There is nothing worse than that dreaded phone call from your child’s school, preschool, or daycare with news that your child is sick—especially when both parents work. It usually never happens at a good time, since you can’t predict getting sick. If I could plan to get sick, I definitely would pick out the days. I used to think I was letting down everyone at work because I did not come in or had to leave unexpectedly. Now when our kids get sick or need stitches, I just know Matt or I have to go and there is nothing we can do. Having sick kids is out of our control. Here is how I got over stressing more than I should about sick kids.
Parents stress the most
The dreaded call stresses out parents more than anyone else in your office. Before I had kids, I never even payed attention if someone was leaving because they had a sick kid. I simply hoped their kid felt better. When my son got sick for the first time, I remember thoughts crossing my mind like, “Will people will judge me?” and “Am I letting everyone down?” That is so not the case. Colleagues with kids get it because they have been there, and 99% of people without kids have empathy. In my over five years of parenting, I have never once had someone say, “You really need to make sure your kids get sick less.” People get it, and parents obviously do not want their kids to get sick. When my kids get sick, I put myself in that mindset; no one cares about life happening with no notice.
The work gets done
Nothing ever goes unfinished because of sick kids. Sure, things need to be moved around and re-prioritized, but at the end of the week, work still gets done. At the moment it may feel like everything is a priority, but take a step back and look at what can wait; there is always something we are working on that is busy work and not important. The sky has never fallen because someone has a sick kid.
No one like mom or dad
Even if it is the most inconvenient day for your kids to be sick, just remember that your kids need you. There is no greater comfort than mom or dad when you’re sick. I am 34 years old and I would kill to have my mom travel two and half hours to take care of me. Sick kids are not fun, but I secretly love the snuggles. Is that weird?
Thankfully, Matt and I typically rotate sick kid duty, which makes the unexpected burden easier. How do you get through the balance of work and sick kiddos?