14 Thoughts Every Work-At-Home Parent Has When Their Kid Is Home Sick
It's early on a weekday morning, and as you're running around the house preparing your kid's lunch (and yours) for the day, they come up to you. Their cheeks are flushed, and they look up at you with dilated eyes, and it's clear that they're not going anywhere today. Which means neither are you. They're missing school, and you're about to be missing work. Missing work when your child is sick can be a bit of a mixed bag.
If you're lucky (or unlucky, depending on your opinion of the situation) enough to be able to accomplish much of your job from home, then you have to figure out how to get that work accomplished with a possibly demanding kid lying nearby. I'm not actually sure which is worse: having a kid home because they're just sick enough to be kept home (hello, fever of 101 degrees), or having a kid home sick because they're actually very sick and you are considering a trip to the clinic or worse, the hospital. Don't worry, I do know that the latter is worse; I'm not completely heartless.
I am, however, someone who has been stuck at home with a child who barely has a fever, and spends the whole day asking if we can play the Candyland Train game. Like, I'm sorry you're sick, dear lovely child of mine, but I'm even more sorry that if we both have to deal with you being sick, you aren't even going to be the "lazy, sleepy" kind of sick. For the most part, if you're lucky, being home with a sick kid just means being home with your normal kid, except they are a little crankier, a little more demanding of your attention, and you're a little more stressed because of all the things you would be doing if their body temperature were half-a-degree cooler and they could go to school.
There. That's the truth. Think of me what you will. You know I'm right.
Like I said, it's a mixed bag. Here are all the thoughts parents typically think when they're trying to get some work done at home while they're kid is out of school sick:
"My Poor Sweet Baby!"
You stay home, I'll take care of you! How dare those germs invade your body?!
"OK, but...I Kind Of Hope That If She's Sick Enough To Stay Home From School, She's Also Sick Enough To Sleep All Day, But Not Sick Enough To Need To Go To The Doctor."
Don't act like you're not with me on this one.
"It'll Be Fine. She'll Sleep All Day And I'll Get All My Work Done."
Famous last words, my friends.
"I'm Not Going To Let Her Watch TV All Day!"
It's not like this is the weekend, or something. I can't give her motivation to be "sick" so she can stay home and hang out.
9:05 a.m.: "I'm An Idiot For Thinking This Would Work."
She's already asked to watch four different TV shows, and she's only been up since 7:30 a.m. And I haven't turned on the TV yet.
"I'm Totally Going To Let Her Watch TV All Day"
It may be the only way I can meet any deadlines at all.
*Gets Up From Desk For The 17th Time In Half An Hour*
This is going to be a long, long day.
"She IS Pretty Cute When She's All Cuddly"
It's your only saving grace right now, kid.
"How Come You Never Want To Eat This Much When You're Healthy?!"
Seriously, isn't "starve a fever, feed a cold..?"
"I Could Probably Get This Email Out If I Could Just Have My Arm Back"
The cuddles are awesome, but how did I end up trying to type on my laptop while wedged between my kid and the sofa cushions?
"How Is It Possible For You To Have A Fever High Enough To Stay Home, But Not High Enough To Chill Out?"
Anyone? How is this possible? Related thought: I'm a terrible person for being slightly annoyed that my kid isn't sick "the right way" for my convenience. Again, shrug.
"Maybe If I Go To Another Room, I Can Get A Bit More Done?"
Completely legit, but totally unrealistic thought, unfortunately.
I give up. I'm not sure what I'm giving up on, yet, but I give up.
"Only Five More Hours Until My Partner Comes Home"
Which should be juuuust in time for me to realize I'm catching whatever cold my kid has.