Your child comes home with head lice. Instead of freaking out, you did the right thing. You got informed. You got a good lice comb and started the wet combing. You didn't waste time doing unnecessary and ineffective things like extra cleaning, extra laundry and bagging up items. And within a few combings of no longer seeing any eggs or bugs, you thought, "I got this! I've beaten head lice."
And then, the next day during what you think will be a super-quick combing, you find a nit. It must be old, right? And then you comb a couple of more times and low and behold, you find a tiny louse.
You sigh, smile, and say the serenity prayer. Or, more realistically, you say, "What the !$#*&!!! Are you freakin' kidding me!?!?!"
Snap. You lose it.
I just want you to know that you don't have to. If you reading this blog, then I'm certain you are dealing with head lice. Let me assure you that with each combing it will get better and better. But let me also assure you that finding a nit or a louse days after you thought you were rid of the problem is very common and is, in my mind, to be expected. Because even a good lice comb can miss something the first time around. Or the second. New eggs and new lice are often too small to be picked up by the lice comb.
If you are going through the very unpleasant experience of finding a sign of head lice after you thought you had beaten it, please remember the following:
It took you months to get head lice. Beating it will require an intentional but manageable effort over the next few weeks. Don't burn yourself out, but don't give up. Just remember you are in a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself.
If you found something, it doesn't mean that you have failed. In fact, it means the opposite; it proves the combing is working.
It also means you are outrunning the lice cycle. Lice hatch and as they grow, you can get them out with your lice comb. With the combing that you are doing every few days, you will still get them out before they can lay their own eggs.
Just because you found something, it doesn't mean that you are in any way back at square one. A few head lice does not an infestation make. You are still ahead of the game and all of the hard work you have put into this is paying off.
One other thing I should let you know is that even if you have beaten this round of head lice, you can always get a brand new case of head lice. So, if you find head lice again, it may not be because you didn't deal with it properly the first time. It could just be that you got it again. Lucky you. (At this point, my children would say that I'm being a 'Mommer Bummer' - it's like a 'Debbie Downer' but more maternal). That's why it is important that even when you do beat your current case of head lice, you do regular lice checks via wet combing.
You do have this. Really. If you found another bug, don't think of this as a setback. Think of this as progress. Because you can always manage the head lice as long as you can manage your own emotions and expectations.