Moms-1024x459My kids are sick this week. Fevers, doctor’s visits, antibiotics.

My one-year-old started feeling bad last Friday and was febrile pretty much all weekend. His big sister quickly followed with her own symptoms and was out of school on Monday and Tuesday. I thought James was feeling better until yesterday when he woke up with another fever and a super-crusty eye and nose.

I teach full-time at the local community college, and while I am grateful to have a pretty flexible schedule, I am still responsible for teaching my scheduled classes and holding office hours. We are fortunate to have my mom and our loyal sitter keep James at home during the week, so since my mom was already coming to keep James on Monday, Molly stayed home with them. Repeat on Tuesday. Wednesday, Molly went to school, but now James was feeling worse and once again, Nana to the rescue!

Today, though, I just couldn’t. After so many days in a row of my children feeling so bad, I really wanted to be the one to hold James today. My husband and my mom did the sick visit at the pediatrician’s office on Monday, and while I was so glad that they could do that in order for me to attend a meeting on another campus, there was a little – ok, huge – pang that I was shirking a big mom responsibility.

I know that my children were in capable, loving hands. And one of the huge perks of having in-home care is that I can still work when my kids are sick, as opposed to not being able to send them to day care. But I want and need my children to know that I want to take care of them when they are sick. I don’t want them to feel like I’ve passed them off to someone else, and I feel like that’s what I did earlier in the week.

Cancelling class requires several phone calls and emails and will mean we are now off track. No one made me feel guilty except myself. Jim offered to work from home again today. I know our sitter would have come, and I probably could have called my mom. On the other side of that coin, my Division Chair and my students understand that I have a family and need to be there for them. I’ll catch up on the syllabus, the children will feel better soon, and we’ll get back to our regular schedule.

One thing I know for sure, but need to be more comfortable with is that the world won’t stop if I go to work and leave my children well taken care of, and the world won’t stop if I take a sick day to stay home and take care of them myself.

Do you ever have guilt trips like this? How do you handle days when your children are sick?