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Ballad of a Working Mom

My seven year old threw up a little this morning.  In the street.  On the walk to school.

“Honey, what just happened?  Are you ok?”

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Goddammit.  Couldn’t he have thrown up yesterday or Monday?  I could have easily worked from home either of those days.  In fact I DID work from home Monday…and I fucking left work early on Friday to deal with the fact that my five year old seriously “bonked” his nose during gym…

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“Yeah, Baby, sometimes I throw up a little in my mouth in the mornings.  Gross, right?  What’s that?  Ha!  It’s kind of hilarious that you opened your mouth to tell me something and throw up came out!”

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Oh fuck, oh fuck, what if he’s sick?  What if he has a stomach flu?  He doesn’t have a fever…he was totally fine five minutes ago…actually he’s been fine all morning except for the Sweatpants Tantrum I caused by informing him that I’m only doing laundry twice a week and thus he can’t wear sweatpants to school every single day…but after that he was fine!  Really!

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“Baby, are you feeling ok?  What?  You’re a little nauseous?  I mean, I can’t imagine why you threw up!  You had a totally innocuous breakfast this morning!  What? Oh, innocuous means toast, half a banana, and some milk.  Let’s keep walking!”

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I cannot stay home!  I have this all day meeting I’m so excited about today and I’ve been planning it for months and for the love of God, can you please be ok to go to school today?  Please??!!

“Babe, where’s the water fountain in here?  In the gym?  Ok, let’s go into the gym and rinse your mouth out…great.  Now drink a little water.  Great.  Feel any better?  No?  Oh…”

Grrrrreat.  What the fuck?  Husband says hang out for 10 minutes and if he seems ok, leave.  Leave?  He just threw up.  In the street.  But I have to go to work!  I could take him with me, I guess.  The meeting is only from 9:30-5:30…shit.  That would suck for him.  No, I need to leave him here at school or take him home…

“Hon, are you ok?  Can you suck it up til 3?  You can?  Sure you can!  Atta boy!  That’s my brave boy.  Love you.  See you this afternoon!”

45 minutes later…

“Hello?  Yes, this is Sydney’s mom.  Oh, he’s not feeling well?  He vomited this morning?  I had no idea!  Can I speak to him?”

Fuck fuck fuck.

“Sydney?  Do you absolutely need to  go home?  Are you sure you can’t stick it out?  You can totally stick out.  Can’t you?  No?”

Fuck fuck fuck.

“Um…Ok…I’ll figure something out.”

FUCK FUCK FUCK.  I can’t pick him up.  My husband can’t pick him up.  Well, maybe if I — no!  I can’t pick him up early today!  FUCK.

Several frantic phone calls later…

“Hello?  This is Sydney’s mom.  Yes, he’ll be picked up in an hour.  Yes, our awesome babysitter sent by God happens to be available to pick up and care for my sick child today.  Yes, please let him know.  Let him know that his mommy has outsourced herself.  Let him know his mommy chose work over him.  What?  Don’t I love him?  Of course I love him, you judgmental bitch.  Why do you ask?”


And that, my friends, is just another Wednesday morning in the life of a rock star working mom.

Postscript: He’s fine.  I’m not going to say that he way playing me, but he might’ve been playing me a little.  However he did totally throw up a little this morning.  In the street.  On the walk to school.

8 Responses to Ballad of a Working Mom
  1. Kateri Von Steal
    April 25, 2013 | 8:36 am

    Yup. I have had days like this.

    They aren’t fun… and sometimes I wonder how much of it is “being sick” or “playing it up”….

    The JOYS of being a working mother.

  2. Noelle
    April 28, 2013 | 1:19 am

    I absolutely HATE that feeling of having to make a choice between my daughter and work :(

  3. holly
    April 29, 2013 | 4:25 pm

    I haven’t worked fulltime out of the house and I so want to but you have made me remember the difficulties. I would have done the same thing.

  4. Heidi
    April 29, 2013 | 5:15 pm

    Thank you for this! I am a Director of anon-profit and the only person in my organization that has children. I’m home all the time with my daughter and your blog made me laugh hysterically and cry all at the same time! Thank you! I needed this! Heidi A.

  5. Samantha
    April 30, 2013 | 2:05 am

    OMG-Thank you for not sugar coating your blog! Every time my daughter gets that funky face after her dad has gone to work all I can think is- “Really? Really?” Of course I will take care of this! I love your blog-please keep writing!

  6. Renee
    May 2, 2013 | 3:34 pm

    I am dying with laughter…sorry!…it is just so refreshing to hear another working mommy go through the same struggle…my 5 year old has a bad sinus headache and cold, and he asked me to stay home the other day, but it’s month end close at work, so I basically did the same pep talk, “Oh honey, it’s just a cold, you can rest at Miss Susan’s just fine, here’s some ibuprofen.” Hang in there!

  7. Beth
    May 8, 2013 | 12:28 am

    This was me this morning … love that I’m not the only mom that does this! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Tammy
    May 29, 2013 | 12:04 pm

    Thanks for telling it as it is! It helps so much. I have worked full time for 20 years and have two children in their twenties, one in and one finished with college, and a sophomore in high school, and my days still seem to go like this!! I can so relate. Felt this way so many times and in an office with mostly men I have felt judged by everyone including their wives. Keep it up. And hang in there!

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