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It’s that cry in the night and a hand placed on a feverish forehead that causes every parent’s stomach sink. Not just because their dear child is unwell, but also because they have that important meeting first thing in the morning. In today’s family home, generally both (or sole) parents are out in the workplace. While there is quality childcare to help family life run smoothly, inevitably children will become unwell.
I know this all too well. I recently began a new role and shortly after my start date, my seemingly bullet-proof kids began to drop like flies. After months of healthy, well kids while I worked from home, it felt like as soon as I returned to office life they picked up every illness doing the rounds in the classroom. It’s a horrible feeling to be torn between wanting to do right by your job and needing to help your sick children.
Fortunately for me, intelliHR is an understanding employer who knows that life as a parent is not always predictable and I’m also fortunate enough to have the option of working from home when one of my kids becomes ill. This means the recent weeks of illness have meant my husband and I can juggle looking after our kids between our respective work hours. Still, it’s not a pleasant experience and, like most employees, I feel guilty when I can’t be there for that meeting or available at my desk.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the same for everyone, some employers aren’t always understanding and often it’s still the case where the mother is the one expected to stay home from work to care for sick children, which is a large burden. So, what can you do to ensure that you keep a happy balance between home and the workplace?
When it comes to kids, they will get sick. Planning ahead will make life simpler and more stress-free. Many families are fortunate enough to have family and friends who can jump in and help care for sick children, but there are many others (myself included) who do not. Either way, it’s good to have a plan of attack for when your house is burdened by the sniffles.
If everyone knows what is going to happen when a sick day arises, it will make the frantic morning a lot less stressful.
If you don’t have people you can call on, you’ll need to come up with an alternate solution.
Whatever plan you come up with, it’s wise to let your employer know your situation and advise them in advance. This way everyone is kept in the loop and your family’s health and wellbeing can be cared for.
Also seen in Women’s Agenda.