Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Guilt of Being a Working OUT OF THE HOME Mom

Please allow me to indulge in a little bit of Working Mom Wallowing today.

(The Mom Guilt - it eats away at one's insides, no?)

I sit here, feeling awful.

Baby has been hacking and coughing and sniffling all this week. But he's my toughie. He NEVER EVER complains. (Just wipes his nose on his sleeve and moves on.)

He doesn't have a fever.


I can tell he feels like crap. Yet he has gone to school all week. We have consciously made the decision to send him to school. Because  Because

And please trust me when I say I mean nothing malicious, nothing polarizing by this, but in my mind?  There is NO WAY you can tell me that Work At Home Moms have it just as tough.  I'm not buying it.

The Sick Kid Shuffle is an issue that Moms who work out of the home have to deal with.  A lot.  If I worked from home?  THERE WOULD BE NO ISSUE.  I would keep my child at home with me.  And yes, maybe deadlines would get missed due to tending to a sick child.  But the fact of the matter is that a sick(ish) child would be where he needs to be.  At home.

Hubby and I simply cannot take time off from work each and every time someone has a sniffle.  If so, one of us would be home at least once a week!  But I'm finding it hard rationalizing where I, as a Working Mom, should draw the line.  I need to be a good employee.  I need to not put my boss (who is awesome, by the way) in a position where I'm constantly asking for time away from the office.  I need to get my work done.  As it is, I feel like I'm always needing to rearrange my schedule anyway--4:00 basketball games; parent-teacher conferences; dentist appointments, etc.  I rarely work a full 7:30am-4:30pm work week without some sort of juggling.

Yet mothering absolutely comes first.  (And please know, it should go without saying, that if Baby had even the slightest bit of fever, that we would have kept him home.)

Yet here I sit.  At work.  While Baby is at school.

Still snotting on his sleeve, I'm sure.


Jennifer said...

Amen. 100% I live this very same thing.

The Coupon Goddess said...

That sounds sucky for you and for him. That said, you are sacrificing for your family. Working to provide a good life for them which will pay off ten fold when they are older. They will look back and remember what a great Mom you were/are. Just the fact that you are worrying about this is a testimony to that. xoxo

Anonymous said...

It's much more difficult for moms who work outside the house when their kiddos are sick. I do feel the day-to-day pinch of trying to work at home (no nanny or childcare of any kind--I really need to get on that), but I don't have to do the shuffle with a sick one, and for that, I'm grateful.

Hugs to both of you.

Sincerely, Jeni said...

I can so relate. I changed my work hours to 7a-3:30pm so that I would be able to work a full day and still leave when needed for after-school activities, sports, etc.

BUT, that means I sacrifice in the mornings. I am not home with my kids to help them get ready for school or even just send them out the door with a hug. In fact, they are still sleeping when I walk out the door at 6:40 every day.

Elizabeth said...

I feel this. I SO feel this.

MorethanMommy said...

I don't really agree. It's not "easier" for real work-at-home moms, although there are plenty who say they work from home, but have no real responsibility to anyone. When my kids are sick, they typically stay home with me, that much is true. It's also true that I miss deadlines, have to cancel meetings, etc. The last bit of truth? I DON'T GET PAID. My reputation is impacted. And I have to make it all up when your family is having a blast on the weekend. Sometimes my husband does take time off because my job is important, too. I may not be in an office, but I have commitments, and I don't get personal, sick and vacation days. My family sacrifices a lot for me to be home with the kids part-time. We don't do as many vacations. We cut back on extra-curriculars. None of it is easy. It's just different.

Heather said...

I feel so lucky that my husband is able to work from home. Just knowing that if one of my children doesn't feel well we won't have to play that whole send them to school/or who is going to stay home with them shuffle is such a peace of mind. Random holidays/professional days and half days of school are covered without me having to sacrifice time off. Their "days off" may not be exciting because daddy is working, but at least I know they are home and comfortable.

I also have a very flexible schedule and can work from home if I need to. Honestly there are some days I need to work from home just so I can have the luxury of doing laundry while I work. That work from home time is invaluable.

I don't know how we would manage with all the school schedules and all my children's sports schedules if my husband didn't work from home.

I hope Baby feels better soon!

Ginger said...

My husband works from home, so we're *usually* able to finesse the shuffle a little bit more, for which I'm eternally grateful. I cringe to think of the battle/dance of two working parents with sick kids. Our challenge is that we only have one car, and I work 45 minutes away from the house, so if anyone needs to go to the doctor...well, there goes that shuffle again.

Corrina said...

I don't think there is any easy solution to dilemmas like this! I have some flexibility to work from home when I have sick kiddos...but I don't often get all that I need to done. I was actually home today with my 3yr old who has a "man cold." HAHA She had a request every 5 min and kept trying to mess with the computer and couldn't be close enough! But I'm the only one who does most of my I don't have the luxury of a completely "sick day" often. We just do the best we can every day, right?! Hope your little one is better soon.

Amanda said...

So much of this resonates with me. I think the thing that no one talks about is that in every single scenario there is heartbreak, an excruciating sense of somehow coming up short.

You do a great job, mama.

Jackie said...

What about finding a family member or friend or reliable babysitter or neighbor who can help when a kid falls sick?

My husband works outside the home, as do I (I do have flexibility to work at home on occasion, but I also have to travel a lot- so there are often times that a sickness overlaps with me being out of town!). We have two 'babysitters' (older women who don't work)that we've called in a pinch to stay with one of the kids during the day so we can head into work. Sucks, but at least the kids can stay home.

amanda said...

uhm first of all do you know that i have been worried about you for weeks?!?! something must have happened to your feed in my reader bc you haven't been there since jan 13th. and i have been debating should i email, check in, see if she's ok. and then today before sending my stalker like email i click out of the silly reader and there you are! and there you have been!


and double sorry about the working mom/sick kid thing. not to simplify it like that, but seriously major suckage. one i can't imagine. would it help if i came over and took care of him for a day? i could probably start driving and be there on monday...

seriously sorry friend. sending healthy vibes your way!

Maureen said...

Hope your little guy is feeling better. There is definitely a mathematical equation based on the health and happiness of our children and how we feel about our jobs.


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