It’s been a horrible two weeks of caring for a sick baby, getting no sleep, missing a lot of work, and feeling like a half-ass mom and a half-ass employee. And now I need to bitch.
I know that “waahh, being a working mother is hard” is nothing new. But when it hits you hard, it hits you hard. It’s just a fact of life that during your busiest, most stressful times at work, the phone will ring and you get the dreaded call: your child is sick, and you need to go pick him up.
Your maternal instinct tells you to run there with arms open, swoop up your poor darling and nurse him back to health, like any decent child-rearin’ woman would do. Your employee instinct screams nooooooo, not today, any time but now! The meetings, the deadlines, the Very Important Project That Is Due Tomorrow! Suck it up, kid – I just have too much shit to do.
But there is no choice. With your childless boss watching and judging, as you apologize profusely, you dump a pile of unfinished work on an unsuspecting coworker’s desk, and leave feeling even more stressed and guilty than before.
And then you pick up your poor, sick darling. Red, coughing, burning up, looking at you with sad, crusty eyes, and you think, my poor baby … and … I still need to reschedule that meeting, I still need to meet that deadline, I still need to finish that goddamn Very Important Project. So you hold your crying baby in one hand and do your best to take conference calls and return emails with the other. Shitty mom or shitty worker? I suppose I have years and years more of being mediocre at both.