Let me make this about me for a minute…

Posted on | March 31, 2010 | 13 Comments

First, let me just make it clear that I would chop off my left arm if it would make J feel better. (not my right, I need it, but definitely my left.) With that in mind, I don’t really want to talk about J today. I want to talk about, well… me. And how this prolonged lapse of J plague is affecting my life.

I haven’t been to work all week. It’s Wednesday, right? I can’t be sure because my calendar is at the office. What I do know is that I have my first trial coming up and calendar call for it is… tomorrow. My client is scheduled to come in for trial prep… tomorrow. And I am still at home with a baby whose fever won’t drop below 101 degrees. And I don’t mean to make it about me, but WHAT ABOUT ME? I have a job… it’s not the most important job in the world, but it’s mine. And I sort of would like to keep it. So what do I do with this little screaming mess of my son? Everyone keeps saying “Find a babysitter and it’ll go smoother” but on what planet am I EVER going to want to leave my sick son with someone else? He’s sick, for God’s sake!

I am so scared that one of these days the partners at my firm are going to look up and say “Well, looks like we don’t really need to keep paying Law Momma, since she can’t be bothered to show up to work.” Because seriously? I haven’t been to work all week. I brought home some medical records to draft a medical chronology and I’ve made it through about 1/3 of them. So that means that my billable hours for this week have reached a whopping 3.2 hours. FOR THE WEEK. It’s not like I don’t try to work from home, but J is pretty demanding at this age and I can’t get anything done. Ever. The minute my hands are on something besides him, he shrieks like I burned him with fire. It’s not conducive to work, really. I’m getting so scared about my job, not that anyone at my office has ever commented on my absences, but really… how many times can someone fill-in for me before they just decide to hire a replacement? It’s frightening to be sitting at home and wondering what is going on with my files and my office and, well, my work life. Because from home, all I’ve got is a crappy laptop and Dinosaur Train on PBS. Hardly the tools necessary to foster a sharp legal mind.

So how do working moms do this?! Does the rest of the planet have parents and in-laws and husbands who are close enough and have jobs that allow them to help? What about single moms? I know I’m not the first mother to go through this struggle, but it really can feel like that sometimes. I just don’t know how to make it all work. And as I’ve said before, J will always win out over work because he’s just cuter than my bosses. (no offense if any of them stumble across this!) I guess I just have to do what’s best for J and then for me and then, after all that, worry about work. *sigh* I just hope he’s well on trial week!

Comments

13 Responses to “Let me make this about me for a minute…”

  1. ~*Jess*~
    March 31st, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

    We don't live near family. It's just us. So if the kid is sick, either my husband or I stays home. That's all there is to it. Shortly after I started working, Ava was in daycare for the first time so she was sick CONSTANTLY. I literally felt the way you did (although I was tied up in trial work) and swore they were regretting their decision to have hired a young mom.

    But you know what, they dealt with it, it passed and it is what it is. They know I have a kid and it's unreasonable to think I'd do anything else when she's sick. Yes, her dad could stay home,but realistically, a sick kid wants his/her mom.

    Sorry he's still sick and you've got trial coming. I suppose you could pinch hit with H for a day just to get some prep work done? That's about the only option we ever have.

  2. MrsEAM
    March 31st, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    Oh I feel for you, I really do. I can't imagine what we would do if we didn't have family nearby. Well, obv. I would take the time off work, but you are right, at some point employers get tired of approving absences. Is it possible to do work after J goes to bed? I know at that point you are exhausted, so it's a lot easier said than done. Get better J thoughts coming your way!

  3. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    March 31st, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

    Ugh. I totally know what you're going through. The first year of daycare is terrible for kids – they get sick all. the. time. But he should be coming to the end of sick season as the weather warms up and by next fall, his immune system will be able to shake stuff off much easier. But that doesn't help you now, does it? Can you look into nanny agencies or see if there are nurses/nurses aides in your area who moonlight as emergency sitters for sick daycare kids? It'll be expensive but it's only money, right? You'll make more. And then fork it over for more childcare…

  4. Mama Pea
    March 31st, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

    That is really hard. I couldn't work from home for the same reason as you – it's like trying to do 2 jobs at once because the baby requires a lot of attention but your work requires complete focus too – it's just not possible. It does seem like it would be easier if grandparents or aunts & uncles lived in the area to help out. My son is sick a lot since he started daycare. I don't have any answers – only empathy… hope J gets better soon!

  5. KLZ
    March 31st, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

    As someone who's sick son is sleeping behind her back (which, seriously kid? The only comfy place you could find was to burrow between me and the pillow to fall asleep?) I feel this post so much.

    My boss is a good friend of mine and I'm still worried that she's going to chew me out in my review. I can't imagine your nerves with a "real" boss.

    Daycare sucks. I think while it's saving me money on an au pair it's costing me my sanity. And you your left arm.

  6. disastersindomesticity
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

    I had a hard time leaving DS with someone, but I needed time to work on my dissertation every day (but daycare was out since I'm not making any money right now writing it). So we have someone come in for a few hours each day while I'm home. Would you be comfortable doing that when J is sick?

    Is there a local college in the area. Sometimes students are willing to work random hours if you pay well and it works with their class schedule. That or perhaps a home aid? Or a baby nurse agency in the area.

    The good thing about this is that you'll be home, and you'll slowly learn to trust this person. Then a few months from now you'll have a babysitter on hand that you know and J knows so you can go out once in awhile.

    Hope you work something out and J feels better.

  7. disastersindomesticity
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

    I had a hard time leaving DS with someone, but I needed time to work on my dissertation every day (but daycare was out since I'm not making any money right now writing it). So we have someone come in for a few hours each day while I'm home. Would you be comfortable doing that when J is sick?

    Is there a local college in the area. Sometimes students are willing to work random hours if you pay well and it works with their class schedule. That or perhaps a home aid? Or a baby nurse agency in the area.

    The good thing about this is that you'll be home, and you'll slowly learn to trust this person. Then a few months from now you'll have a babysitter on hand that you know and J knows so you can go out once in awhile.

    Hope you work something out and J feels better.

  8. JillyB
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    I'm so sorry J is sick. Unfortunately there are no perfect answers for this stuff. When Big Time started school part-time I still had his nanny so it was a no brainer, but when he went full-time I had to let her go. That's when the juggling act started.

    Luckily my mom lives across the street and works from her home office. But she has to work too. We take shifts between my classes and her schedule when Big Time is sick. The kicker here…apparently he is a saint and rests quietly while she is in her office working, but when I show up all hell breaks loose. His illness suddenly becomes life threatening and he must have my full and undivided attention for the rest of the day. Ahhh Mommyhood!

  9. Hello! I'm Kate.
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    We don't have family near by either. But right now I'm blessed b/c I got to take a year off of my masters program, but that year ends on May 17th! yikes! i'm terrified of how I'm going to balance it. I come from a huge legal family (there are 8.) My aunt has 3 boys, a very successful law career & I have always admired her for being able to do it all! Now I'm adding you to that list! Somehow she always pulls through! I hope little J starts feeling better!!! Good luck!

  10. Anne
    March 31st, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    I so hear you. When poor Noelle would get sick sometimes I would HAVE to find someone to watch her so I could work (at the time it was work or don't get paid). I does suck, but it was in our best interest that I get paid because I was a single mom and thus the only income.

    I really hope he feels better today or you can find someone to watch him during your client meeting. And yes, it is impossible to bill while watching a sick kid. I have some disaster stories.

  11. kimmiekuhl
    March 31st, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

    I'd say find a dear friend you can impose a sick but adorable child upon, then repay her with a mani/pedi 🙂 It does suck b/c they only want Mommy when they're sick, but you do have to work. Hubby is an attorney, and without fail myself and our 3 kids get sick at once and he has depo's and trials, and what is he supposed to do? It's not like you can get a sub. I've taken sick kids for my friends before, but I'm of the mind that our kids already share germs so I'm not going to worry about it. I mean, you're around the kids before you know they're actually ill, so what does it matter once they're in the depths of it? I do hope J feels better soon and you're able to juggle the world!

  12. Krista S
    April 1st, 2010 @ 12:58 am

    Oh, I hear you. This working mom thing is really hard. C got sick a few weeks ago, luckily I was already off, but still. I've become the person that I swore I would never be – I skip out on optional dinners, I go home at lunch when I can and I leave the office at 5 on the dot. I worry every day that at some point someone is going to say "well, before she had the baby, this wouldn't have been late" or whatever.
    Good luck. I hope the little one feels better soon.

  13. Cara
    April 1st, 2010 @ 2:20 am

    I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all this and I am so sorry that J is sick. I remember how hard it was with my 1st when he would get sick and I would literally go into panic mode after day 2 of being out of the house. There unfortuantely no easy solution especially when they are so little. I agree with some of the other ladies in looking for someone locally from a school or a friend even if it is just for a few hours to get into the office. I found that sometimes even 2 or 3 hours in the office was better than not at all.

Leave a Reply





  • Creative Commons License
    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
  • Twitter

  • Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  •  


  • Grab my button for your blog!