Confessions: I’m Why Your Kid is Sick

It comes when I need it the least.

The moment I am knee deep in the most important piece of work I’ve done all week, or the minute I finally have time to breathe between back to back meetings.  At first I think it’s nothing, just the normal ringing of the telephone… something that happens time and time again without incident.  Then, my phone lights up, the receptionist’s voice calls my name, and it’s for me.  Sure, I get a ton of calls during the day.  Sure, I can handle the ins and outs and ups and downs of whatever my job throws at me… except this.

The dreaded daycare call.

I consider myself a really rational person.  I can handle complaining clients, exhausted toddlers and teething puppies and consider it a routine day.  But if there’s anything that can full on rattle my cage, it’s getting the call telling me to come collect my child.

This is not to take anything away from the fact that yeah, he’s sick and needs me.  I hate when he’s sick and certainly I want to be there for him because he’s sick and it’s where I feel I am supposed to be.  But let’s all agree that we get that part and focus instead on the total an all-encompassing INCONVENIENCE of having to unexpectedly pick your child up from the place where he’s supposed to spend his days.

I hate it.

I loathe the moment when I realize I have to stop what I’m doing, shut down my computer, and leave work for the next two days until my child is “cleared” to return to the place where I’m shelling out good money for him to go.  I know that I have to go, I know that I have to pick him up for the sake of all the other moms and dads who don’t want their precious darlings to get sick… but let’s be honest… I pay money whether he is allowed to attend daycare or not.  And if I want to go to work when J is sick, I have to make the decision to pay double… the daycare he’s not allowed to be in, and the babysitter “kindly” filling in for them.   So because of all this… because I don’t have family here, or in-house back-up, yeah, there are some days when my kid goes to daycare when maybe he shouldn’t.  There are some days when I have to be in court until lunchtime and I have no choice but to fill J full of Tylenol and say a little prayer that he can just make it through a half day without spiking a fever.

Yeah.  I’m that mom.

I don’t want to be that mom;  I don’t want to be why your kid gets sick.  But I don’t have any other choice.  I’m a single mom.  I am the sole source of income to this little family, and it’s not enough to pay all our bills and double pay for child care.  If I don’t go to work, I don’t keep my job.  If I don’t keep my job, I don’t feed my kid… so yeah, sorry, but I’m THAT mom.

I’m the reason your kid is sick.  I’m the one who keeps tissues in the car to blow out as much snot as possible before letting her kid enter daycare.  I’m the one who tells the teacher J’s teething when he might not be, just to buy me a little extra time on the fever front.  And I’m really sorry about it.  But if I kept J out of daycare every time he got sick, I wouldn’t have a job. My kid is a germ magnet.  My kid catches every disease your kid brushes off and my kid turns it into something more horrific, more noisy, and more disgusting.  My kid is the one who goes to school when you wish he wouldn’t.  My kid is the one with no other choice.  My kid has a mom who can’t miss any more work without hearing about it from her boss.  My kid isn’t happy about it and neither am I.

So yeah…sorry.  I’m that mom.

Want to borrow my Tylenol?

**EDIT: PLEASE PUT DOWN YOUR PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES. BY “SENDING HIM SICK” I MEAN SENDING HIM WHEN HE’S ON THE BORDER OF VIOLATING RULES.  I WOULD NEVER KNOWINGLY VIOLATE THE RULES OF MY DAYCARE, BUT MY KID DOES GO TO SCHOOL WITH A 100.9 FEVER. JUST NOT IF IT HITS 101.**

Picture Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk

About the author

Law Momma is a divorced, single mom to 3 year old “J.” By day, she’s an attorney and by night, a jungle gym/chef/housecleaner/professional book reader/superhero. She tries to pretend she’s very professional and put-together, but in reality she’s just barely making it through the days. You can find her blogging over at Spilled Milk {and other atrocities} and tweeting as @lawmomma77.

78 Comments

  1. liz says:

    I think that the first step to rehabilitation is admitting your flaws. No, you can’t do it all. And Yes…i dislike you for sending your sick child to daycare! But i get it. I am a working mother of two and will (would) keep my kids home that extra day for the sake of the group- I have had to calm down a bit a take that with stride as you are not the only parent that does this. And i do understand your point of job=food, etc… and i forgive you. I get the missing work, same position here. It is hard and taxing and frustrating, particularly the money aspect. Sometimes, which I am sure you do, your best judgement is the safest bet! Stay strong, stay alert, and stay healthy!

    Reply
    • Law Momma says:

      Thanks… I hate when I have to send him when I feel like he should be home. But if I kept him out every time he had a sniffle, I swear I’d never work!!
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  2. Gassmama says:

    I know this feeling, I admitted last week on twitter. I sent my daughter to school Wednesday even though she prob should have stayed home. But I had deadlines and the husband did to. Some friends said “she caught it bc someone else sent their sick kid to school”. Not that two wrongs make a right, but shit happens.

    Reply
  3. Donna says:

    I really want to respond to this but I just don’t know how to (with kindness). Maybe its because I am HOME with a sick kid because some other mom thought it was okay to dope up her kid and send them on. Said family has now been KICKED out of the day care because this was NOT the 1st time they have done this.
    Donna recently posted..This is the day…My Profile

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    • Law Momma says:

      You have every right to be peeved! To be fair, I’ve only sent him to school once with a fever and I picked him up at lunchtime. Mostly, I just mean that I send him when he has the sniffles and feels bad… which I totally hate. But either way, yeah… you can be mad.
      Law Momma recently posted..PrettyMy Profile

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      • Donna says:

        I also face the threat of job loss for taking off work. I too don’t live near any family. My friends all work. I don’t have a choice, I have to take off work to be with the sick child. I do have a husband that takes turns so that helps. It also helps that our daycare is good at spotting the SICK kids vs. the allergy sniffle kids.

        Because a mom made the same decision you made we have had the following consequences: co-pay, prescriptions, DH Lost 1 day of pay since he is self-employed and has no sick days, I have lost 1 saved sick day, and my daughter is miserable. I have deadlines that I am going to miss unless I work at home for FREE(which I don’t want to do and its hard to do with a sick kid). I will have a ton of make up work when I get back to work. Just what I needed added stress right before Spring Break.

        I get it people have to work for a living. I think that we all need to RESPECT other parents by helping to keep illness out of our child care centers. I know that many families can not afford the doctor visits, prescriptions and lost wages. Why contribute to that making your problem a problem for everyone else, creating hardship for everyone else?

        I agree sniffles are one thing- and usually nothing to be worried about because they are usually related to seasonal changes. Not knowing your kid is contagious- I get that. But using drugs to mask a fever I don’t get that. Telling lies to the providers- I don’t get that.
        Donna recently posted..Been kind of quietMy Profile

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        • Brandee says:

          At our daycare, sniffles and colds are allowed, and fevers, vomit and diarrhea are not. Their theory is that if they asked toddlers with colds not to come in, they would never have any kids.
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          Twitter: Babe_Chilla

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        • Law Momma says:

          Okay let me be clear… I have NEVER sent my son to school when he’s vomiting. I have never sent my kid to school when he is running a 102 fever. But when he’s got a fever of 100, which is BELOW the 101 don’t go to school mark, yeah… I send him. I give him medicine and I hope he doesn’t go over 100.
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          • Tracy says:

            I believe my daycare agrees with the lowgrade fever. That if it’s below 100, they don’t call.
            Twitter: wa_tracy

    • Tracy says:

      I just have to say…that I may not do what Law Momma does…but I do have a husband who I can trade off staying home with the kid…Law Momma doesn’t. As well, she does not have family nearby to help out. I get where she is coming from. Also, I’ve done a lot of looking into sicknesses and such since becoming a parent and have come to find out that a lot of sickness is the most contagious before symptoms show up. Days before you know your kid is even sick. Before you even know that a stomach bug is about to happen or the fever is about to come on strong, there is a good chance that any kid has already gotten several other kids sick.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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    • Tracy says:

      Also wanted to add…I wonder if mostly kids are asked to stay home for a certain amount of time because they need rest…obviously if they are puking they can’t be there…but you would think that they would know with a bit of research that the damage of getting other kids sick is usually done before kids start showing symptoms. Just thinking on my feet right now…I just wonder.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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      • Brandee says:

        That’s my thing, once the kid is full on sick, they have already infected others. Should they rest and get better, absolutely, but can you keep them home until every sign of a sniffle is gone? Hardly.
        Brandee recently posted..Let’s Learn About Chilla!My Profile
        Twitter: Babe_Chilla

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  4. Jessie says:

    I adhere to the daycare rules of fever, throw up, or diarrhea, but the days where my “momma radar” senses that he doesn’t feel well but he doesn’t have any of the above….yup, I’m sending him to daycare.
    Twitter: jessieyeager

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    • Tracy says:

      Same here. My kid could care less that snot is pouring out of her nose or that a cough keeps happening. Off she goes…because if she didn’t, I would have been home with her a lot more during her first year in daycare.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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    • Law Momma says:

      Yep. Exactly. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough about what I meant on sending him with a fever. If it’s not at the “Don’t go” line, he goes… even if it’s 100.8. (our cut off is 101)
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  5. Jennifer says:

    I know that parents have to do this sometimes. My daughter had horrible allergies, which would lead to sinus infections, which generate a fever. Was another kid going to catch what she had? Nope. I did the same thing. Not all the time, but sometimes if I was sure it wasn’t contagious and the doctor told me she was okay to go to school? You bet.

    Also, the way I see it is that this is just improving their immune systems. Guess who hardly ever gets sick now? My son went through the same thing.

    Reply
    • Tracy says:

      I was the healthiest kid when I got to elementary school…probably because I was in daycare. Not easy on my single mom when I was younger, but my immune system surely got built up!

      Thanks for your thoughts here :)
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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    • Brandee says:

      This. My daughter has a rash at the end of last year, and the doctors told us after 24 hours on antibiotics, she was no longer contagious. 5 days it took to clear up, 5 days we sat home with a hyper kid, my work piling up, and all for what? So other parents would feel better.

      Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do.
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    • Law Momma says:

      I hope J gets a strong immune system one of these days. Right now, he catches EVERYTHING.
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  6. amnixo25 says:

    Ahhh the unfortunate mantra of a single mom. Its really unfortunate when you are forced to decide between keeping your little family afloat or staying home with your sick child. It gets better as they get older.

    Reply
    • Law Momma says:

      It’s so hard. My boss actually told me that I needed to work on getting J healthier if I wanted to be a successful attorney. What do you do with that??
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      • Alana says:

        Maybe the reason he is so sick all the time is because you take him to school sick, therefore passing the germs on to the other kids, who then in return pass it back and forth. It’s a revolving door and no one is helping anyone out by continuing the cycle.

        Reply
        • Law Momma says:

          Interesting idea.

          Reply
        • Tracy says:

          It’s the nature of childcare centers. There’s always a kid with snot running. It’s just more hypersensitive when you’ve got so many small beings in one space who can’t grasp the fact of how NOT to share germs…you know. My daughter’s teachers get frustrated too b/c they bleach things so much and mop and clean sooooo much, but they can’t seem to stop the spread of the common cold. And can’t the same be said for our families? Like once one of us gets sick, the cycle starts. It’s very rare when someone isn’t sick in my household. Just trying to show a different side to why this happens. It’s a vicious cycle…one that I’m not a fan of, but one that I’ve come to expect.
          Twitter: wa_tracy

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      • amnixo25 says:

        You just smile and walk away. When I first started my new position I was told that “Single moms don’t care about their jobs” – The individual on the other line of the phone talking with me was probably a single mom just like me and didn’t care about her job.” I kept my mouth quiet and walked away, but it was hard. I know that the only thing I can do is do my best and at the end of the day if that isn’t good enough, I can’t help it. I lay awake at 2:00 in the morning just like every other paralegal wondering if I forgot the slightest detail. I wish for one second single men had to fit into our shoes and make the decisions we single moms make.

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  7. Brandee says:

    Awww. I thought I was the only person who loathed that call ;)

    I always feel like the biggest jerk because instead of running from my office to collect my sick little I’m wondering how long I have left to finish my tasks, and do they really know how close I work could I squeeze an extra 15 mins? I have the same thing, where I am paying whether she is there or not. Over Christmas, she was out for 9 days. Only difference then was that her dad was home.

    In my opinion, my kid will get sick regardless. She licked the entire aquarium and shocker, got sick. That had nothing to do with daycare. I took her to the mall with pink eye because I just had to, and that wasn’t daycare. You can’t keep them in bubbles all the time, so where the pick up the germs is irrelevant.

    Do I want you to knowingly infect my kid with your kids sickness? No. Do I understand why you sometimes need to? Absolutely. And you know what? I have family close, and a partner who can split days off so, if you need to bring your kid in and then mine has to stay home, then oh well, it happens.

    By the way, Motrin/Advil keeps fever’s down for 4 hours longer……. ;)
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  8. LauraC says:

    I am also trying to find a way to be polite when responding to this.

    It is totally fine to send your kids to school when they have cold or don’t feel 100%. That is accepted in group care.

    But doping them up with meds when they have a fever when that is CLEARLY against day care policy? You are endangering other children. Even though YOUR child may do fine with fevers, some do not. Fevers can cause seizures. Fevers can cause brain damage. Fevers can KILL children.

    I totally get all the reasons why you think you need to do this… I am a working parent with a traveling husband and no family nearby. But group care has rules and if you can’t follow the rules… that are there to PROTECT children… then maybe group care is not the best care option for you.
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    • Law Momma says:

      I follow the rules. When I’m called to pick up my child, I pick up my child. And let’s be clear… a fever of 100 is different than a fever of 107. When my child is running a 100 fever, he goes to school. When his fever is 101, he stays home. Those are the daycare rules. I follow the day care rules.

      But I do NOT keep him out when he’s sick with a 100 fever. He gets motrin or tylenol and he goes to school. That doesn’t make me a bad parent. That doesn’t make me a menace to daycares everywhere. It makes me a working mom.
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      • LauraC says:

        Honestly, I am not try to stir up any kind of debate or drama. I’ve been working full time for almost 6 years with two kids and we have been in that horrible place of working all night to make up for lost hours, and kids who can’t seem to stay well during cold and flu season.

        I’m not here with a pitchfork. I was responding to this:
        “there are some days when my kid goes to daycare when maybe he shouldn’t. There are some days when I have to be in court until lunchtime and I have no choice but to fill J full of Tylenol and say a little prayer that he can just make it through a half day without spiking a fever.”

        I inferred that you were sending him in violation of day care policies. From your follow ups, it is clear I was wrong. I understanding in blogging, sometimes the entire story doesn’t get told, and sometimes miscommunications happen. I would hope that we can be respectful when misunderstandings happen.
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        • Lawmomma77 says:

          Stupid internets. :) knew what you meant, I was more frustrated that I left out that important distinction.

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          • Donna says:

            That is the part I was reading that you were violating policy… also the title “I’m the reason your kid is sick.” That alone made it sound like you were indifferent to the rules, plus you did say you the kid is teething to buy you time.

            I am sorry if it sounded like I had a pitchfork out… but I don’t like it when the rules are broken and other families are hurt. If you are not breaking the established rules then it is fine. I am glad that you clarified that the fever was within guidelines.
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    • Tracy says:

      My daycare also has the rules of fevers being low grade being OK….which is no more than 100. In fact my pediatrician even said that low grade fevers go up to 101. Also, I don’t think it’s fair of you to say “Fevers can KILL children.” We are a supportive community. We don’t all have to agree, but saying this to a single hard working lawyer mom with no family around is not kind. You know?
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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  9. I keep Baguette home if she’s vomiting or has a fever. But I have sent her to day care with a runny nose and cough, depending on her teachers to make the call if she’s too sick to be with the other kids. They have strict criteria, but (knock on wood) she hasn’t gotten sent home for that yet.
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    • Law Momma says:

      Here, too. If J is throwing up, he’s home. If he’s got a high fever, he’s home. But a low fever and the “i don’t feel goods” is not a cause for me to keep him home. It just can’t be.
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  10. Madonna says:

    Have you looked into a home daycare where rules may be more flexible or TLC more available when your son is sick? If E is truly sick, she doesn’t go. If she has a mild fever, she can still go, but will call if it gets worse. She can keep the kids separated if need be. The sitter has two kids of her own, who actually get sick more than E does. Pink eye. Stomach bug. Croupe. I use my best judgment and ask her to use hers when it comes to her own kids health. We have probably all been there, but I know I appreciate the flexibility of the home daycare over a center.

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  11. Mandy says:

    What a brave post! I’m sure you knew there would be criticism when you wrote this and you wrote it anyway. I love it!

    You gotta do, what you gotta do. If you were in my daughter’s daycare classroom, I’d understand. I haven’t bent any rules yet, but I have a husband to split the days off with and there have still been times when I’ve been tempted. My least favorite rule is the “fever free for 24 hours” rule. If I come pick her up at 10am one day then I need to take 2 days off of work since I can’t bring her back the next day. There have been times when she seems fine the next morning and I wish I could use my own judgement about whether to bring her in or not.

    Thanks for this post!

    Reply
    • Law Momma says:

      Hell hath no fury like a working mother unleashing wrath on other working mothers. I get it… no one wants to have to miss work or have a sick kid.

      Reply
    • Brandee says:

      That’s MY thing. 24 hours is fine but, I can’t take mine back at 10:30am the next day, they don’t count the day they leave the centre no matter the time so I have to take 2 whole days off for a kid who is getting a tooth. Arg.
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  12. Jessie says:

    As long as you follow the daycare rules, that’s the best anyone can do. There is not way to know when a child is contagious and when other children are suceptible. The fever, vomit, diarrhea, are physical markers that usually indicate sickness and that’s why they are used. I don’t think “fudging” a little here and there really has that much impact on your child’s immune system or anyone elses in his class.
    Twitter: jessieyeager

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  13. Lauren says:

    Lord love ya – you must have known that by hitting “submit” the gates would open & the firestorm would begin!
    I agree with you fully on this – when my oldest was in daycare if he was below the “line” – even barely – he went. and I agree with some if the comments – by the time your kid is so ill they need to call you? It’s too late folks – he’s already passed it around. Now that my kids are all in school? I’m GLAD they were so sick through their daycare years – they rarely if ever pick anything up at school now. Acquired immunity works. And at the end of the day as a single mother, if you’re not blatantly breaking the rules & sending a vomitting kid to daycare it has to be done. You’re doing ok mom – keep up the good work! It’s not easy to drop off an unhappy baby at daycare – of course you’d rather stat home & love him & snuggle him – but as the saying goes: bills to pay & mouths to feed. Especially if it puts your job on the line! I feel for you – I’m very lucky, with family close by (next door, in fact), and a business I own, so sick kids are a breeze for me now – but I used to be in your shoes; on my own with family too far to help. They’ll get older – it’ll get easier! :)
    Twitter: Wells1177

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  14. Traci says:

    As a child care provider I urge you to remember we are human too. We are not immune to disease or in a bubble. By exposing us to your child’s germs you aren’t taking into consideration my health, the inconveniences you will cause me outside of work because i’m now going to get sick, or how it affects MY family.
    Then ultimately it will affect your child’s daycare experience because I’ll have to take a sick day or two myself. And, in over 20 years of childcare, my job becomes 12x harder because a sick child only wants his mommy, and that’s not fair to him.

    Reply
    • Tracy says:

      But do you get that she’s a single mom with no family near her? And I’m a middle school teacher. I understand that by teaching I’m exposed to germs. This last awful sickness I got was from my work…not from my kid. But I know that’s part of the gig…you know? Just curious…what are the rules about fever where you work? I know not all centers are created the same. AND…we know our kids want us more when they are sick. Just adds to our guilt if we think about that all the time ;)

      Ultimately, this is the nature of the beast. Thanks for your thoughts from a caregiver perspective. I know my daughter’s teachers are often sick too.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

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      • Traci says:

        I agree with you and choose not to work at such a center for that reason! But there are plenty of teachers/daycare providers etc that are also working single moms!! It is a vicious cycle and there are a zillion sides to this……bottom line is its all part of the mom gig, single, married or otherwise.

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        • Tracy says:

          I totally agree. I see all sides. Which is my point. Not everyone is going to be happy. Someone is going to be sick. We can’t always be pointing fingers. I get students sick…and students get me sick. And my mom was a working single mom with a deadbeat dad. I so get that! We are all moms. We all deal with different things. We all have different perspectives. And I dig that we are all voicing them here…it’s why I created LWM…a safe place to come and share our views…have constructive conversations…but still leave feeling good :)
          Tracy recently posted..Confessions: I’m Why Your Kid is SickMy Profile
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      • Donna says:

        I am sorry but we don’t get different rules based on our family status. I feel for someone in this situation and have compassion for them but its not okay to break the rules. I have been there and done that. I had a baby, husband got transferred and I could not get out of my teaching contract. So I lived alone with no family or friends or spouse. It was hard and I had to call in sick a lot. Having no husband, family or friends to help is not a valid reason to send kids to school sick.

        I am glad that she clarified that she had not violated the rules…. it makes it a different story. She followed the protocol set up by her daycare but was unclear in the original posting.
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        • Tracy says:

          Nobody said single moms get different rules. My single mom didn’t get different rules and when I was older and sick from school, I was often taken to work with my mom when I was too young to be left at home. She had no choice.

          I’m glad you got to read the clarification to know that she doesn’t break the rules. That part was not clear in her original post. Whereas some keep their kids home with low grade fevers, some send, which is OK according to many daycare rules.

          And you know the irony…right now, Law Momma is home with her sick child. She doesn’t break the rules. ;)
          Tracy recently posted..Confessions: I’m Why Your Kid is SickMy Profile
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          • Donna says:

            Well when you said, “But do you get that she’s a single mom with no family near her? ” it makes it seem like you felt like she should play by different rules because of her situation. Don’t get me wrong I do feel for moms and dads in this type of situation, and I am thankful everyday that I am not a single mom. But her family/personal situation should not affect the teachers and students at the daycare.

            As a teacher I send sick kids to the office. It totally amazes me that parent do send kids to school with fevers in the 101 and up range- The kids I teach are old enough to rat on their parents and tell us things like, “my mom said I had to come until 1:30.” Sick kids need to stay home. We had one pass out last week and hit her head on a desk. This was totally preventable, but mom just had to go to work.

            Once again when I say sick kids need to stay home I don’t mean sniffles.

            The thing that got me fired up and waving my “pitchfork” was the statement, (by the way, I was being really nice in my comments and really held back apparently not enough) “I’m the one who tells the teacher J’s teething when he might not be, just to buy me a little extra time on the fever front.” Parents buying extra time may be exposing other children who have not yet been exposed. It did help that she did add the edit that the temps were within acceptable range,
            Donna recently posted..Been kind of quietMy Profile

  15. KeAnne says:

    I think we dread the call no matter what our day care situation is. I’ve been fortunate to have my MIL watch Daniel for the last 2 years, so our “rules” are fairly non-existent. However, Daniel is about to transition to day care, and I know we will be in a less flexible environment. I don’t think there is a good answer to this b/c what I really feel in your post is frustration and guilt and I think those are feelings all of us can identify with.
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  16. cayley rice says:

    Just another point- my kid gets sick and has no more symptoms than if she has a cold. Which she pretty much has from Nov-April (hopefully we’re almost done for this year!). So it’s downright impossible to tell, and she’s givig your kid pnemonia while J is staying home despite not being contageous anymore, b/c there’s no fever, no slowing down, etc. There are rules, but there’s reality, too, and it’s definitely less black/white. We have found that taking her to the Dr. periodically to check for ear infections and get appropriate antibiotics is necessary (since we can’t tell) and if we tell school she’s been on rx for 24 hrs they don’t worry about her being excessively snotty and want us to take her home (pre-emptive action!). But of course, this doesn’t apply with fevers.
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  17. Heather says:

    I know you previously mentioned that you cannot afford it, but I honestly think that home daycare would be a good option for you. My kids both attend home daycare (my son does go to pre school at a center 3 days per week in addition to the two days at home daycare). We love it! There are 4 kids there and they always get sick at the same time, but not very often. The women who watches them has a superhero immune system (probably from being a daycare provider for 20 years) and never gets sick. She lets us bring in our kids when all the other kids are sick too. My kids get sick WAY less often then their friends who attend centers. I was worried my son would get sick more often since going to pre-school, but he hasn’t. Also, I am not sure where you live, but here in the DC area, home daycare is a bit less expensive than the big centers. My 18 month old would be 350/wk at the big center where my son attends pre-school, and we only pay 300/wk for home daycare. We don’t do home daycare for the cost though, my husband and I feel that our kids get extra love and attention. It is not for everyone though.

    Reply
    • Donna says:

      I almost fell out of my chair…..$350 a week….. Wow. I knew DC was expensive but I did not realize it was that much more. In the ATL area we paid about $185 for a baby-potty trained. We now pay $145 per week.
      Donna recently posted..Been kind of quietMy Profile

      Reply
      • Heather says:

        Donna: you can get home daycare for cheaper, but our provider has a lot of experience and is registered with the county. Yeah, DC is crazy pricey, I was born and raised just outside of Detroit and it was a huge shock. It is the main reason why both my husband and I work.

        Reply
  18. Pui says:

    It’s a relief that it *isn’t just me*. I had this same dilemma today and for the last 7 years of my Offspring’s upbringing. He too caught whatever anybody decided to rub off within his airspace. There were allsorts of rules that day care centres implemented with which my local GP disagreed. It almost seemed like I was on the regular list for a doctor’s note.

    I’ve taken day’s off when he’s woken up with a fever but which dies down for the whole day and flares up again at night, so I made the decision that this is what is most likely to happen and indeed it did, so off to school he went…

    It’s seriously a tough call to make even when company’s are a bit more flexible in this modern day

    Reply
  19. AC says:

    Have you ever considered a nanny? When the kiddos were in daycare/preschool for a nine month stint, they were sick ALL the time. It was ridiculous (and painful for them) and there was just no way I could be effective in my job having to miss so much work/attempting to do calls from home with a crying kiddo. Our kids are hardly ever sick now and when they are, our nanny still keeps them. Realize it may not be financially feasible but maybe a nanny share would?

    Reply
  20. I totally relate and I have on occasion, especially on the tail end of an illness that ALL THE OTHER KIDS had already had at daycare, totally drugged my kid so she’d pass the “fever too high” test. I also got the go-ahead from my doc (go figure) that she can go to daycare if she coughs so much she throws up once (and only once, with no other symptoms) so I may just not mention if that happens again and we send her. It’s so hard. I wish there were better options or that you could pay a reduced rate if your kid was sick. We get a certain number of unpaid sick days each year, and I think we’ve used them up already… alas. Now the paid sick leave, vacation days, etc. will be next to go, and then the desperation of what to do with a sick kid sets in… I feel for you Law Momma, and the pitchfork holders, and I wish we could find a nice, affordable solution for us all.
    Ms. Future PharmD recently posted..PING!My Profile
    Twitter: MomPharmD

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  21. Diane says:

    As I sit here with a sick child who is home today (Dr. appointment later) and a big presentation scheduled for tomorrow… I just want to say that I think it is sad that due to the economic conditions and the amount of money required to survive these days that we as mom’s are forced to be out there working and sending sick children (within daycare guidelines or not) out to infect other children and most likely not be as comfortable as they would be at home snuggled up on the couch watching TV with a blanket and getting mommy love all day.
    I am not talking about the percentage of mom’s who love to work and need to work to feel emotionally fulfilled but the rest of us who are FORCED to work to survive when we would much rather be home with our babies and toddlers and children.
    Not to mention the ridiculous divorce rate and single parent homes out there where there is absolutely no choice! What has happened to our country? Sad.

    Reply
  22. Kelly says:

    I have a confession, I am actually why your kids are sick.
    I work at a daycare and when we are sick (teachers) we are not allowed to call out. Despite all the precautions I take throughout the day, i still manage to spread my germs to my class.

    Sorry guys :/ take it up with my boss…
    …you should always ask about the policy for sick employees too…

    Reply
  23. Crystal says:

    You know what – that’s fine if you want to do that – but don’t expect anybody to feel sorry for you when your daycare provider terminates your contract for policy violations.

    I run a home daycare, and yesterday had a mom send me her very ill child after school, and now today she is home vomiting. She had a fever, and had diarrhea all weekend, but the parents ‘had to be at work’ so they dosed her up and dumped her at school (and with me). Now, thanks to that, I can expect it to come down the line to me, my children, my other daycare children, and their parents/siblings.. not to mention all the kids she infected at school. And if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.. AND I don’t charge them for sick days. There is no excuse – you have children – figure out back up care. I have a strict policy and this family clearly violated it, and I am considering termination.

    Reply
    • Tracy says:

      Did you read the edit at the bottom of the post?

      “**EDIT: PLEASE PUT DOWN YOUR PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES. BY “SENDING HIM SICK” I MEAN SENDING HIM WHEN HE’S ON THE BORDER OF VIOLATING RULES. I WOULD NEVER KNOWINGLY VIOLATE THE RULES OF MY DAYCARE, BUT MY KID DOES GO TO SCHOOL WITH A 100.9 FEVER. JUST NOT IF IT HITS 101.**

      She is following the daycare rules. It’s just that some parents will keep their kids home with a temp lower than that. She’s a single mom without family nearby….just doing the best she could. She is not describing what you described with the child with a fever a diarrhea all weekend. She’s talking about her kid with a cold.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

      Reply
      • Crystal says:

        I did read that part. I’ve read pretty much all of this post as I am trying to deal with the parent that pulled that crap with me yesterday. No, it’s not the same degree as what that mom did to me, BUT (a) if you medicate a child how do you actually know what the illness is or how bad it is if you don’t let it run it’s course a bit first? All fevers start somewhere.. so that 100.9 that you dose up may be on it’s way to 104 before you interrupt it. and (b) dosing a child with medication to ‘get through the day’ creates a trust issue between the caregiver and the parent. Caregivers know. And if they don’t terminate her because of that rule, they will eventually find another reason. Foolish game to play in a world where the need will always outweigh the availability. For my daycare, I have a very clear policy and mine states the obvious but also ‘must be able to participate fully in daily activities without the use of medication such as Tylenol” . In the end this is her decision and she has to do whatever she feels she has to do and if she can live with it that is her decision.. I’m just glad she’s not one of my daycare parents!

        Reply
        • Tracy says:

          I totally understand where you are coming from, especially as I’m a teacher myself. However, it seems like you are misplacing your anger on this writer. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. However, LWM is a place where people can feel safe expressing their thoughts, without judgement. You are attacking, and that’s not kind. We all have a right to our own opinions. In fact, I may not even do the same as Lawmomma does, but it doesn’t help anyone for me to attack someone for different views. You have a right to your opinion and perspective. And so does Lawmomma. She isn’t sending her kid to school with a stomach bug like a child in your daycare. She isn’t sending her kid with a high fever. She’s following the rules. Some parents choose to keep their kids home with colds that aren’t that bad because they have that option. Lawmomma doesn’t, and so I get where she is coming from. I’m going to leave it at that.
          Twitter: wa_tracy

          Reply
          • Crystal says:

            I have to say I don’t even know what this blog is, I stumbled on it when researching terminating a parent from my daycare.. I can tell you though I am definitely not misplacing my anger.
            I am saying that it’s not cool to try to mislead teachers or daycare providers by medicating children. IF she were to say, “J seems to be feeling off, I gave him some Advil” then that is honest and if she does that the kudos. But if she is dosing and dumping (the daycare term) it totally ruins the trust. How can anybody expect a daycare provider to trust a parent that routinely does that? And they do usually find out – once kids get a little older they usually tell on their parents, or it’s painfully obvious 4-6 hrs into the day.
            Anyways didn’t realize this was actually a blog about supporting mothers (should have realized with the website address!) but the opinion is the same.. regardless. I’m not trying to attack her or be unkind.. I’m trying to give the perspective from the other side..

        • Crystal says:

          AND her comments about ‘finishing up tasks’.. yeah, not gonna get much sympathy from me. I am a face from the other side of this.. trying to comfort the child that is separated from the other kids, sad and miserable and wanting Mommy.. your 5 more mins is like an hour to a kid waiting to go home. So maybe while she’s finishing her latte and filing she can picture that. Sad really. When did it become okay to just be a good parent when it’s convenient?? Seriously – Married Mom, Working Mom, Stay at Home Mom, Single Mom, Step Mom.. whatever! We all have different challenges, but we should always be a Mom first.

          Reply
  24. Law Momma says:

    I hate what you’re going through, must be tough to deal with as evidenced by your frustration. Thanks for reading and taking the time to voice the other side.

    When I wrote this post a while back, I didn’t realize that people would think I was being unfair to J or to his daycare and it’s my mistake for not being more clear; I’m an umbrella mom. If my kid is sniffling or sad or just asks to stay home, I want to keep him home. And those are the times I meant when I said I’d take him to school anyway. As a mother, I know when my child is feeling less than his best but that doesn’t translate into always being able to keep him home; I wish it did. All that being said, please don’t think for a minute that I let my hold suffer for “finishing a latte and filing.” That’s not even what I do or who I am.

    I hope you’re able to find a solution to your current problem!

    Reply
    • Crystal says:

      I think it’s a really frustrating situation for all involved. I get where parents are coming from, I’m a parent and I have kids that go to school. I’ve never really enjoyed this debate as often there are no clear sides. I feel for you as a Single Mom (I’m not, but some of my daycare moms are) and I totally get the family not close thing as my own is 17 hrs away.
      As a voice from the other side’s perspective – it all comes down to trust and I have to be an advocate for the other families (and my own kids). It’s a delicate relationship as you are trusting the provider with your most precious asset in life, and she/he needs to be able to trust that you too.
      I really wish there were an alternative for those who have difficulty. The latte comment comes from the tone of that comment you wrote with the (shh.. don’t tell the angry mob) part. And I simply wanted to let people know that an extra 5 mins when a child is well is sometimes a bonus to them if they’re playing and happy or at the least not noticed… but if they are sick enough that you get the call, then waiting is miserable for them..
      Anyways – you seem like a much more level-headed person than the tone (and title) of the blog post implies, but I am sure you knew when you wrote it that it would ruffle some feathers. . that’s the trouble with internet posting, I’m actually a much sweeter person than my posts imply as well.

      Reply
  25. April says:

    I had to put in my two cents. I have a child who catches everything that comes her way and it makes me angry for other parents to be so passive about the situation. To some children, a fever of 100 is detrimental. This could mean two weeks that I am home with a sick child because she has reactive airway disease. Be thankful you are able to work because I haven’t been able to take a full time position because of parents who think it is acceptable to send their kids to school sick.

    Reply
  26. Jen says:

    I work at a school, and because of parents who send their kids to school sick, I’M sick all the time. I’m currently missing Thanksgiving with my family because I’m sick with a fever and a cough for the SECOND time THIS MONTH. I work a second job on weekends to make ends meet, and I’ve already called off half of my scheduled days this month because of illnesses picked up from the sick little darlings. I’m scheduled to work there all this weekend, and if I’m not miraculously feeling better by then, I have the choice of dragging myself in sick and possibly infecting my co-workers, or calling off yet again and risk losing the job due to excessive absenteeism. Please think about other people before you send your sick kid to school or daycare.

    Reply
    • Tracy says:

      I’m a teacher too, but I’ve found that my immune system has built up and I don’t get as sick as often as I did when I first started teaching. And I teach older kiddos…middle school…and personally, if they just have a cold, no fever and it’s not too bad, I don’t mind them being there. In fact, I’d rather they come so they don’t miss instruction and fall behind.
      Twitter: wa_tracy

      Reply
  27. Kate says:

    Can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said, but just to reiterate: please don’t be selfish. I get all the reasons you listed. However, think that what may just be a cold or simple virus to your child will spread to other kids, who will then spread it to their own families – where they may have newborn siblings, or pregnant moms, or elderly grandparents, or immuno-compromised family members, who can then be placed at a literally fatal risk because of your child’s cold germs. Yes, this is not an overdramatization: given a combination of unfavorable conditions, someone can literally DIE because you chose to send your child to school sick – even if they’re one tenth of a degree of fever away from the ruled cut-off, which really doesn’t mean all that much – some kids, like my son, are not prone to high fevers period and with him even a low fever means he’s quite sick, a degree of fever variation is due to the variation in people’s immune response, not a measure of how contagious they are (in fact you can have a fever with secondary infections that are no longer contagious). Kids are also different in how they handle illness – we have a neighbour whose daughter goes to daycare and is ALWAYS sick, with snot running down her face, yet she’s happy and it doesn’t bother her so her mom not only takes her to daycare (even tho she doesn’t work) but lets her run around and hug and kiss other kids because ‘it’s just a runny nose’. Yet invariably when that happened with my son before I could drag him off, he’d come down with whatever she had and he, like me, is prone to reactive airway which means at least a week of no sleep with non-stop coughing-till-puking at night which doesn’t respond to meds. Again, I understand the dilemma of single working moms – but the sad thing is that if ALL parents did the right thing and kept kids out when sick, there’d be much less sickness going around in the first place, which means less time off and easier for everyone. But of course it’s like the prisoner’s dilemma, no one is ever going to consider the greater good and the long term, it’s always about me and my needs at this moment – and that includes stupid short-sighted employers who harp about people taking sick time. Just sad for humanity.

    Reply
  28. Delle says:

    Most schools have a no fever over 100 policy. I don’t know why people think it’s ok to send a child to school with a fever over 100. Why would you think 100.7 is ok but 101 is not.?? That kind of thinking is not logical but designed to justify your decisions. SMH.

    Reply
  29. Julie says:

    As a daycare provider with kids of my own I am sick of this inconsiderate take on things. As if your time is more valuable than mine. When your sick kid gets my child sick I miss out on activities that I have paid for my child to attend. I once had a parent bring their kid to the emergency room in the morning and drop them off at my home after. It’s rude and inconsiderate. When I catch your child’s cold I lose income having to call may daycare families to let them know that I am sick. But then your income is the only one that matters. I make a whopping few bucks an hour, give up my privacy, destroy my home, etc and I should be able to set the rules for my business. Respect the rules and don’t lie. If your child is sick don’t bring them. I shouldn’t have to pay for your situation. Let’s also remember who is really getting affected and that is all the other small children who cry and feel terrible when they catch your son’s cold. I guess their pain means nothing. Give me a break.

    Reply

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