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