Being a parent can be hard. No matter whether you’re a single mom, a working dad with wife who stays home with the kids, or a mom who’s part of a couple who both works, it’s tough.
But there seems to be one special stress that’s reserved just for working moms (whether single, or with a working partner). It’s that momentary panic you feel when you get that call from school or day care, saying that junior is sick and needs to come home. No, not that worry – I really don’t worry too much that my kids are going to get some horrible illness; most of the time they just have a bad cold, a tummy ache, something minor like that.
No, I’m referring to the “Oh crap, what are we going to do with Junior tomorrow?” panic that quickly sets in. Tim and I both work full-time, and while we do have sick time (and understanding bosses), that time is not limitless, nor is our bosses’ patience (presumably). So, we’ve already lost half a day by having to pick the kid up early, and now we have to worry about the next day, too – because all day cares around here have a 24-hour rule that means a child cannot return until they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours. Even if the fever was 99.8, even if the child is clearly just fine. This happened to us with Book Baby last week, and Tim and I each took half of Friday off to care for her.
Today, Tim got the call about Book Girl. Now, she’s clearly under the weather – had a temp, was complaining of a tummy ache, etc. – but I still worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow. I think she may go to work with Tim – the office is attached to the boss’ residence, she can rest on the couch and watch TV, etc. But since I started my new job four weeks ago, I’ve taken 3 half-days off due to sick children, 1 half day off due to a snow day (and no care for the kids), and 1 half day off for a dr. appt. for BB. My employer is very generous with vacation/sick time, and I know that my boss knows that I’m not an unreliable flake, but still – that’s an awful lot for just four weeks! (Possibly more unexpected time than I took in 6 months at my old job, some years.)
Anyone else get that same feeling in the pit of your stomach when you get “the call” from school or day care? Or is there another situation that does it for you? I’d love to hear it.