Sick kids, Sorry Moms?

by Samantha on March 29, 2011

Ladies: Your child is sick and you have a very important presentation at work scheduled for the same day. 


What do you do?


Chances are, if you don’t have a trusted friend or family member to step in, you will call in sick. Although you are not sick. Your child is. Therein lies the problem.


According to this article in the Globe and Mail, women overwhelmingly are the ones to step in and take the day off.


Image courtesy of www.y98radio.com



I found this article particularly interesting, not only as a mother who also has a full-time job outside the home, but from the perspective of one who has dealt with numerous “sick child” scenarios.


While I am fortunate to have a very flexible and understanding employer, this is often not the case for many women who find themselves situations where they either have to lie and call in sick on behalf of their children, or take the day off in order to tend to their child.


Interestingly, the article states that for the most part, it is women are primarily the ones who take the day off to tend to little Johnny or Julie. The article goes on to say that a possible reason for this trend could be attributed to the fact that women take a larger responsibility for children and family, presumably more so than men.


Is this really the case? 


Are we taking the time off because we feel it is our responsibility, or are we doing so because we have no other choice?


For those of us who have partners/spouses, how do you determine who takes the day off with your child, when it is required? Do you alternate and is it equitable, or is it more one person or the other?


I’m really interested in your feedback.




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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie April 1, 2011 at 12:29 am

Maybe it's women's natural maternal instinct? But also kids always call for Mom first when they are sick.

Reply

Melanie April 1, 2011 at 12:29 am

Maybe it's women's natural maternal instinct? But also kids always call for Mom first when they are sick.

Reply

Samantha April 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

@Melanie
That's true, Melanie. There's something about being sick that makes the little ones call for “mommy” more often than not…and let's face it – many of us moms like to feel needed in times like this.
Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Samantha April 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

@Melanie
That's true, Melanie. There's something about being sick that makes the little ones call for “mommy” more often than not…and let's face it – many of us moms like to feel needed in times like this.
Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Cathy April 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

My job has a lot of flexibility so when I have a sick kid, it's often me that stays home. There have been days when I've had an important meeting and hubby has stayed. But those days are few and far between. I don't suffer from the sick days. I suffer more from the constant need to be the one to pick them up at the end of the day. To be the one to get home at a reasonable hour and relieve the babysitter. But that's another issue.

Reply

Cathy April 4, 2011 at 12:59 am

My job has a lot of flexibility so when I have a sick kid, it's often me that stays home. There have been days when I've had an important meeting and hubby has stayed. But those days are few and far between. I don't suffer from the sick days. I suffer more from the constant need to be the one to pick them up at the end of the day. To be the one to get home at a reasonable hour and relieve the babysitter. But that's another issue.

Reply

Samantha April 4, 2011 at 3:09 am

@Cathy
Hi Cathy,
Having flexible work hours is a definite bonus when you have kids to consider. That said, I completely understand the stress that one feels when trying to get to the daycare or babysitter by 6pm or whenever has been pre-arranged. We need a better system – either more flexible and realistic daycare/babysitting hours or perhaps more access to workplace on-site daycare.

Thanks for commenting!

Reply

Samantha April 4, 2011 at 3:09 am

@Cathy
Hi Cathy,
Having flexible work hours is a definite bonus when you have kids to consider. That said, I completely understand the stress that one feels when trying to get to the daycare or babysitter by 6pm or whenever has been pre-arranged. We need a better system – either more flexible and realistic daycare/babysitting hours or perhaps more access to workplace on-site daycare.

Thanks for commenting!

Reply

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