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July 15, 2010

Back to Work Strategy #8--Work vs Sick Baby

My little guy has not been well lately. On Saturday he was just not himself, on Sunday he developed a cough and coughed through the night, on Monday he didn't go to daycare and on Tuesday he still wasn't quite well enough to go to daycare and my Mom stayed with him. All day long I was on the phone with my Mom getting updates and it was hard to concentrate on work. Apparently, it's just a virus, so on Wednesday I bring my little one to daycare. I write a little note to the daycare workers that he has a cough and will need extra water and sleep. I warn them that it sounds worst than it is.

Well... I go to pick him up after work and I got the GUILT. Daycare workers were telling me how terrible he sounds. That I need to see a doctor and that he really isn't well. "does he have a fever?" I asked. "No" they answered but they gave me THAT look. The look that says it all: "Your son is too sick to be here and you are a bad mother for bringing him in today where he has probably infected all the other kids." or something like that or maybe it was all just in my head. Took the little guy home. Convinced my husband that we needed to get to a walk-in clinic right away. Felt silly once we got to the clinic because it's probably just a cold. Needed to know. Doc didn't seem worried at all about the dire condition that I now thought my son to be in. Put baby to bed and had my husband run around town to get drugs for the not-so-sick baby. Every 30 mins or so for the rest of the evening I asked my husband what we should do tomorrow if he is still sick.

Woke up this morning and called in to work because the baby is sick.

End of Story. It just wasn't worth me going to work and worrying all day about my little one. We don't have family around to watch him (My mom happened to be in town earlier this week) and I just couldn't have that worry with me at work.

So this is what it's all about: figuring out what is best for you and your family on that day. Here is the strategy: there is no right answer. You are going to feel torn either way and the Working Mommy-Guilt is a double-edged sword: you feel guilty for either not being with your child or for not going to work.

Today I am home. Another day I may choose to bring him to daycare. Another day I may convince my husband to stay with him. So my back to work strategy for all of you? Know that there is no good solution, you just have to do what you have to do.

The good thing about staying at home caring for a sick child one day? You will be excited to go back to work the next day as going to work is a lot easier than caring for a sick child!


  1. Sorry to hear that he is sick and that they gave you such a hard time at daycare. I feel for both of you. Hope everyone is feeling better by tomorrow.

  2. They didn't really give us a hard time. It was more the guilt you feel when your child is sick and you have left them and you just feel like everyone is judging you when they probably aren't at all! The daycare workers are just concerned about his well-being and the other kids too.