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We are two working mothers — Lauren Rose, the director of business development for Name Bubbles, and Betsy DeMars, the assistant managing editor at The Saratogian. Try as we may to be really good at both, balancing motherhood and career can get pretty messy. As professionals, work schedules and mommy schedules often collide. So, we plow through, hoping at the end of the day, our kids — Lauren's 5-year-old son and Betsy's 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter — know how much we love them.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Too sick for school? Nah, not these kids

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only working mom out there who puts a sick child to bed in the evening with the hopes the child will be OK to go to school in the morning to avoid the scheduling nightmare a kid home sick causes.

So when I took a phone call this past Thursday afternoon from the after-school program director that my daughter didn't seem to be feeling well, my mind flashed to how we would handle a sick kid scenario.

Don't get me wrong, my first concern is for my child's well-being, and I do work for a boss who understands that taking care of my children has to be priority. But missing work to stay home with a sick child wreaks havoc on the week's workflow. I can work from home to some degree, but to truly carry out the functions of my job in the newsroom, I need to be in the newsroom, at my desk, in the thick of things.

It used to be that I would be the parent to stay home with the reasoning that I am a salaried employee, and my husband was paid hourly. His missing work would impact us financially. Of course, I could work from home, and the fence installation job site was obviously not going to come to him. Now that my husband has switched employers, we may be able to share the caregiving duties a little more evenly than in the past.

That said, we hardly ever have to deal with this. In fact, I can't even remember the last time we had to stay home with a sick child. I was called away from work once earlier in the school year when my daughter fell on her face during a kickball game at school. (Yeah, it looked as bad as it sounds, the poor thing.) But we managed to navigate the entire winter calendar sans illness.

We are partly lucky, I guess, that our children have just been very healthy, and us, too. The other aspect is that our kids really don't let much slow them down. When they are sick, it's all we can do to make them sit on the sidelines for a little while so they can recoup.

I don't ever want to send my children to school sick, but it seems every morning this school year that either one of them could have been questionable, I've gotten an "I'm fine, Mom," and off to school they went. Those days, I make sure to keep my cell phone close, prepared for a call from the school nurse.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how working moms do it! I only work part time and, since I work at my youngest child's school, it is completely understood that if he's sick, I'm out of the office. Since #3 is working on perfect attendance for the year, the problem hasn't even come up. But... let's talk about #2, a freshman at the public high school. No, he's NOT working on perfect attendance. In fact, he's home sick today. He's old enough to take care of himself (teens pretty much sleep or play electronics all day long and don't even know if you're home or not!). The issue with my middle child is, if he misses school, is it a legitimate illness or is it just a general feeling of not wanting to go to school. I figure, as long as he makes up the work, it's his problem not mine!

May 25, 2010 at 12:09 PM 

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