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If you read that title and
thought, Oh, I could never do that! It’sso
irresponsible! Just stay home!, then this chapter is not for you. Move along, princess.
Enjoy your supportive husband or your family nearby or your
boss that lets you work from home, or your own money, or
whatever it is you have that allows you to react to a working mom’s
dilemma with such horror.
If you lose your job because you stayed home with your sick kid, terrible things will happen.
Is she gone? Good. It’s time
to discuss the only parenting topic more taboo than incest:
taking your sick kid to daycare.
the table properly so all concerned can understand what’s at stake: You have a
job. You can’t stay home to care for your daughter, and no one
else is available either. Yes, you are aware that if you bring her
to daycare, she’s going to get another kid sick. Well, you can’t
think about that right now. Eyes on the prize: You have a job.
If you lose your job because
you stayed home with your sick kid, terrible things will
happen. You will fall back on your rent or mortgage, and you will be
evicted. You and your child(ren) will be thrown onto the streets,
in this economy. To pay for the seedy hotel that you now call home,
you will sell your body. You will strut all over your corner
(yes, you will secure a corner) and lean into car windows ...
And where are the kids during all
this debauchery? If you couldn’t leave them home alone when you had a good job, you certainly can’t do it now. The kids are in your car, counting your money. For now, they don’t know how you earn it. All they know is: Mommy goes for a ride, then Mommy brings back $35. Ten or twenty times a day. “Well,” you tell yourself, “at least they’re getting good at math.”
OK, this may not be exactly how
things play out, but it’s what you have to tell yourself to stay focused.
and Bolts of aSick Kid
Day Care Drop-Off
1. Never bring
your kid to school if she has a fever.
Never bring your kid to daycare if you know she has a fever, which is why
you should never take your child’s temperature,
especially if she feels hot. The less you know, the less you have
to lie about.
3. Teachers can
tell when you’re lying. Like cops, they hear the same bullshit over and
over again. If the teacher asks point-blank if your daughter
has a fever, you can’t say no when the answer is yes
without tipping her off. However, you can look her in
the eyes and say, “Not that I know of.” Because it’s true.
Information is your enemy.
4. Drop her off
during a busy time, like at 8 a.m. Get lost in the herd of moms
dropping off their healthy-for-now kids. Then run. Try to be in
your car before your kid coughs.
5. Teach your
child how to cough into her elbow. The less your kid coughs on others,
the less likely the teacher is to call you at work.
6. Teach her
how to say, “I have allergies.” If she’s particularly articulate: “year-round
7. If the
teacher does call you at work, don’t pick up the phone. Better yet, leave the
phone in the car. How can you feel guilty about missing
a call if you don’t have your phone with you? Remember:
Information is your enemy.
8. Don’t return
a call from daycare until the second voice mail. If your kid is really sick, they will leave multiple messages.
9. If you have
to pick up your kid, wait until the end of the day. Pick her up an hour
earlier than normal. You’ll still get there before closing
time, but you won’t be leaving work too early.
10.You work when
you’re sick—most people do. It’s the new America. And how can we
compete in a global economy if our kids stay home every time
they have a “cold” or “strep throat”? Take your sick kid
to daycare. For yourself. For America.
Remember: Your kid got
sick from some other Sh*tty Mom’s sick kid. Why should
you be a hero and stop the virus in its tracks? Pay it forward.
Reprinted fromSh*tty Mom, by Mary Ann Zoellner, Alicia Ybarbo, Karen Moline and Laurie Kilmartin