My Gray Hair Trumped A Fever


So, there I was laying in the beauty parlor chair on Friday getting my hair washed, after getting my grays dyed. As the wonderful girl seemed to take FOREVER with every shampoo and rinse – my little Larson was getting sicker and sicker. She began to shake in my arms. I couldn’t see her face because she was laying on me with face to the ceiling. I could feel her temperature rising and she kept saying “the back of my neck hurts.” From the time I decided she “must have meningitis” to the time I ran out to the car with my limp baby – I declared to myself:

I am the worst, most selfish mother on the planet.”


You see, I was thinking about me that day. I had to get my gray hair covered. And, she had a fever. So, she stayed home from school. And she was peppy to start. I really enjoyed a surprise day with my kindergarten cutie home.


I knew I shouldn’t infect her classmates, but I didn’t ONCE think about canceling my appointment. I am ashamed, but admitting to you today. I just drug that sick baby with me on my already packed day.


You see, I would jump in front of a bus to save my kid’s lives, but I struggle with the daily “die to self” idea.


I am good with helping them and serving them if it fits into my calendar.


Now, this is a tricky debate.


Should our kids become the center of our universe? I think no.

Should they dictate our entire worlds and schedules? I think no.

Should I probably let go of my agenda more for the sake of my family? Probably so.


I was so incredibly convicted on Friday when my girl was literally shaking in my arms. I freaked on the lady and said, “I’ve got to go!” I ran out with wet hair. Didn’t pay. I was in mother bear mode to get her better. By the time I got her to the doctor, she was rolling on the table with head pain and 104 fever.

Don’t you want to come to a book signing now? I am one.incredible.mother. Sheesh.


Does my hair style trump a sick day? Am I putting my agenda above my kids too often? Are my needs more important than theirs?


I don’t have a magic answer for you or a filter. For me, it’s God and He prompts my heart and my family. I had to ask myself a few tough questions. And it’s not a one time conversation.


He lets me know when works is too much and I need to shut down the computer. He affirms me when I can walk in freedom from field trips. I can be a great mom and NOT attend every single field trip! If you are like me, you are human. There is grace and mercy and forgiveness. We aren’t going to get this right all of the time. I am not upset over here – just thankful for the moment to remind me to check myself. Check my days. Lord, order my days!


Photo source: Pinterest 


It’s such a tricky walk, but I want them to see and feel when I have made a choice that puts their needs in front of mine. In a Christ-like way that says I LOVE THEM – not in a way that says I idolize them and they get to demand my schedule.


There’s a big difference.


There’s no book, hair do, conference call, dinner… that is more important than my family. Sometimes, I will have to go. And, sometimes, I can say no.


It’s up to each of us to pray and figure out that balance. Ask our husbands to help weigh in on the subject.
And for me, I had to get honest about my intention to serve and my actions. Do I truly serve my kids when it’s convenient or all of the time?

They are only little once.

Courtney DeFeo


One day –they will be gone. Out of the house – and I’ll be wishing they would sit in my lap shivering with a fever.


Those cuddly days are fleeting. What a joy they still need me.


By the way,  no meningitis for my girl. Just a quick virus that was gone by the next day. Praise Jesus. Profusely apologized to the hair gals today.


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  1. I LOVE how you are so honest with your readers. We all have those days where our balance between mothering and our own needs gets off. I’d be willing to bet that you have put your kids before yourself many more times than you have put your yourself before your kids! Grace for you and Grace for me! Hope your hair looks amazing and so glad your sweet girl is just fine now!

  2. Oh, how I’ve done the same (and felt that shame)- just recently but ours involved going through with a lake trip. I felt horrible when our 7 yr old took a turn for the worse and her fever spiked after she appeared to be feeling better…ughh…I so felt like the WORST mom ever! Can’t wait to get my hands on your book – congratulations!

  3. Again, just validating what a lot of us feel already, Courtney. Like knowing your kid feels less than stellar but sending them to school anyway, hoping to get 1/2 a day work in before the school calls? Guilty guilty guilty. Bad, awful Mom. Possibly infecting other kids. Horrendous. Consequence? Between both boys, strep throat for 3 weeks and even a little strep virus in the nose. GROSS. A lot more work missed than 1/2 a day. We live to see another day and hopefully learn a little in the process. And the other Moms that give grace over judgement? Few and far between but so so priceless and appreciated. A “we’ve all been there” does so much more for my heart than, “I can’t believe you did that. If only you didn’t work outside the home…” Thanks for the real life!

    1. Oh I really hope another mom did not say that last thing to you. The mommy judgement is the worst. I don’t go out to work but I have still done the same thing – truly, who hasn’t? So sad if that did happen, as if us moms need anyone else to make us feel guilty when we start the mom guilt trip as soon as we fall pregnant! Real Moms Unite! That’s why I love this blog….

  4. so relatable! thank you for being you, for being vulnerable enough to share with us. we have all been there and as i say daily i am perfectly imperfect – a work in progress striving to be better everyday. thankful your baby girl is feeling better and thrilled you got your grays covered (or as my daughter calls them, my sparkles. somehow it all gets done! wishing you an awesome day – cannot wait to meet you in person!

  5. Amen! I struggle with during to myself everyday with my kids, husband, friends and family. Thank you Lord for the prompting of your Holy Spirit and the forgiveness of sins through your son Jesus.

  6. Motherhood is a journey. God will see us through every moment in life. Thank God we know His love, grace and mercy!!!

  7. Can completely relate to being guilty as charged, but your two sentences, “He affirms me when I can walk in freedom from field trips. I can be a great mom and NOT attend every single field trip!”, really hit home for me! I have a Kindergartener who had her first ever field trip two weeks ago and being my only child I was so looking forward to this bonding experience between us. I mean I am the coolest mom she knows and we talked about it in detail about me going. She was excited, I was excited. I reset my schedule, I volunteered to drive two other children whose parents didn’t decide to chaperone, I was all happy-happy. Then the day came and my child had three meltdowns in full on tears for the littlest of things. I was embarrassed. I was watching the sideways glances from the other moms who were there that I didn’t know. My child, she was acting all 5 year old ish and it was me who was having the hang up. I wanted to have the dream field trip where we are blissfully hand-in-hand enjoying the moments of learning about things in nature together. I wanted to have a memory that will last forever and that she and I will have in future field trips, but honestly I felt like a failure as a mom who had the only child who cried at the event. The photo taken at the end has all the happy kids together huddling and laughing/smiling while mine is on the side away from the kids arms crossed and in a full on pout. I had to keep biting my inside of my mouth to keep from crying myself from being exhausted. I had built up this whole event in my mind and when it went all sideways I was done. Am I embarrassed by this…my need for a pedestal day…sure. Do I want to go on another field trip with my daughter? I do, but am wondering if I/we will get in the way of her experiencing the event. Will I miss her experiencing all of is, yes, but does that make me a bad mom if I don’t go…probably not. I pray not.

  8. This happens sometimes. Many become confused between their own needs and mothering. I’ve seen it on my mother (who have almost 80% gray hair). One day, she was supposed to dye his gray hair, and when she was going to the salon, at the same time my sister felt sick. This gave my mother a little bit of confusion. And, finally she ended up with visiting my sister to a nearest doctor and then she dyed her hair after.

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