Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sometimes being a working mom sucks

This is a total pity post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today was a bad mommy day. Syd's had a cough since last week, so after a particularly rough night I made her an appointment with the doctor yesterday. Unfortunately the only appointment was at 11:00 (of course) so I had to leave work at 10:00. Which maybe wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't been out sick all week last week. But whatever. So I take Syd to the doctor, sure I'll be dismissed with "just a cold." In fact, the doctor even commented that she was too smiley and happy to be very uncomfortable. A double ear infection and bronchitis diagnosis later we were armed with antibiotics and albuterol. The first call I made wasn't to C, but to the daycare to determine the rule for how long a kid had to be on antibiotics before she could come back to school. Nothing says "Dedicated mother" like frantically trying to figure out how to pawn my kid off, ASAP. And my poor baby girl was being such a trooper.

I'm super behind at work. I've got a shit ton of paperwork, plus groups to run, plus each of my client's still needs their individual sessions. I've got two new patients to intake, and new treatment plans to set up. I walked on the unit today and was mobbed by clients. Before Syd got sick I had planned to work extra hours this week, so that I could get caught up and start our new program with my best foot forward.

C was able to stay home with the baby today, but it broke my heart knowing that Syd was home sick and probably wanted her mama to snuggle up with her. Sometimes this work/life balance thing really blows. Driving home I was on the verge of tears because it all felt like such a failure. The house is a wreck, the kids are sick, I'm not snuggled up with my babies and I don't have it all together like I feel like other working moms do. I feel like a shitty mom for staying at work instead of going home. I feel like a shitty employee that I already took off early once this week and I'm operating so far below my self-imposed acceptable level of quality. I feel like I'm developing some kind of spot-light as being flaky, though I'm hoping that's just my own neurosis and not reality.

I know that each family has to figure out what will work for them. Most of the people that I work with have a stay-at-home spouse, so I feel like there isn't a lot of guidance. I'm interested in how other working moms handle this. What do you do when your kids are sick? And how do you handle feeling like you're torn in a two, without being able to give either the attention it deserves?

1 comment:

  1. For me it is all about having a partner. Ben and I are 50/50 in all work-life balance matters, and that helps immensely. If your baby is home with her dad, you don't have to feel guilty at all IMO. You SHOULD feel pulled toward work, too-- not only is it a sign of how much you love your job, but you worked really hard to be where you are professionally, and you shouldn't feel bad about making it a priority.

    WInter sucks. My kids have been sick for 2 weeks (they took turns), and Ben and I are both behind from the sick kid juggle. But it HAS to get better, right?