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Single Parent At Home With A Sick Child

How to effectively juggle work and sick kids when you are a single parent Although my son is now 15 years old, whenever he gets sick it will forever be a difficult decision between work and my "baby.
" It's crunch time at work, its end of month and the books have to be closed, your boss is on your back and you are an accountable person by nature, time is against you as you race to finish everything.
While your mind is flashing through the million things you still need to get done, the phone rings.
It's your child's school nurse.
She's running a with a fever, with body aches and needs to be picked up.
It is only 11 am and she was fine when you dropped her off at 7:30 this morning.
Her dad is no where to be found and there are no any relatives that can drop their lives at 11 in the morning and drive about a mile to get your little girl.
You can think of a few reliable people (friends, neighbors, in-laws) but you have non of their numbers with you.
You can never really plan for your child's sick days like these but you can set some procedures in place.
Here are some ideas you may find helpful before you find yourself in what seems like chaos: 1.
Buy a daily planner with an address and phone number addendum or uses your phone as an organizer if it allows you to, record those individuals who are your network of support when sickness happens.
Keep this with you at all times.
Get an erasable magnetic monthly calendar and attach it your refrigerator door.
Record all support contact information (including contact numbers) on the appropriate days.
Don't forget to include your activities with phone numbers too.
Then when sickness occurs, everyone in your home will know where and who to call.
Hold weekly family meetings.
Keep the lines of communication flowing.
If changes occur to the family sick-day plans, everyone needs to be included in the discussion.
You should never be the only person that knows how to do your job, train others for situation which you cannot avoid, keep the line of communication open for times like this when you must leave, you can always have a back-up for your duties.
Let your boss know from the beginning that you have a child and ask for flexibility in unseen circumstances.
Put in a little extra time and show team building and workmanship, so that your manager will be flexible with you when these times arrive.
Think about the job before you sign the employment form, if you have to choose consistently between the job and your child(ren) you perhaps will not be happy, and that may not be the best place for you.
If possible and allowed by your company ask for the flexibility of working from home in times like these-you never know if this is possible unless you ask.
All working single parents have faced this dilemma.
We love our children deeply.
Yet how do we effectively juggle work and sick kids-especially as a single parent? This balancing act is sometimes very challenging.
Do we ignore out children and continue working, let the school and caretaker handle it or do we put our child(ren's) need first.
Sometimes, when our only means of financial support is your job, it will seem as if we are stuck between a rock and a concrete surface! According to the National Association for Sick Child Daycare, every day more than 350,000 children under the age of 14 are too sick to attend school or daycare.
Working mothers stay home from their jobs from five to 29 days a year to care for their sick children (one-fifth of all U.
children living in families are headed by single parents).
So how do you prepare for those unexpected sick days with your children? As a single parent stress a given, there is not one single parent that can say they have not experiences stress and or anxiety at some point.
So here is the key to survival:You must be Flexible.
Un-impulsive and think things through.
Well, that is easier said than done, but with practice it is attainable.
Single parents must be open to constant change.
Growing to accept and adapt to this daily pressure will help.
Determine the Degree of you child's sickness, if you can, do so before you send them off to school or daycare--this is a plus.
To get through the door some parents under estimate their child's illness and send them to school or daycare only to be called by 9 a.
to pick him up.
If your child wakes with a fever 100 degrees or higher or is vomiting, he's probably contagious and should stay home.
Most other symptoms-running noses, achiness, sore throats-are speculative.
Also try to discern if his symptoms of "illness" are a result of something else psychological going on with you or his environment that has brought on this illness to your child.
Some kids have a very difficult time dealing with changes of the only parent they see, so consider, are you traveling in the upcoming weekend? Are there changes in your personal life (e.
, a new romance, an unexpected death, a recent move, a newly remarried ex-spouse)? Is your child struggling with his teacher or friends at school? Though these questions don't immediately assist you in the morning as you're trying to get out the door, they are questions to ponder and discuss with your child when you return home that evening.
Monitor you child's illness and begin to make arrangement for the "perhaps.
" If things are really bad, remember to call into your supervisor at least 1 hr before your shift and leave a very clear message that you will not be in.
If this occurs too often some supervisors may want a doctors not-that is just something to keep in your mind at all times.
Develop a Support Network of family and friends, baby sitter to Call.
Don't wait until your child is sick.
Discuss your sick-child plans with these individuals thoroughly.
For example, ask how they feel about having a child with a fever or a sore throat at their house.
Using this type of forethought will also assist you in considering if your child is old enough to be left alone at home.
Locate Facilities that Offer Daycare for a Sick Child.
In 1986, there were 36 national public daycare organizations for sick children.
Today there are over 300 such facilities.
Perhaps there's one near you.
Contact your local hospital for information or Google search for it.
Work Respectfully with Your Supervisors.
Help them understand you want the situation to be a win-win.
This could be an opportunity for the company to lower overall costs.
In her article "Chicken Soup for the Working Parent," writer Sandy Wendel shares how the CIGNA Corporation developed an on-site Working Well Moms lactation program to support new mothers who wish to breast-feed at work.
CIGNA has reduced medical costs for breastfeeding mothers and their children by $240,000 annually and saved $60,000 through reduced job absenteeism of breastfeeding mothers.
If your workplace doesn't have programs available for parents with sick children, talk with your human resource manager about possible options.
Manage Guilt.
Marilyn Heins, pediatrician and author of ParenTips (Development Publications), says the best way to prevent guilt is to "(1) accept yourself and your work status, (2) be aware of your child's patterns of illness so you can best evaluate your child's symptoms, (3) don't let your child think that being sick is the only way to get time with Mother (or Father).
" Guilt can rob you of the peace God desires for you.
Remember to "cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7).
Finally, enjoy the time with your sick child, never let them feel as if they did anything wrong by being sick, When it becomes clear you must stay home, use this time as an opportunity to enjoy your child.
Make the most out of a day at home.
Provide cuddling and an ear to listen.
Tender comfort through touch can actually nurture a sick child towards wellness.
A sick child is inevitable and it may seem as if it happens at the worst time.
Remember that your child(ren) are very precious and there will be many job and career choices that you can win at, so you are allowed to fail.
But is you fail at being a loving parent, there is no winning for anyone.
Trust your instincts when determining the level of your child's sickness.
Ask for help.
And above all, trust God.
Nothing is occurring today that has not passed through His hands first.
He knows both you and your family before you were formed in your mothers womb.
Prayer changes things.
I always pray for favor on my job and favor with anyone in contact with my child.

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