Will Your Paid Sick Days Get You & Your Kids Through "Swine Flu" Season?

Big Kid 7

tissues, swine flu, sick daysMy working mama friend and I were just "freaking out" together about whether our sick days were going to last the swine flu (and regular flu) season, especially when some of us (me) already used a few on a summer "H1N1 scare" and when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants parents and/or kids (which also means a parent) to stay home at the first sign of "sickness" this season.

Do you have enough sick days to potentially cover you and your kids this season? Or are you one of the many workers with no paid sick leave at all?

Over on BlogHer, Rita Arens is talking about this fear too in her post CDC: Keep Your Sick Kid Home. Your Boss: Get Your Butt to Work.

Rita writes, "My kid was sick all the time her first year in daycare.

I spent most of that year a defensive, angry wreck, and my daughter's health played a big part of that. Every time she was sick, I liked my job less. I liked daycare less. I liked myself less as her mother who couldn't keep all the balls in the air. I felt like a failure at my job and as a mother, and the constant discussions over who was going to take off work or find alternate arrangements to get to the doctor's office wasn't exactly helping my marriage, either."

Uh, bingo! Rita hits all the nails on the head. Sick kids can:

  • Make work harder: explaining to bosses and coworkers alike; getting your work done and well; worrying about job loss in this economic climate;
  • Make school days confusing: lots of worry, especially amid this season's pandemic hysteria, about when to keep them home and for how long or, when flu exposure strikes your child's school, whether or not to send kids into school;
  • Make childcare expensive: you pay whether your kid attends or not;
  • Make marriage treacherous: "you stay home, no you stay home," or in my case, I'm already working at home, so I'm always dealing with the illnesses — a blessing and a zinger;
  • Make you and the rest of your family sick: households with multiple children often get hit with a back-to-back string of sick days that can easily add up to a week off from work; and then mom and/or dad may be stricken too.

For single parents, a child's sickness hits doubly hard because mom or dad can't tag team a second working parent's sick time.

Ugh, there's no real preparation to be done (other than an extra helping of worry). We just have to wash our hands a lot and wade into the season, thinking good, healthy thoughts for our families.

If you're a working mom, do you feel prepared to handle the potential sicknesses of the season? How do you (and your boss) handle this juggle each year?

Related posts:

Keeping Sick Kids Home from School

Swine Flu Symptoms and Facts

Swine Flu: CDC Eases School Closing Policy

back to school, child care, health


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rebec... rebecca_tal4

ha! whatever sick/personal holidays and vacation hours i have are getting us thru this recession!!! my hours at work have been cut and i'm taking some of my saved hours here and there to make up for it!

if we get sick we will just push thru it like always and hope the medical bills don't kill us!

toria... toriandgrace

I am a substitute, so as long as I haven't accepted a job already, it's not an issue, I can just stay home. Hopefully I will not have to cancel jobs at the last minute, because they do not really like that. One of my favorite parts of being a sub is that I can take off whenever I want. Once I'm teaching regularly, it will be trickier because my hubby is military and can't take time off. I'll worry about that hurdle when that comes though.

payto... paytonleximomma

I have started banking my hours back up with my personal holidays hours and my vacation hours, since I am done taking vacations for the summer, but let me tell you last winter because of the kids being sick I almost exhausted everything that I had.  My bosses understand alittle more than they use to, know that we have had other co-workers out sick ALOT this past year.  I usually stay home cause hubby makes more than I do and he doesnt have all the vacation and personal hours that I get.  So that is our easy decision, and luckly and not so luckly this year we met our health insurance deductible 2 months into it because of our DD having to have a MRI, so now anything from now until next April we are pretty much set. 

Peajewel Peajewel

I don't get sick days and I am in the same boat as rebecca_tal4.  My hours have been cut so I guess I will just hope if I get sick, it will be on the time I have off and if my daughter get sick, I will hope hubby can work from home for the days it takes for her to get better! 

Sahm.... Sahm.I.am

I remember those days. Although my children don't usually get more than a cold my dilema was the childcare provider closing at the drop of a dime for random reasons. I would have to either pay someone else to watch my kids for that day which rarely happened on such short notice so a lot of times I just lost 8 hours pay because I stayed home with them.  Now that I work from home I can tend to them and still get some work done.

Tania... Taniaengel

Keep yourself and the kids healthy (at the cellular level) their cell will not oxidize.....and the protection is posted so you wont have to worry what's going on in the school or work as related to viruses......


Joyan... JoyandLove

I hope swine flu skips our house.

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