Ryaan started school in January and we knew daycare/school would mean illnesses.
This is a right of passage for many kids when they begin to be around other kids.
But what I never fully realized is how it would impact the ability to show up for my work as a Pediatrician in a pandemic.
Admittedly, when Ryaan gets a viral illness, two things go through my head.
“Ugh. My poor guy. It sucks being sick!”
and “What are we going to do about work?”
I hate that.
I hate that when my child is sick, I think about work, obligations, and life.
It happens–and I know it happens to many of us.
Because of stay-home rules at school, school being shut down for a COVID exposure, no alternate childcare for the past few months, and my own need for sick days,
I am out of sick days now.
And it’s only July. We have yet to approach flu season and the winter viral season.
I know this story is common for many.
So many working parents are sending their kids back into childcare when they should be at home because well, they need to work! And who will watch their kids?
I know many of my own patients’ parents are frustrated when their child is sick. Not because their child is sick, but because they ask, “I need them to be better because I have to go to work.”
It sucks because we can’t fix every virus to guarantee an end by a certain day.
It sucks that we don’t always have access to childcare to watch our kids when we have to work. And, it overall sucks that they’re sick.
This has become a huge issue for working parents. Many parents don’t even get ANY sick days and you add on a pandemic and it has really caused many parents—and mainly women—to leave the workforce.
I know this has been a very tough few months will viral illness and being in a pandemic adds on a whole other layer of complication.