FRUSTRATIONS OF A working mom WITH sick kids

We made it through the winter like champs. The boys didn’t get sick, I worked my part-time hours. Life as a working mom was as good as it gets (And by “good” I mean that I worked 25 to 30 hours outside of the home for a paying job where people say nice things once in a while, my kids enjoy their preschool situation, I’m responsible for 80% of the cooking and 100% of the laundry, and my spouse does a lot to pull his weight at home while also balancing his full-time workload). *

But this spring has kicked our asses.

Today, one hour after getting to work, I got the call from LOIS. When Lois calls you during the day, it is never good. best case, she is calling because you forgot a pacifier or a sun-hat, but usually someone is sick. usually someone needs to be picked up ASAP. Come to think of it, I really ought to give Lois a special ring, like a siren.

This time, it was Milo: crying all morning and 102 degree temperature. I joked that it was her fault, that he was perfect and cheerful when I left him. Lois laughs but I still have to flake on the whole rest of the workday, get back in my car, drive back across the bridge to pick up my sobbing, drooling, bright red kid.

But c’mon kid, we just had a four day weekend! (Yes, four because their school which hardly ever closes and is geared toward working parents had a rare teacher work day).

And last week, it was Holden. Holden had a one day school week (he’s in for all the days, people!) because of a fever that just wouldn’t quit. His temp was between 101 and 102 from Saturday through Tuesday, and because his school (wisely) has a “24 hour rule” (of being symptom- and fever-free), we kept him home Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This is a terrific time to mention that my husband, Alec, is a wonderful and equal partner. He stayed home with Holden on Monday and Wednesday because we already knew I’d be home on Friday. love that man.

The week before it was Milo. He punctuated Mother’s Day with a vomit spree, so I kept him home on Monday.

And, the week before THAT it was Holden again. A high fever, chills, flu-like body aches, and some pink eye right before I had to leave town for a family funeral (my favorite grandma died, thanks for asking). another 3-day work week.

Wah wah wah, right? It’s just so flipping hard to be taken seriously as a professional when ever time a kid gets sick, all bets are off!

Today hit me especially hard because I couldn’t reach my spouse to see if he’d pitch in and he has a conference tomorrow and Thursday. Did I already mention, “Wah wah wah”? I know I did. I can’t help but feel like a big slacker when I schedule meetings and then have to bail out. I like being efficient and responsible.

So, I just gave Lois and the entire school staff the “ALARM” ring, so next time we get the call, my whole office will know it. and they’ll know it’s real. Ret?

* and don’t get me started in my musings and amazement about how two parents manage to work full time. That is an exploration for another day!


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