My son was home last week in an attempt to avoid catching the pukies from his little day care buddies also known as “germ carriers.” Nine days home with us. NINE DAYS, five of which I worked (theoretically) full-time, somehow managing to juggle my adorable (and needy) son, instant messaging app on my iPhone, and phone calls with the various teams I work with.
Good gawd, working parenthood is difficult.
I knew it would be after having spent the last few years considering how different my life would be once I had a kiddo at home. I’ve built a solid reputation and massaged my work schedule – and that of my team’s — to be flexible because someday I knew it would come to this: relying on the awesomeness of my staff and coworkers to cover while I stepped away from a conference call because my son was crying. I was grateful every day for the support of my working-mom staff and all those times in the past years I’ve insisted my coworkers drop everything because they were needed by their families.
“Go. Work will be here when you get back and though we’ll miss you, we’ll survive without you. Your people need you.”
That was me last week, that person on the other end of the advice. Ten minutes of emails here, a quick phone call there, then a rush back to my baby’s room because he wanted to have some fun. My husband pitched in too, but we’re still at the point in my son’s life where when he wants to sleep or snuggle, he wants “mamamamamamamama.”
I’m also grateful to work at a company fully supportive of the needs of juggling work and family: while talking to the big boss about a critical issue, I could hear his son babbling in the background; one of my employees helped me out by giving me the same lectures on stepping away I would normally be giving, not taking; nobody complained when my reason for declining meetings was, “bedtime for my kid.”
Thank goodness tomorrow’s Monday, though, and my sweet kid gets to go back to see his friends at day care. And I’ll get to catch up with mine at work after a week of nary a free moment to ask how they were doing. *happy sigh*