Friday, February 13, 2009

The "Who's Staying Home Stare Down"...

I went back to work in the middle of's been a healthy four weeks and I have not worked a "full week" since I have been back. I feel ashamed about that even though I'm trying not too....sickness, a funeral, snow's really all of out my control. I realize that at the end of the day and on my death bed, I will not say, "Gosh, I JUST wish I could have gone into work that day when Henry, Luke or Jonah was sick or needed me." I just won't. I realize this in every way! It still does not relieve the pressure I put on myself...I have a great boss that understands and wonderful co-workers...but you can't help but think they secretly think you are the worst employee ever! So...around Tuesday of last week, I reminded Jon about Jonah's doctor's appointment to see if he would need to wear a helmet because his head has been a touch misshapen. He thought it was Wednesday, it was Thursday...he can't do Thursday...gggrrr....I guess I will take him (even though I totally wanted to be there for Jonah). I work it out. But here comes the unexpected Friday ordeal...we both knew that Henry was sick when he did this very strange hack cough while we were trying to get him dressed (he was fine 2 minutes before that)and he suddenly looked like he wanted to just bring it all up! We stare at him...but he didn't. Jon looked at me, I looked at him and we just went as usual. It was a Friday...we hyped it up with our Friday Dance and the awesomeness of getting the Friday bagel at Dunkin' Donuts. We just pretended that it was all O.K. I literally thought this, if I brush Henry's teeth and he doesn't throw up...then we're good (because I would totally throw up if someone brushed my teeth and I had a flu bug). He didn't. Whew! Jon comes downstairs...we are all racing around...I stop dead in my tracks and notice that Henry has laid down on the bottom stair (with his bottom in the air, very baby-like) and has fallen asleep. Poor little man. I look at Jon, he looks at me...neither of us speak but you know exactly what we are doing...running through our schedules and thinking..."I CANNOT DO THIS TODAY! It's just not a good day for this." But kids don't know that. Henry wakes up and wonders the house, mind you, he's never said, "I don't feel good" but, as parents, we can just see it. Jon goes directly to his computer...says nothing...I say nothing. I cross my arms and let out a little "break the ice" cough...he looks at me. We stare. I look away...I break the silence, and quietly say, "So, what's your schedule like today?" He assures me that he MUST be at work today...I (ashamed) get mad because so MUST I! We just stare at each other...who is going to give in...we discuss our options, none of which will really work. Again, ashamed...this is what we came up with...take him to daycare and if we get a call that he's sick, then we get a call. Knowing full well that we WOULD get a call. So, off we go...I eyeball Henry in the rear view mirror...almost to Dunkin' Donuts...I hear the loudest, most adult burp ever...I glance back and Henry turns his head to Luke and gives the biggest grin I have ever seen. (Hooray...his tummy was just a little's over). Luke angrily says, "MOMMY! HENRY JUST BURPED REAL LOUD...THEN HE SMILED AT ME! HE DIDN'T EVEN SAY EXCUSE ME!" I stifled a full on laugh...and then heard another "burp" which was actually a total full on barf! Guh. I text Jon...he calls...he's on his way...he will rearrange his schedule and keep Henry for the day. I love him! He gets it. I ask him if he's going to lose his job and he assures me that it's fine and that he's not going to get fired because his child is sick. He meets me and off they go...I take Jonah and Luke to daycare and head on to work...thinking about Henry....wishing I was with him and could comfort him. Being a working mom is the most difficult thing I have ever done because you just can't please everyone...and no matter what you choose to feel like you are a disappointment to someone...but that's just the way it is.


  1. This is my life too Dawn! Well, up until recently. I got laid off a month ago, so for now I'm the assigned stay at home with the sick little boy parent... but I can so relate to this. You are not alone! xoxo

  2. So true, Dawn! I only have one, but my wife & I have had that morning all too often already. I can only imagine what it's like w/ three!