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The Struggles and Triumphs of Staying Home from Work with your Sick Kids

The initial realization that my kids are sick and that they can’t go to school or daycare is one of the most stressful moments I’ve endured throughout motherhood. Although, it is like a free, or not-so-free (sorry, but you used all your PTO to go to Hawaii last month) day off from the office. But, it comes with a few inconveniences. Ya know, like vomit and if you’re actually capable of keeping them alive and stuff. If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced the few struggles and triumphs of having to stay home with your sick kiddos:

Work can either be totally cool with it — or totally not.

It never fails, your kid is sick the day you have a full agenda and deadlines that need to be met. Begin instant anxiety. Assuming your child has just a common illness and there is no emergency, the most terrifying event is calling in sick to work, but not because of you, but because of your kid. Lucky for me, I am able to text, but the anticipation of receiving your boss’s response is unexplainable. Is she going to be cool with it? How many deadlines needed to be met today? She has two kids, she’ll be totally understanding. It’s the Monday after the Super Bowl, she totally thinks I’m hungover. I was JUST talking about how my kids haven’t been sick in forever. She is definitely going to think I’m making this up.

*37 dreadful minutes later* Boss: Okay. —

….Okay? OKAY?! Like… Okay. I’m so sorry your kids are sick. Come back when you can? Or – Okay, Shelby, nice try. I’m pissed and we will talk about this tomorrow? Sorry mama, you’ll never know the answer so try not to stress too much. But just in case, update your resume during today’s nap time.

The hours before that doctor’s appointment.

Probably the biggest inconvenient yet necessary task that needs to be done today: Take your kid to the doctor. If your kids are anything like mine, they’re up at least 3 hours before the doctor’s office even opens and you’re probably going to have to leave a message as soon as they do. Bring on the long hours of not knowing when in the hell you need to start getting ready, monitoring their every symptom, avoiding giving them medicine in hopes that their fever goes down… literally anything and everything to convince yourself they don’t need to see a doctor. Next thing you know, you’re going through your pharmacy drive-thru. Nice try though, mama. I hope your trip consisted of sunny skies with a warm breeze, at least.

– A Cold Michigan Mommy

You notice all of the unfinished household chores.

Where did all of this laundry come from?

Wow, how dare I keep my kid home when there isn’t a f*cking crumb to eat. What kind of mother am I?

No wonder he’s sick – this bathroom is disgusting!

How long has this wall clock been dead?

Not much to say here other than you’re probably not getting any of those things done today.

But there’s always a silver lining…..

All hail the naps!

*This section does not apply to mothers with multiple children whom are not sick and do not give a single f*ck about their sick sibling and your struggles.

Whether you ended up taking your kiddo to the doctor or not and whether or not they’re pumped full of antibiotics, you’re getting a nap, mama. Multiple if you’re lucky! As long as you don’t care about those dirty dishes. And they’re even better when your little one wants to snuggle up and nap with you.

Netflix and chill…ed wine.

Your little one is out for the count, you don’t need a nap (freak) and you’re behind on Scandal. Today is the day to catch up, lady! Who cares if it’s only 11am? You’re not going anywhere (else) today. You’ve basically worked a full day already. A glass of wine or two is completely appropriate. And necessary. Olivia Pope drinks wine at all hours of the day! Just keep your ears peeled for little feet coming down the hall because there’s about a 95% chance there’s someone on the TV with a gun pointed to their head. (Totally not speaking from experience or anything.)

You had an entire day with your baby.

You might not realize it until daddy gets home or until you’re in bed for the night (I see you, single mamas), but you just had a whole day with your baby. You know, the day(s) you complain about never getting to spend with your little ones because you’re stuck at your 9-5? You gave them your undivided attention, love, and nurture. You did it again, mama. You kept those little creatures alive.

Sometimes it doesn’t occur to us, or maybe just me, just how much our little ones need that undivided kind of love, even when they aren’t sick. We, or again, maybe just me, often find ourselves distracted by so many other things such as work, household chores, relationships, and this god-forsaken phone.

As inconvenient as it might seem at times, sick days are my favorite days because it’s a full day that I get with my littles……

And maybe a full glass of wine and never leaving my pajamas.

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