dirty.


  • Thanks for sharing this article


  • I’m not a germaphobic but we do buy handwash in bulk mainly because we have animals and wash our hand regulary.


  • Yes, I am a bit of a germaphobe too. I used to work in a lab….saw ALL kinds of nasties there and it has scarred me ever since. I hold my breath when someone coughs or sneezes but unfortunately I can’t hold my daughters breath for her haha I do accept that germs are a part of life but still…eeewww *shudder*

    • This is what I’m talking about. Ewwwwww haha

      Picture comes from a facebook page called ScienceAlert (hope its ok to post, sorry if not!)
      Caption –
      The palm print of an 8-year-old in nutrient medium after playing outside. This is why we have skin and an immune system.

      Image: Tasha Sturm, Cabrillo College via AsapSCIENCE


  • yeah i am cautious too but you can get bad stuff and it is not a joke. when someone you know has died from something that they caught from a sneeze, then yes, you become a germaphobe.


  • So many people are like this – you only really get over it once your children grow up a bit! Funny.


  • I am definitely not a germophobe… although I will admit that since having kids I do worry a bit more about germs than I used to.


  • Lke it


  • I’m not that bad, but I do roll my eyes at my kids’ idea of hygiene.

    • I second the eye rolling in that area too! ;)


  • Yes, I’m a germaphobe and happy to admit it. I realise we live with germs everywhere everyday, but I do try to avoid touching things if I don’t have to. I guess that, like the author Rachel Lee, my fear stems from not wanting to deal with the symptoms of being sick. I was worse when my daughter was little. I have relaxed a bit now she’s older.


  • No – I do not have a phobia to germs. We breathe them in and out all the time, so it is good just to build up immunity.


  • I was very OCD with hand washing and hand sanitizer but after having kids I realised that they need to be able to get their hand dirty and I hate to say it, build their immunity.


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