Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Working Mommy's Lament


Eldest is still sick. Apparently it's not a 24-hour bug. When I left for work this morning, he complained that his belly still hurt, but I figured he was probably just hungry after not ingesting much of anything all day yesterday.

I cut up an apple for him (per his request) and headed out the door.

Hubby called as I was driving to the train station.

"He's doubled over with stomach pains, but I kinda think he's being dramatic."

I advised Hubby that he should just send him on to school, with instructions to tell his teacher if he wasn't feeling well. (Last week was winter vacation, so I thought he may have been struggling with having to transition back to school after missing the first day back.)

30 minutes later, another phone call.

"He just vomited the entire apple! What am I gonna do? I missed work yesterday and can't miss another day!"

(Meanwhile, I'M ON THE TRAIN, HEADED INTO BOSTON thinking: "Well, what do you want ME to do???")

*sigh* Bring on the Mommy Guilt.

So the babysitter came. (We truly didn't want her, and subsequently her family, to be exposed to the throw-up bug. It's one thing if the boyz have colds; vomit is a whole different ballgame.) But she's truly a gem and has reassured me twice already today that she doesn't mind being there, that he's managed to keep down some tea and toast, and that he seems to be perking up.

Nonetheless, I'm struggling, yet again, with Balance.

I hate the fact that the economy sucks and that due to the choices Hubby and I have made in the past, that I HAVE to work right now;

I hate the fact that I have to work so far away from the Trenches in order to be paid a salary that makes it worthwhile to work full-time while paying for two preschool tuitions plus childcare; and

Mostly, I just hate the fact that when I have a sick child, I can't just automatically take care of him, foregoing everything else.


Amy said...

I stand in full solidarity and sympathy with this. I know this feeling.

I hope he's well soon.

Manic Mommy said...

Thanks for the reminder that I'm not just home to mediate tantrums. We're all trying to do what's best for our families.

Working is what's best for your family right now. It just doesn't feel like it today.

Hope Eldest is up and at 'em tomorrow!

Claire said...

Ugh. I feel that mommy guilt and stress over finding balance EVERY SINGLE DAY. I work as a teacher BARELY making more than I spend in childcare for my 2 girls, yet the little bit I bring home does actually make a difference. However, I still know that being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest full-time job ever, so I am a little thankful that it's not mine.

Hope he gets better soon!

Anonymous said...

Found your blog via The Eleventh.

Nice writing. Love the humor. Will be back.

A Christian Mom said...

HUGS! I know your pain. When I was working full time, I felt the same way whenever my daughter was sick.

Now being a SAHM... I find guilt for not working. Guess we can't win either way.

I hope your son feels better soon & the rest of the house, including your babysitter are spared from getting it.

Judy said...


Anonymous said...

The "work guilt" way out of this is...
Don't mention at work that you have a sick child at
Start looking a little bit tired (shouldn't be a stretch).
Choose either pale face or flushed and apply makeup accordingly and sparingly.
Sigh a lot. Complain about shortness of breath. Look at little green at the mention of food. (Don't let people see you eat)
Then leave halfway through the work day.
Call in the next morning that you're taking a sick day.
(By now you've probably really worked yourself into a state with the guilt that it's not really lying... you need your mental and spiritual health)
Spend the day on the couch with your buddy and blanket.
Vow to work through a few lunches and coffees in the next few weeks as penance for a grey lie.
And then move on to the next working mother crisis.

Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

I am so sorry. I know your pain, I have been there. I have no answers, only sympathy and hope that something changes or gets better. And that Eldest feels better too. Hugs.

amanda said...

wish i had wise words.

instead sending you healthy vibes :)

Suburb Sierra said...

We *just* went through this last week. Normally, I work from home but when I have to be in the office it's a 90 mile commute, one way. The one day my daughter is sick is the day I'm hitting the road.

Balance comes in waves and ususally we get knocked off but then stand right back up. I still only remember the best my parents did, not the worst.

Patois42 said...

Ooooooh, Katie B has a great idea.


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