Welcome to the adult world where sick days no longer mean staying in bed all day with zero consequences. I understand that, sick or not, chores must be done, a time clock must be punched, kids need attention and supervision. However, if your children are sick, please keep them home!!
Most companies has attendance policies-unrealistic ones in my opinion-and not everyone has a back up babysitter in case their children become sick. Here is the honest truth: I do not care.
I am a spoiled brat, my whole family has told me this since I was a child. Dad was a single parent of four kids and a full-time stay at home parent. He had too many medical problems to work. If one us fell ill, we stayed home. Grab your blanket and curl up on the couch. Obviously, this changed as we grew into teenagers, yet the rules were still the same. If you are sick, stay home. When I went to school sick and Dad found out, the lecture lasted over an hour. He put a guilt trip on me about how I was being selfish. I was going to get other kids sick. Then their parents would have to miss work and stay home. Their parents would get stuck with extra medical bills. All because I would not follow the rules and stay home. Dad told me to use my head for something besides a hat rack.
The local elementary school has a problem with head lice. Parents send their children to school knowing that they have head lice and have not been treated. Luckily, my family has avoided it so far. I washed everything! I stress to my girls that they are not allowed to share hats or scarves or any other items because of head lice. My neighbor on the other hand, has not been able to avoid this. Guess how much work she has had to miss because of this?
The local daycare is at the top of my “mom is not happy” list. Parents are bringing their children to daycare even though they are sick. The daycare is not sending them home. They did not call me to inform me my toddler was running a temperature. In one week, seven children have been brought into the urgent care with a variety of high fevers and respiratory problems. My toddler has pneumonia because of this. After a week of meds, she is feeling so much better. And I have kept her home, away from others for the whole week.
I understand that parents must work, therefore, sick kids or not, they must earn a paycheck. Years ago, I worked for a grocery store. I told them during my interview that my oldest has autism and there will be times that I miss work because of her meltdowns. They told me it would not be a problem because they support families. When the day came that I had to call in sick, they threatened to write me up. Of course, I argued with them, reminded them about our conversation at the time I was hired and informed them that my children are more important. I threatened to quit. In the end, no write up and I still had my job. Over the last 13 years, I have lost jobs because of my children. I do not care.
Jobs come and go. My children are the first priority of my life. If they are sick, have fevers, cannot stop coughing, they are on the couch and I am in my sweat pants right next to them. Parents, please stop sending your children to school or daycare if they are sick. Like most families, there is no one to take care of my daughters when they are sick accept me. When a former manager told me to call a family member, my response was honest: “Like who? Grandma? She lives almost three hours away. My Dad? He died years ago from cancer. Should I call my best friend and tell her she needs to skip work so she can babysit my sick child? Who should I call?” The manager in question had no response and his jaw almost hit the floor during my tirade. I am not soft spoken.
Having children means taking the good with the bad. And sometimes the bad means staying home no matter what your boss thinks. Any company that refuses to let a parent take care of their sick child is not a company worth working for.
Here is the bottom line: my middle daughter has seizures when her temperature climbs, my toddler only has the immune system of any average toddler out there and my oldest almost never gets sick, but when she does it is so sever the result is a trip to the ER. I have a history of respiratory problems and I get strep throat at least three times a year. Keep your germs to yourself. Keep your sick children at home where they belong. My family does not want or need your germs. Think of others before you send your sick child to school or daycare. Other families will be negatively impacted by your choice. This is called adult responsibility. And yes, it sucks.