For the past month, I’ve been doing the sick kid juggle. My 20-month-old, James, is suffering from a mysterious stomach thing that causes diarrhea like you’ve never witnessed before. We’ve done tests, tried different foods and dietary changes, cleaned like fiends, everything you can think of, called the pediatrician’s office multiple times. Still, the diarrhea won’t stop.
Some days, I’ve had to keep him home because it was so bad — and guess how much work I got done on those days? Add in a few nights here and there of multiple diarrhea-leakage wake-ups (is there anything grosser?) and I’m not at my tops even when he goes to the sitter.
At least I’m lucky enough to be self-employed, so my boss can’t exactly punish me for “taking sick days.” I’m my boss. I do have clients, and sometimes I have to explain to them why I wasn’t able to deliver a project (“Sorry, wiping a butt right now, I’ll call you back!”) But it’s a whole different ballgame for those who work for “the man” and have run out of paid sick days — or don’t have any to begin with.
That’s why I encourage you to read this Cincinnati Enquirer article by Cindy Kranz, “Parents struggle to juggle sick kids, jobs.” And not just because she interviewed yours truly for it (though I’m thrilled she did). It’s an important look at a very real problem many working moms face — the choice between keeping your sick kid at home or keeping your job and sending them to school/daycare. Thank you, Cindy, for bringing this issue to light!