Germophobe or germophile?

10177480_483443041783581_393019902_nWith Mommy Wars raging all around us, I’m hesitant to divide parents into two different camps, but over the past six years, I’ve noticed there are two types of parents. I’m sorry to be so tough about it, but it’s true. You’re one or the other. You’re either a germophobe or a germophile.

Let me put it this way: a germophobe’s child gets bathed every day, while a germophile argues that bathing every day isn’t good for their skin. Neither is right, and neither is wrong. It’s just a parenting philosophy, but I’ve yet to find a parent that subscribes to both.

So which are you?

  • If you still have unopened containers of hand sanitizer from your baby shower, and your kid is in kindergarten, you’re a germophile.
  • If you wipe down seemingly clean restaurant tables before you put down disposable placemats, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you clean a pacifier that fell on the floor by picking the dog hairs off, you’re a germophile.
  • If you don’t let your kids play with the toys in the pediatrician’s waiting room, you’re a germophobe.
  • If your kid eats cat food out of the bowl on the ground and you hardly bat an eye, you’re a germophile.
  • If the five-second rule makes your palms sweat, you’re a germophobe.
  • If the five-second rule is more like a five-minute rule, you’re a germophile.
    If you’re okay with this being your kid’s preferred method of drinking milk, you’re a germophile.
  • If the thought of public restrooms makes you want to keep your kids in diapers forever, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you find yourself saying, “at least she’s building her immunity,” you’re a germophile.
  • If your blood runs cold at the sight of a ball pit, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you think the edge of a restaurant table makes a fine teether, you’re a germophile.
  • If you have spray, gel, foaming, and towelette hand sanitizers in your purse, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you shrug your shoulders when your kid licks the carpet at church, you’re a germophile.
  • If you own a cover for either a shopping cart or a high chair, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you shoo a bird off your son’s sandwich before letting him continue to eat it, you’re a germophile.
  • If you make the whole family shower and change clothes after being out in a crowd, you’re a germophobe.
  • If you only wash crib sheets after accidents or vomiting, you’re a germophile.
  • If you don’t let your kids play in the sprinkler because of brain-eating amoebas, you’re a germophobe.

So there you go. And let’s be clear, there’s no judging here. Whether your kids wear clean jammies every night or if, like mine, their tongue has touched the handrail at the zoo.

What makes you a germophobe or germophile?

Pam Kocke
My name is Pam, and I live in Algiers Point with my husband George and my identical triplets Linus, Oliver, and Miles. I work from home as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. I enjoy reading and photography and sewing (and blogging!)


  1. Germophiles unite! Great article! (I could add- you know you’re a germophile when your twins share cups, utensils, and pacis, even when sick!)

  2. We all know I’m a germaphobe! LOL- BUT I have given up on Andrew eating the dog food out of the bowl. I just let him do it. LOL

  3. I love this Pam! I think I would definitely fall into the germophobe category but we have been saying “at least she’s building her immunity” more often these days!

  4. Considering that I have clinically diagnosed OCD with my trigger being germs and contamination, it’s a sure bet that I am a “germaphobe”. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder isn’t a choice, so my germaphobia isn’t a choice.

  5. Definitely a germophile here! I have plenty of germophobe friends though, and we just laugh and roll our eyes at each other. 🙂

  6. We are so germaphiles!!! I draw the line at ice cream dropping out of the corn onto the floor- but everything else is fair game 🙂
    At egg hunt one of my girls dropped her pizza & I was like it’s okay – see no dirt! Lol

  7. I’m a germaphile by all counts, except I do bathe my kids nightly. There’s nothing like a clean baby/kid in their pjs 🙂


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