There have always been situations where mom has had to work from home. Some moms have always worked from home, and some moms have been forced to work from home for the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is currently raging. The difference is now a lot of children are home doing school virtually, so mom has a bit more going on at home now than she ever has before. This has created a slew of problems for her to deal with.
One of the issues that has come up for working moms is what she is supposed to do when her child falls ill. How is she supposed to manage her work, the house and take care of a child who needs her help in feeling better. While it can be difficult, it is not impossible and there are things that mom can do to try and balance this time.
Your Favorite “P” Word
If your child falls ill, your new favorite “p” word is going to be “prioritize.” According to Life Size, it is important for mom to look at her calendar and prioritize the next few days. She needs to highlight important meetings or deadlines that she absolutely cannot miss. Mom may need to scale down the amount of work she does on other projects, but keep the important deadlines and times that are essential for her work.
This will let mom focus her attention on her child, and she will know exactly what she needs to work on when her child is napping, or she finds herself some downtime.
Plan Your Days Accordingly
A lot of employees get a certain number of personal/sick days every year. If you are one of those employees, it is important to make sure that you are keeping some aside for a day when your child falls ill. It is inevitable and unavoidable that your child will fall sick at some point throughout the year, and if mom can, she should take some personal days to take care of her child. This way she can focus all her energy on making her child feel better without the added anxiety of worrying about what work she is missing or not handing in.
Plan Flexible Childcare
It is always good to have a back-up childcare option for this scenario. When a child is sick, they will likely not be welcomed at school or daycare, and they will want to stay in the comfort of their own home anyways. According to Today’s Parent, mom should always have a few phone numbers on speed dial of people who won’t mind coming to her house to watch her child who is not well. This way, if mom can't miss work, a friend or family member may be able to come over and spend some time with the child who is not feeling well.
Talk To Your Partner
If mom is in a 2-parent home, then a conversation needs to happen about who is going to be in charge of watching over the child. This is especially important if the child is going to be ill for more than one day. According to Parents, mom and dad should be having a conversation about how they are going to manage sick days, and this should be done well before the child falls ill in the first place. This way everyone has a chance to get their work done and someone will always be there to care for the child.
Screen Time Goes Out The Window
When it comes to a child who is not feeling well, screen time should go completely out the window. If you can work in the same room as your child, and you need to put countless movies and shows on TV to entertain your little one, that is OK. It is even fine if it happens all day. You may find your little one falls asleep while they are snuggled up on the couch, giving you a great chance to get some work done.
When your child is ill, it is important to keep your boss and your work team in the loop with what is going on. Make sure that they know what is going on and work together as a team to make sure everyone is getting the support they need. If you have work that you can delegate to other people than that may take a load off of you with work that you need to get done.