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What It Looks Like To Work From Home When Your Kid Is Sick

Just as I was turning out the lights after finishing my Scandal review, I heard sounds coming from Emma’s bedroom. By the time I got to the hallway, they had stopped. I tiptoed into my bedroom, used my cell phone as a flashlight to get to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and then heard her crying.


It was 1:25 in the morning.

Her cry was not normal. In fact, it sounded a little panicked. As quickly as I could while navigating in the dark, I made my way across my room and to her door. When I opened the door, she immediately began toddler-babbling trying to tell me something but not really having the words to say “hey mom, I just puked all over myself and this crib. It kind of smells. Clean it up, please?”

Which is exactly what had happened and what did happen. Four more times. She puked. We cleaned. Wash, rinse, repeat. (Speaking of which…there’s laundry to flip now.)


Dan sent me to bed and snuggled with our sick girl in her room until she fell asleep. Then–then he did the sweetest thing.

He grabbed a pillow and a blanket and slept in her bedroom floor in case she puked again so he could be there faster to comfort her. Gold stars and medals and steak dinners for him!

I laid in the bed tossing and turning because 1) I have a really hard time falling asleep anyway and 2) I was worried about a) my sick toddler and b) the fact that I work from home now. Technically speaking, I should be able to do my job while caring for my children when they’re sick, but the reality is that when my children are sick they are Stage 5 clingers who sit on my arms and I need those to type.


Emma spent most of the morning in my lap and alternated between nursing, climbing onto my desktop, and banging around on my keyboard while I tried to pull together what I needed for my posts.

Venturing back into the workforce but from home is…interesting.

When I worked outside the home, if Joshua got sick, I wrote sub plans and sent them in and he and I spent the day catching up on DVRed shows and snuggling. It’s different now while being exactly the same.

When you’re in the game of online content creation, you can’t really wait until tomorrow or grade those papers a few days from now. The internet keeps moving even when your life needs to stop.

It’s a new situation with new obstacles, this working from home thing. It’s one I’m figuring out as I go along. There’s a balance here that has to be struck.

Balance. That fickle, fickle mistress.


My boss and I reworked my assignments for today so that the bulk of my work could be completed during Emma’s nap, but I still spent the morning thinking “what if she doesn’t sleep? What if there’s an afternoon edition of the barf-a-rama?”

Thankfully, she took an awesome nap and I was able to get everything done that I needed to do today. (Except maybe sleep. No rest for the weary. Or shower. Showers are totally overrated, right? RIGHT?? No. Sad trombone.)

But I know that today very easily could have gone a different direction. For now I’ll just rest in the fact that my work is done and my baby girl got the Mama snuggles she needed.

Today I’m balanced. Today was good.

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Friday 6th of December 2013

The working from home is so weird, isn't it? I feel like I can never devote 100% of my attention to anything, which is so not my working style.

I'm sorry Emma's sick. Bravo to you for handling it so well.


Friday 6th of December 2013

It's totally weird. I never felt like I could devote 100% of me to either place when I worked out of the home, either, but working inside the feels like I should be able to juggle this? It's just different.


Friday 6th of December 2013

Her poor little eyes just look sick :( Puking babies are the absolute worst. I hope that she feels better ASAP.


Friday 6th of December 2013

She totally doesn't feel like herself. She's still energetic, but with just a little less pep than usual. I'm hoping this passes and she's feeling better quickly. (And that it doesn't hit anyone else in the house.)


Friday 6th of December 2013

Hope she is feeling better! I remember when I was teaching pre-k & parents would come in saying how horrendous life was because one kid was sick. I just DID NOT GET IT. I do now. I work from home some too but for the most part I don't have deadlines which gives a little more flexibility.


Friday 6th of December 2013

It's quite the struggle when one kid is sick and the other isn't. Quite. Especially when they both still need me for different things at the same time. My deadlines are loose but not. It's weird. Some things need to be posted more quickly than others, so I'm thankful that on days like this, I can shift things around.

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