Me so responsible. Want a juice box?

By Mir
February 25, 2005
Category Job? Huh?

Excuse me while I curl up into a little ball of stress and explode. Ahhhh… that’s better. In the sense that discorporeal is better, at this point.

Now would be a good time for the New York Times or Newsweek or some other news organization eager to let you know that “THIS JUST IN: Being a Mom Means You Are Conflicted” to come talk to me.

Let’s review the numbers, shall we?

How long I’ve been at my new job: 3 weeks
Number of hours left before the person I’m going to cover for leaves on vacation: 7
Time I showed up at work yesterday with a sick child in tow: 7:40
Number of videos I’d brought to entertain child: 6
Time my boss ordered us to go home: 8:10
Time I returned to work after transferring sick kid to his father: 1:20
Time it became apparent this morning that said kid was still unwell: 6:12
Number of hours school was delayed this morning: 2
Number of times I yelled during those 2 hours: *this number censored*
Number of times I have so far today hyperventilated over the thought of not making it in to the office: 2
Number of work emails I’ve received so far this morning: 19
Number of times I have offered a juice box to the sick child, because fluid! is good! and makes you better!: 5
Ounces of juice he has consumed: 1
Number of schemes I have so far devised to get in to the office today: 6
Number of those schemes which are feasible: 1. Maybe.
Number of times I’ve wondered how the heck single parents work full time: eleventy billion


  1. Busy Mom

    I have no words of wisdom, but hang in there.

  2. ben

    Hang in there, Mir. You’re gonna need your strength when Chickadee catches it…

    (just kidding! Really! Put. down. the. stick.)

  3. jilbur

    Okay, now take it from someone who has about six years of variously accummulated wage-earning mom time: ‘Sick’ is the no-brainer. That’s the one where you surrender entirely and give no apologies. No one (no one sane, anyway) expects that you are going to compromise on your children’s health. NO ONE. If that will cost you the job, the sooner you find out, the better; but really, my experience is that only the very very worst workplaces penalize parents for children’s outright illness. Will some employers get annoyed that you attend a lot of school events? I wouldn’t doubt it. Do high-level executives get cut a lot of slack for being the ones to stay home with a feverish child? Rather improbable. Do people in jobs of moderate income have the right to expect that one of the compensations of such middling monetary reward is an expectation that a sick child trumps work? I’d say yes, absolutely.

    So maybe you can just be grateful that you’re learning about this one early in the game. Don’ Take care of your kid and don’t wring your hands. It’s not as though an announcement of your new job appeared in Pathogen World News. Sick doesn’t care; sick just arrives.

  4. janie

    You’ll make it hon….smoke some of Monkey’s crack :) At least it’s Friday, huh?

  5. Amanda B.

    I am feeling you on the stress deal. (no Hotpants and Metro- not ‘feeling’ her literally) This week has been tough.

    I admire the heck out of you. You are one badass woman. If Husbando and I were there, we would so babysit for you. :)

  6. dave

    I second everything that jilbur said, and enjoyed the imagery that Amanda denied. And I’d babysit too.

  7. alektra

    Just remember: many people get deliriously ill their first few months of work after releasing the stress of finding a job. You have a kid instead. It’s nothing different. And employers understand this, as does the law. ;)

    I got a kidney stone my first week of my REAL job. They were completely nice about it because who wants (their kid) to be sick?

  8. Suzanne

    Isn’t this fun?

    Don’t worry. Your child comes first, and decent employers know this! As long as it’s not abused, your employer should understand, because if he/she has a kid…his turn will come.

  9. savtadotty

    As a single working mom of two, I managed to worry myself into an ulcer before I realized that THE JOB ISN’T WORTH IT, and found myself a job that was better for me, even though it wasn’t for such a prestigious company. But even with the perfect job, juggling child care and work is not fun. I sympathize and I remember.

  10. Robin

    I wish I could lie to you and tell you that it gets easier. It doesn’t. My kids are 12 and 13, and I still have to compromise… sometimes I have to call in sick, sometimes I have to leave them on the couch with a lot of juice and some blankets… it doesn’t get easier, but if your employer is willing to work with you, it’s worth it to stick around. You won’t always find that. Kids first, but you have to feed them too… so you have to work… and the wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round.

  11. Stephanie

    I worked in an office for a year a half during which my son, who had never gone to preschool, started pre-k. He caught EVERYTHING!! It was a major victoy when he stayed well for two weeks solid. And therefore, we caught everything too. I have never missed so much work! And I felt guilt over being at home and guilt for being at work. It was horrendous. Now I work from home and that makes it easier… but man…. I feel for you. My bosses, though, were always awesome about things.

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