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Suburban Island

Sick Kids
Friday, Feb. 07, 2003, 8:54 a.m.

Question: Why do heavy workloads and bouts of sickness always coincide?

What Did I Learn: Always have Popsicles and Campbellís creamy tomato soup at hand.

There are a lot of nice people that I work with every day. Many of them do not have children. You can tell because when you explain to them that you were up until 2 in the morning completing a massive project while nursing your sick kid(s), they:

  • look at you like youíre bragging orÖ
  • immediately suppress a yawn orÖ
  • widen their eyes a bit as if to say what a great scam or...
  • take a sip of their bottled water and discreetly admire their new manicure or...
  • think about how they had to take their cat to the vet last month for a shot.
You can hear the inner dialogue. Oh yeah, hereís the one about the sick kids. I wish I had some sick kids so I could turn up 5 minutes late/attend the meeting by phone/have an extension on my project/take an extra day off/leave early/make myself look like a saint.

I canít say I blame them. Sick kids can botch up a working mom's schedule for a week or two Ė tag teaming each other with outbreaks of the flu and visits to the doctor. It is such a long process that it starts to sound old fast. Iím almost embarrassed to provide the sick kid explanation. The sick kid thing Ė again? Arenít they better yet? - I imagine them thinking.

There are some other working parents in the office but they are either:
  • so glad their kids arenít sick or...
  • on work overdrive and have made a decision that their kid just has to suck it up or...
  • have a wife/grandmother/nanny or other useful person to address the sick episode on their behalf or...
  • are reminded again how great it is to have the kids out at college
that they arenít as sympathetic an audience as a tired working mother with two sick kids really needs to feel appreciated.

Did I tell you about how I was up until 2 in the morning working on that big project and I had both the kids sick at home?


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