Can we talk? Good, because I need to. I’d like to tell you about my day. My day as a working mom with a sick baby. Now, I work from home frequently. In fact, I’ve worked from home all this week for various reasons. So, naturally, when one of the kiddos is sick it’s easiest for me to stay home and take care of them while getting a little work done. My company is very flexible about that and I am often telling folks on conference calls that I have a sick kid at home so please excuse any background noise. Everyone’s usually cool with it and that’s one reason my job rocks.
However, days where I have to stay home with a sick kid and I have a lot of work to do and a lot of things going on at once SUCK. They SUCK BIG TIME. Days like today. Let me tell you about my day.
It began around 4:00am when the Boo came into our room wanting to start his day. No thank you very much, back to bed young man. Then, at 4:40am, the Bean woke up hungry. No problem, I groggily fed her a bottle and we all went back to sleep. 5:00am and the Boo crawls into bed with me. We snuggle, it’s lovely. 5:30am the Hubs finally comes home. He is a crazy person working for a startup company of 3 people and sometimes goes back to the office in the evening and stays there until morning. Crazy. He’s done this a few nights this week so he’s about to friggin’ collapse. (Did I mention he’s crazy?) Anyways, he crawls into bed as I cringe knowing that I have to wake him up in an hour. 6:00am the alarm goes off and I hit snooze. The Boo wants to get up but I somehow buy myself an extra 15 minutes of not-really-sleep time. 6:15 we get up, I get him breakfast, I get coffee. Are you getting all of this? The sun isn’t even up yet and neither is half of my household.
6:30am begins the arduous task of waking the Hubs so that he can take the Boo to daycare because I know I’ll have the Bean home sick with me (fever started last night) while I have conference calls starting at 8:00am. I get the Boo ready for school, the Bean up, fed a bottle, back down for a nap, and a half hour conference call in all before the Hubs is able to wake up and take the Boo to school and then head back to work himself. (I told you he was crazy, right?)
Conference call #2 I am a light contributor so after my contribution I am on mute getting the Bean up, poopie diaper changed, and fed her pureed fruit for breakfast. I then set her up in the Bumbo with every toy and puff I can cram onto the tray and sit her on the floor of my bedroom/home office hoping she’ll stay entertained while I join my third conference call of the day. I am also a light contributor to this call so, once again, I find myself on mute getting another poopie diaper changed, warming a bottle, and attempting to feed the Bean a bottle before putting her down for another nap.
After this I have one hour open. I realize I have had nothing to eat all day, only coffee, it is 11:00am and starting at noon I have two hours of calls so I get myself some lunch, respond to some emails, send a message to the pediatrician to see if the Bean needs to be seen, get the Bean up, feed her pureed veg for lunch, and get her back into her toy-covered Bumbo spot for the next round of calls.
Conference call #4 is just me and the boss. He knows the little lady is hanging out with me and is totally cool with it, so she babbles away while he and I attempt to chat about something work related. Midway through our call, as my boss is trying to tell me something probably important, I get an email and phone calls to the house and cell from the pediatrician’s office saying they probably need to see the Bean today if what I’m describing to them is true. Of course I instantly block whatever the heck boss man is saying (sorry RC) and frantically IM my husband because he’s at work with our sole car and I kinda start to panic a little bit. I interrupt the boss, tell him I have to call the pediatrician, apologize profusely, I think he responded but I don’t know what he said, and hung up.
I pick the Bean up, prop her on my hip, and dial the doctor’s office. I’m put on hold. For a Very. Long. Time. Or so it feels. As I’m listening to the hold music, the gravity of what this day represents slams right into me. I have to be a full time employee and a full time Mom at the same time. It is a constant balancing act. Sometimes it is overwhelming. There are days when it feels like the only interaction I have with my kids is getting them out of their PJ’s and fed in the morning and then getting them fed and into their PJ’s at night. When they’re sick and I have work, I have to be both employee and caregiver. It is hard. It is stressful. So of course, at this very moment, baby on hip and phone cradled to my ear, I start to cry. I can feel it, I could absolutely launch into one of those out and out, grimace-faced (no one looks normal when they cry, do they?), heaving sobs, good cathartic cries. Only, I can’t. I have to talk to the pediatrician. I have to get my husband home if the Bean needs an appointment. I have to take care of my baby. I have to get on a conference call in 15 minutes. I don’t have time to cry. So, I pull myself together as the nurse finally picks up the call.
Phew, she doesn’t need to be seen. She’s OK. After getting a few pointers on her care, I hang up with the nurse, take a deep breath, change another diaper, feed another bottle, put her down for another nap, and get on conference call #4. It’s only 1:00pm. I’m exhausted, distracted, relieved, and ready to call it a day. I’m a super light contributor to this call and, in truth, barely can pay attention.
This. Day. Sucks. At this point, my calls are done, my week is almost done. The rest of my team is closing out their day. I think I’ll push my little lady up the street in her stroller, head to Walgreens, and stock up on some baby Tylenol while I wait for my boys to end their day and head home for the weekend. Or maybe I’ll just take a few minutes to have that good cathartic cry.
How was your day?
The Bean in her toy and puff covered Bumbo.
“Want a Mum Mum, Mommy?”