I have a confession…..I work in HR and prior to having Harrison I took a pretty dim view of people who had to take time off to look after their poorly child. Thoughts that went through my head (never aloud!) included ‘just send them to nursery/ childminder’ or ‘just give them to a friend to look after’.
Oh how naïve I was! Of course you can’t do either of those things. Can you imagine just dumping your sick child on to a random friend, or insisting that a nursery disregard the 48 hour rule to take a child who was vomiting.
A few weeks ago I had one of those dreaded working from home days, spent encouraging my son to keep him self entertained as Mummy needs to work. He wasn’t even actually sick! He ate his lunch too fast the previous day, in his excitement for me picking him up early to take him to his new child-minder, he then ran around the park too much, had loads of catarrh due to a cold and the outcome was him being sick in the park (yes, on his settling in session with his new child-minder!), so I got the dreaded call ‘you need to collect him…’.
He would have been absolutely fine to go back to nursery the next day but I knew he would run in and tell them straight away that he had been sick, so we had to stay at home.
He kept asking me to play with him and I must have explained about 20 times that mummy needs to work, to get money, to pay for nice things like Disney and holidays.
He has also said he wants us to buy a campervan and pretended that Aussie (our Labrador) had done a poo on the lawn, when in actual fact it was a pretty realistic fake poo made with mud. A fact I only discovered after picking it up.
Despite this I do feel quite fortunate that I am able to work from home on days like that. No, it isn’t ideal and I did have things to do in the office. But I have a laptop and most of my work I can do at any time of day (including when he is asleep at night). Not everyone is so fortunate.
I took him back to nursery the following day and of course he ran straight in and told them he’d been sick! Luckily after interrogating me let me leave him (before that dreaded 48 hour marker). My plan if they’d resisted was to either burst into tears or run for it leaving him there. Although the later would have probably involved a call to social services!
Oh the joys of juggling working with being a single Mum!