Handling Your Kid's Sick Days When You're A Working Single Mom
August 15, 2011
Last week I blogged about being sick with a stomach virus + sinus infection. I needed help caring for JD, because I couldn’t function. My brother, Brian and Mom chipped in and then my Mom got sick, just as I was feeling a little better. Brian headed to Boston on a business trip and JD and I were alone, but it was cool, because I wasn’t exactly puking anymore and the Zpack had officially kicked my sinus infection’s ass. Then on Sunday after breakfast with my Dad at the diner and a game of slot cars at Zepplin Hobbies & Raceway, JD developed a flemmy cough and felt warm. His temp lingered between 100 and 100.8 the rest of the day, no biggie, and I treated it with cold water/juice concoctions and ice pops. He napped for three hours. I got anxious about the following day being Monday and knowing I NEEDED to show up at a current magazine freelance gig. I was out a few days last week (and worked from my bed), because I was sick. I knew I was screwed. My parents couldn’t help this time (my mom is still sick!). Uncle Carlo had work and Uncle Bri was coming in from Boston really late on Monday morning—like 3 A.M. late. All of my friends work. I went to bed, praying JD would be OK, but he was up most of the night in MY bed, coughing, breathing heavy and resisting medicine for his slight fever. The following morning, Monday, work-day, JD couldn’t go to school, because I just didn’t feel OK sending him. He still had a clammy fever and that gunky cough. I had no one to watch him. I emailed my boss and said I couldn’t come in and then I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, knowing that I really needed to go in. I felt like crap calling out, but what was I supposed to do? I had 0 options. 0. 0. 0. 0.
I made JD an appointment for the Ped the earliest they’d take him—11:30 A.M. If the Ped cleared him, I’d bring him to school, then jet to the office and prep a photo shoot. In between checking work emails, JD’s temp and microwaving a pancake my phone rang. It was Uncle Brian calling to say "hi" and assuming I was at the office. When he heard the frustration in my voice, he said he’d come over and he did. #Luckygirl.
He took JD to the Ped’s for me and I went to work. As a freelancer, I don’t get paid sick, personal or vacay days, so juggling this, justifying this can be tricky. I was just sick and out of the office last week and I was almost out of the office today, because JD was sick. Grrrrr, you sickies!!! I have no advice to offer when it comes to this major totally-single-parent dilemma, because you can’t predict getting sick, or your kid getting sick. Ya gotta just do the best ya can. See if someone can help you out and be honest with your boss -- ask to work from home, maybe??? There really is no quick fix when you have NO other parent to swap sick days with. The scale is NEVER balanced. It’s all on YOU and it can be hard. Today was...hard. I was panicked about calling out again. Relieved (!!!!!) Uncle Bri could help and felt like complete sh*t for leaving JD when he was sick (tears). But, I got my work done and colored with JD when I got home, we read our books and snuggled some. Ah, but the mom guilt remains...it really does. Work stress remains. Lots on my mind tonight. My head and heart are so heavy. Sinking...New day tomorrow.
Discuss, share. Peace and love, friends. XO