Sick days are a source of quiet anxiety for me. I used to have the tendency to get sick as often as a Primary schooler, and hence would have a good number of days marked missing-in-action by my name. A shameful weakness. Now it's a bit different. I'm sick but so is Wolf. The first time ever. He has a horrible croaky, raspy cough and an itchy nose so won't eat or sleep. Naturally we haven't slept much either.
One thing that seems not to have changed in me since becoming a mother, is my genuine terror at having to call my bosses and tell them I can't make it in today. I hate that call. I seriously have to psyche myself up to it. Sometimes I just don't make it at all, go in, work through the fever and come out the other end feeling better as a result of all the endorphins consumed. Then of course I crash and burn when I get home.
Things that aren't options any longer. I have a young son who needs me to be here for him, to nurse him and comfort him through illness, something even a much beloved grandmother can't do on her own.
Making the call always makes me feel as though I'm about to fire myself. The deadened tone of their voice as they express their disappointment in you and resentment at the unwanted stress of finding a replacement. I really hate doing that to people. I feel like a bad employee, a bad person generally. My replacement today is supposed to be one of my bosses. Who at the time of the call, had not arrived home yet. 40 years of age and still partying through the night.
I'm not sure how to make peace with this problem. I just feel very torn.
But I think I'd like my next employers to be parents, so they understand that once you have a child, your heart lives outside yourself and there are things you must do for them that are so much more important than work.