It starts in late September – right after you’ve settled into the routine of daycare/pre-school. The first signs are a runny nose, maybe a slight cough…nothing to serious – but it seems never ending. The runny nose doesn’t go away in a few days, the cough gets worse. Maybe there is a slight fever – again, nothing serious – just seemingly never ending. I call this the “Sickly Season”. It last from September until March (at least in my house).
I have hopes that as my kids get older, this season will no longer affect us, in the meantime I just hope that we get lucky. You see, my kids are in daycare and pre-school. My little one stays with a wonderful woman in her home a few days a week and with my mother-in-law the others. My older one is in pre-school. My husband and I both work full-time.
This season wears on my husband and I – partially because the kids are sick – and the midnight and 2am wakings just aren’t fun. Partially because never knowing when a fever is going to hit that requires up to 2 days out of school and care is really difficult when you’re trying to build your career.
During the “Sickly Season”, I rely heavily on the flexibility of my job and the kindness of my mother-in-law to help out. Sometimes everything falls into place and the stress is kept to a minimum. Two weeks ago, my baby girl’s both had the flu and the little one had pneumonia – yet everything worked out fine.
However, having relied on everyone to help out during that time period means that I’ve worn out my favors for next week when my daughters school has parent teacher conferences on the same day that my in-laws go on vacation. I have 2 meetings that day that can’t be missed and my husband has to be at work. My best friend can’t watch my baby girl for me due to her schedule, etc. We seem to be out of luck.
In the end it will all work out, but I find myself looking forward to the end of the “Sickly Season”.
I know we’ll figure it out – something will just have to give. How do you manage the struggle between work and home, kids and career? What gives for you when you’re put between a rock and a hard place?
Andrea is a new contributor at Chester County Moms. She lives in Berwyn with her husband and two daughters. Andrea works in Human Resources and is learning how to balance work, family and entrepreneurship. You can see what Andrea’s up to at http://parentise.com where she is working on creating a database of information built from the expertise of parents like you.