I’m lucky that my children are healthy and usually only get sick when there’s something going around at school or when I ask them to do chores.
Because of the nice weather, our schedule has been out of whack. We had a rushed morning and I got a phone call from the nurse within 30 minutes. Again, I’m lucky. The child in question had a strenuous gym class yesterday, played outside for two hours, had a late dinner last night and a rushed breakfast this morning. She kept her food down and simply needed a restful day in which I annihilated her in 500 rummy (#victorylap).
One of the main reasons I decided to stay home with my children was because of situations like this. Because of the inflexible nature of my husband’s job, I usually had to collect and then stay with the sick child. Despite a rise of many workplaces calling themselves “family-friendly,” in reality many of them change their tune when confronted with a mom who unexpectedly has to leave work early. (I worked at one place that was incredibly supportive and never raised an eyebrow or asked questions when I had to pick up a sick kid. I’m forever grateful and it makes me hopeful that more companies like that exist.)
So along with the guilt I felt at somehow not being a fortune-teller and not being able to predict when my kids were going to fall ill, I also was in a scramble to reschedule work-related meetings and calls so my bosses and colleagues were happy. This happened while working full-time or part-time. I know as a lapsed Catholic I’m predisposed to feel a lot of guilt to begin with, but because of our particular situation–no family in the area to help, my husband’s job–it simply became a lot easier to handle once I left work.
Of course, I still have to juggle things when the unexpected happens but it’s infinitely easier for me to do now that I’m at home. Instead of the guilt I just feel relief.