Achoo -- The Mom Edition
I've always hated sick days. My mom claims, and I remember as well, throwing temper tantrums when I was sick and couldn't go to school. I was worried I'd be left behind; I'd miss out on something fun; I'd fall behind on homework. Snow days, on the other hand, I've always been a fan of. As long as no one could go to school, I was fine.
But back to sick days...
As an employee, I was always hesitant to take one. I'd think I'd be seen as slacking, that I wasn't serious about my job, that real professionals just 'worked through it.' I felt like I never saw anyone in positions of authority take a 'sick day.' Whenever I took one, when I was really, really sick, I'd feel sick AND guilty. I'd check my email from my phone in bed. I'd answer calls.
Oh gosh, now it's boiling in here. Did they turn on the heat? Why is no one else taking off layers?
As a manager, I always felt my employees were judging me if I took a sick day. Like I had to have some never-sick super powers to be considered an effective leader.
Hmmm. It suddenly sounds like I'm training as a scuba diver. I guess I'll turn up my headphones.
All of this is not to say I don't support sick days. I love them. I think they're vital. I think for employees they should be unlimited and paid. No one should have to work when they're ill. And, they shouldn't spread their sickness further. It's not too expensive for a company. It's too expensive to not offer it. If someone tries to abuse this policy, the issue is greater than the case of the flu.
Heck, if my company is successful enough, I'd ensure that daycare is covered for parents on their sick days.
Ugh, how am I going to have the energy to carry home Maisie? Can I stay up long enough to entertain her until bed?
Being a mom, and my own boss, have both shaped the meaning of 'sick day' for me. Moms don't get sick days. If they're lucky enough like me, they may get 'sick breaks' thanks to their spouse. However, you can't really disconnect. You can never stop thinking about your tiny boss. You can't really put your own company out of mind.
And, unlike life pre-mom, there are no precautions I can take to avoid getting sick. Sure I wash my hands. Sure I wipe off hers. But Maisie sneezes in my face. The cute carrier monkey (see image on right) coughs on her hands and then thrusts those germ spreaders into my mouth.
Dinner. I need to cook dinner. Cough. Cough. I can't handle another night of ordering in and we just got groceries. Jason won't be home for another two hours.
So what is a sick momtrepreneur to do? Thankfully I have years of practicing pretending not to be sick. Rely heavily on cold medicines. Go to bed when the baby does. Handle the small work tasks and the urgent ones. Make a list of the big ones that can wait. Delegate the really complicated ones, if you can. Change the pillow cases. Spend the extra money on that 'cold killer' juice from the organic juice bar.
Wait. It's 7:30 p.m. already? Maisie's asleep. Dinner's done. Achoo. Cough.
At least this time, I followed Mais, and Jason hasn't been hit -- yet. The trifecta is the worst.