She Says… The Call

I got “the call” again yesterday. You know the one.

Me: Hello?

Daycare: Hi Kate, it’s daycare. It’s not an emergency, but just wanted to let you know that Owen has a little fever. It’s not yet above 101, so you don’t need to pick him up. But he’s acting kind of clingy and fussy and his congestion seems worse. He’s just not acting like himself, so we wanted to let you know. [Subtext: Maybe you should come pick him up?]

Me: Poor thing. [Worries about Owen, but knows that she has about a million hours of work left to do this week. Then proceeds to feel guilty that she’s thinking about work when she’s supposed to be thinking about her sick baby.] Is he eating/sleeping ok?

Daycare: Yes, he ate all of his food and almost all of his bottles, and he just fell asleep. He seems to be dealing with it ok, but he’s definitely running a low-grade fever. [Subtext: Maybe you should come pick him up?]

Me: I will see if I can come get him a little early and give him extra cuddles. Please keep checking on his fever and let me know if it gets any higher or if he develops any other symptoms. [Subtext: I really, really, really can’t come pick him up right now. And even if I did, it seems like he’s ok, if a little fussy/clingy/sad/uncomfortable.]

Daycare: Will do. [Subtext: Maybe you should come pick him up?]

Oy. I have gotten this call several times in the last 2 months. Only once has it escalated into a serious illness, and when I picked him up that day and looked in his eyes I knew we had to go immediately to the doctor. Yesterday, however, I picked him up from daycare and though he was definitely warm and out of sorts, he smiled at me and bounced in my arms. Maybe all he needed was a little mommy time. We played for the rest of the evening and he seemed fine despite his warm forehead. He went to sleep without any issues and woke up a little earlier than normal coughing this morning.

Benjamin and I dropped him off at daycare this morning and both went to work. I am booked solid with meetings all day, and Benjamin has a shoot that has already started, so I’m praying that I don’t get the call from daycare again today. Stay cool and feel better, little man!


48 responses to “She Says… The Call

  1. “Dose up and show up” – that means, give a nice slug of Motrin before bringing your kid to daycare (or dropping them up at school). That way, you’re less likely to get The Call, or at least, delay it until 2 or 3 PM. And if you accuse me of spiking my kids’ lunchbox juice with liquid Motrin, I’ll deny it.

  2. That’s my comment up above. Don’t know why I came up as Anonymous. I’m not proud 😉 but I’ll put my name to it. – Nancy

  3. That sucks, it’s hard enough to be busy at work, but knowing that Owen is sick makes it so much harder! I hope he’s feeling better and you don’t get “the call” again today 🙂

  4. awwh, i dont think they neccessarily wanted you to pick him up! just covering their butts and keeping you informed so they don’t get sued by some crazy parents who didnt get a call when they should have. i hope owen gets better soon! at least spring is coming and hopefully less illnesses will be out there in daycare land!

  5. @Nancy, HAHAHAHAHA! That is hilarious. And so true.

  6. Just to ease your guilt, I’ve worked in large daycare centers before (Kindercare, even!) and we ALWAYS called just to let parents know. That way if you do have an easier day at work and want to have your child at home, you can. But if not, he’s perfectly fine to be there- it just gives you the option. I always thought that if I were the parent, I would want to know. Many, MANY times parents don’t come unless it hits the 101 mark because really, what are they going to do at home? And just like you said, Owen could get home and be perfectly happy (like when you picked him up yesterday) and then you’ll have wasted a day of work for nothing.

    No one’s judging you there, I promise (and if they are, who cares). You’re doing a fantastic job at balancing work and family!

  7. Those calls make me feel so guilty, too! I’m glad they call to let me know… in fact, I’d be really upset if they didn’t… but it still makes me feel like a bad mom for choosing not to get him. I tell myself I’m saving my precious sick hours for times when he really IS bad off and NEEDS to go to the doctor or come home. If I picked him up every time he ran a low fever or seemed out of sorts, I’d be out of a job real quick. 😉

  8. Are you guys serious?? When the daycare calls and tells you that your child is sick you go and PICK HIM UP!!! You do not, under NO circumstances, want to infect the ENTIRE daycare. I don’t care how much work you have. You chose to get pregnant and have a baby, deal with a sick baby. And don’t give him Motrin/Advil/Baby Tylenol to buy you time at work. Your priorities are mixed up. I have 3 kids and everytime the day care called to tell me that my child was running a fever, extra clingy, fussy, etc. I FOUND someone to cover my remaining duties and went and got said child.
    I don’t understand why you put work BEFORE your child.

  9. Just saw your tweet…..hope your little bunny is OK! Take good care tonight.

  10. I have to say, although I would have not put it quite the way Kelly above did, I really feel that this is part of the known disadvantage of being a working mom/dad: lots of sick days. Your boss knows you’re a parent, and unfortunately that means sometimes plans change and schedules have to be rearranged because your priority is your child and their health. I know that I hate going into work when I am sick, I can’t imagine how my child feels when they are at school/daycare and they aren’t feeling well. I also know the dilemma of work vs parenthood well (I worked for the first 15 months of my son’s life) and I understand the temptation to dose your child with tylenol/motrin so you can get a few hours of work done or to ignore the phone call saying your child is running a temp. But really, is that the parent you want to be? It doesn’t make you a bad parent but I’m a little surprised that this is how you are juggling the work responsibility vs parent responsibility. If you feel like this is the best you can do, than it is and goodness, Owen really won’t be any worse off in the long run. But, if it bothers you and it bothers you enough that you want to change it, then start working up plans for how you will deal with this in the future. Because chances are, you will be facing this same dilemma and getting that call again, sooner rather than later.

  11. Oh! Kate, I hope little Owen is ok. I wonder why you would think daycare calls are imposing on you picking up your baby?!? And from your earlier tweet: while I attempt to understand that rockin’ your boots and pencil skirt at work is more important than your sick baby, you should consider that many people will find this post 100% irresponsible. ‘Almost felt’ your annoyance having to answer the phone. Awful post.

  12. While I am sorry to hear Owen is sick, I have to say I totally agree with Kelly on this one. Priorities seem completely mixed up here, and I find that sad and disappointing. It almost seems like you would rather choose to ignore the fact that Owen is ill just so you can put in more hours at work. I love your blog, but this post rubbed me the wrong way.

  13. Kate wrote @Nancy, HAHAHAHAHA! That is hilarious. And so true.
    I find your response even worse. What is so hilarious about that? What is so true? Please an explanation is kindly requested should I ever consider voting for you on a Mommy Blog Award ever again.

  14. Hi everyone, Thanks for your comments, both supportive and critical.

    While I understand the place that those of you are coming from who criticized my decision, I would like to suggest that you read my post as exactly what it is – a slightly snarky, slightly exaggerated, perhaps poor attempt at humor around a situation that every working parent experiences. I was not *ignoring* the calls from daycare; I took the information from each one, had a thorough conversation, and made an educated decision about how to best handle the situation. You do not know exactly what the daycare said, as my post was (obviously) more of a parody than reality.

    Anyone who knows me knows that I would never, EVER, put anything in my life above Owen’s health and happiness. I’m not going to go on and on about why my decision was justified because I don’t need to. I am incredibly confident that I made all the right decisions today, even in a difficult circumstance. The fact is that you, dear readers, don’t know everything about me, despite what you may think.

    I did not drug Owen and send him to daycare to infect other children. I did not roll my eyes and ignore the phone when daycare called. I did not sit at my desk and twirl my hair while my son lay crying in the daycare providers arms. Please do not put words in my mouth, or judge my actions when you don’t REALLY know the situation.

    To those who responded with similar funny/snarky/light-hearted comments, or smiled a little while you read this post, THANK YOU! You know how not to take things too seriously.

  15. Oh, give me a break.

    Kelly & Anonymous (x2)- we’re all so glad to hear that you are perfect mothers who always do the “right” thing and drop everything every time your child has a runny nose. (You must have amazing bosses who have low expectations of your productivity.)

    Kids get slight fevers all the time- my son regularly gets them from teething. If you follow Kate on Twitter, then you know that she picked up Owen immediately when daycare called & indicated that there was a real concern.

    Get off your high horses & quit implying she’s an unfit mother.

  16. You know what I find hilarious, Kate? That Amy’s threatening not to vote for you on Top Mommy Blogs unless you “explain yourself.”

    I’m pretty sure that with a comment like yours, Amy, that Kate doesn’t give a shit.

  17. Kate,
    I didn’t mean to come down on you so hard, but this post made me incredibly angry. You didn’t sound funny about the situation. I realize that working moms have a difficult time, just like stay at home moms. When it’s all said and done, you really need to take care of your child when he’s sick and/or make arrangements for someone else to take care of him when he’s sick.

    you must be a young mom. I have a bunch of years on you. I did have understanding bosses as does my husband. They get it. And no, babies do not get “little” fevers all the time. If they do, there is usually a cause. No one, not even adults get fevers all the time unless there is something wrong.

  18. I’m with Stef on this. Obviously, Kate knows the daycare staff, and trusts that they would tell her if it were a genuine concern. It’s good that they called, but they specifically informed her that he was just a little fussy with a very low-grade fever. Some babies get fevers when the wind blows. That’s normal for some babies. If a child is genuinely sick, daycares and schools call and say, “Your child is sick and you need to pick him up.” That’s not what happened. This was just a case of a daycare worker notifying a mother of early warning signs and letting the mother make a judgement of her own. Based on Kate’s knowledge of her own son, and previous experience with him, she made the call that was right for her. She’s not prioritizing work over her child. She’s prioritizing work over a guilt-driven emotional knee-jerk reaction to a “your kid could potentially be sick, I think, maybe, but not really” phone call.

    If I went to pick my kids up every time one of them had a tiny sniffle, I’d be out of a job and out of a roof over “said” children’s heads. My neighbor is constantly picking up her kids when they “might” be sick, and then an hour later the kids are rolling around in the mud with the dog instead of sitting in school getting an education.

  19. Amy, most people don’t consider a mom in her 30’s “young” & my husband is in his 40’s. Regardless, being an “old mom” (however old you are) doesn’t make you a better one.

    And yes, low-grade fevers are a common symptom of teething, which is exactly what I said in my previous comment.

  20. Excuse me, Amy- that last comment was for Kelly.

  21. Ok ladies … have a glass of wine and relax. I happen to actually know Kate and she is a wonderful mother who would never put her child in jeopardy. I am with Stef … babies get fevers and teething can cause that and some sniffles. Maybe it’s time to hop down off of that high horse, stop judging other moms, and focus on raising your own children. We all do our best to do what is right for our children. Maybe your mom forgot to teach you the old “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.

  22. Kate wrote @Nancy, HAHAHAHAHA! That is hilarious. And so true.
    (Stef read below): Kate thank you for your response. How you ended your post (booked solid and praying….), plus how you agreed with Nancy and her ‘Dose up and Show up’ questionable lunhbox ‘juices’, gave grounds to question your parenting priorities. I mean, it is right there for us to read so you probably should care a bit how you come across. Nothing positive was noted until you were called on it, just saying… ;(
    Amy L. – Architect and happy mother of 3 – San Francisco, CA

  23. I think Kate has said her piece and probably won’t chime in again. As the husband and dad, I have to say I am also a bit disappointed with a lot of these responses. Maybe I’ll just assume that the negative comments were from first time readers, because otherwise, if you’ve read our blog can you honestly believe that Kate is not a responsible mother who cares so deeply for Owen? I doubt that any mother commenting here is ACTUALLY promoting over-drugging their children. Maybe humor is hard to come across in a blog, but I that neither Kate, nor I feel that way about giving meds to Owen.

    Kate has taken going back to work with huge strides and I am so proud of her. Obviously we are aware and have dealt with the inconveniences of a sick baby, but we also know when things are serious enough to drop everything, or not.

    So maybe this whole post will keep some people away from our blog. If so, I guess I think people need to lighten up and look back on the countless posts that show how much we care for our son.

    I also agree with Amers14, that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

  24. We have all been there, where you get the call from school at the worst time (in terms of what is going on at work). I have gotten similar calls to pick up my child moments before an important phone call to a client, and said “I’ll be there as soon as I can”. Which turns out to be 45 minutes. This doesn’t make me a bad mom; it makes me an employed mom. My boss is VERY understanding. She is a single mom. She gets it. But you can’t always drop everything immediately and rush out over a low-grade fever. Now, if they said, your son has a temp of 104 and looks terrible, you’d better believe I would rush (RUSH) over there. There has to be a balance. The post above from a former daycare worker is probably the most unbiased position on this topic. Schools must advise parents and sometimes, pickup is required. Other times, it’s just information. There has to be a balance, and it’s not easy. I have two boys – a 7 month old and a 3 year old. Every day that I don’t get a call from either school reporting an illness is a small victory. I just worked a full month uninterrupted, which is almost unheard of. Just wait ’til you have two kids– it doesn’t get any easier!

  25. I’ve been reading the blog for a while and I also know Kate and agree that she certianly loves her son. But, I would also turn around your comments, Benjamin and Kate, and say that if you don’t like reading other’s responses to your posts, you shouldn’t blog. You’ve opened yourselves up to praise and judgement and you have to take both with grace and – just maybe – a dose of humility.

  26. You are funny, realistic parents-bloggers who like to present others how you live your lives. You might have some challenges like Ben stated inconveniences of a sick baby coupled with working busy parents. But you are also doing many things right. I get it.
    If you’re not getting the response you so much crave then wouldn’t it be prudent to turn inward and ask if it is time to make your blog private? Problem solved! You can’t control every aspect of how others respond to you and it sure seems hard for you to take criticism-even if it makes you positively better parents. But if your readers were offended by your post regarding your attitude towards your sick baby; then something within what you wrote may very well be wrong. So what’s so wrong with tossing the ego aside for some self-reflection and delve into what really stirred up this heated back-n-forth? The end result should actually be some responsibility towards your readers.

  27. Negative comments can mean that you engaged you reader and you made them think and finally write their own opinion. That’s what blogging is all about, isn’t it? Totally agree with Theresa! By far this latest post on your attitude regarding daycare phone calls and your sick baby is one of your worst, not to mention how difficult is for you to accept what you were way off.

  28. I think that if we thought we were WAY off, we would admit it. Kate and I feel that we are living our lives in the best interest of our son. Sometimes there is some balance where we need to assess what the situation is and determine the best way to respond. Yesterday’s response was COMPLETELY appropriate in our opinion. Owen was fine and we were able to do our jobs a little while longer.

    Obviously we realize that blogging and allowing comments opens the doors for feedback we don’t agree with. I don’t think we have a bad attitude towards the feedback, but I think that people were commenting without knowing all the facts (and how could they, we didn’t give them all the facts). I guess my only regret is that people read (or misread) the tone of Kate’s post in a negative way, but I do not regret the WAY we handled the situation with Owen and daycare. I think we did what was completely appropriate and safe.

  29. Oh goodness, I hope he’s feeling better now. My little sweet potato is sick too and it’s no fun!

    I have to say that one of my favorite advantages to becoming a stay at home mom is that I can be there for him even when he’s only feeling a little ‘off’. I understand you have to do what you have to do and that you care about your son more than anything. I’ve disagreed with you on many points, albiet, minor in the long run and this would probably be one of them but I can see you’ve gotten enough flack as it is!

    I know if I had to work to provide for my son I would and I am fortunate that we can make ends meet with me at home but to be honest, I would live in much worse situations to stay with him at home. I know not everyone feels the same way though! You’re doing you’re best.

  30. oh my god!!! i jut read this post and found it funny, as it was meant to be. Then I read the comments from the obviously “perfect” mothers, I think you guys have been sitting around at home, as domestic goddesses, and have completely forgotten what humour and sarcasm are. Do not put your own insecurities as mothers onto Kate as she is a fantastic mother. Honestly, ladies get a grip and if you can’t do that then please get someone to slap some sense into you. I am free most evenings??? let me know

  31. Kelly – you clearly don’t know much about medicine so perhaps you should keep your opinions to yourself. By the time a child (or anyone) is showing symptoms (such as fever) the infectious period is already over. Most of the spread happens before anyone can tell they are sick – so don’t go accusing Kate of infecting the entire daycare. How over dramatic. And in fact people – especially children – can get fevers for reasons other than a sickness or infection. You seem to think you know eveything, but trust me, I know more than you do about this, I’m a doctor AND a mother.
    Anonymous – Don’t accuse Kate of “ignoring” the day care phone call when she clearly didn’t. She answered the call, made sure Owen was okay, and made a decision based on that information.
    Amy – who do you think you are, requesting an explanation by threatening to without votes in the Mommy Blogger awards? Get off your high horse. You are not Owen’s parent, so no one owes you anything.
    PoJo – I’ve been reading Kate and Benjamin from the start, and they have never seemed unwelcoming of other people’s comments – their replies here (which in my opinion ARE done with grace anbd humility) are simply an attempt to correct an obvious misunderstanding.
    Stef – you rock. Virtual high five!

    Anyone who has read even a few of Kate’s posts can see that she loves Owen very much and is a good mother – the term ‘mindful parenting’ springs to mind. She is fantastic at really considering all the options and deciding what is best for her son. I can understand that if you somehow missed the sarcasm in this post it may have seemed a little harsh – but gee, lighten up. You can give your opinion without being a rude bitch… or maybe that’s the REAL problem – you can’t?

  32. Tio– Smoochies!

    It’s absolutely fascinating to me that not a single one of the negative commentors on this post actually has a blog of their own… or at least they don’t have the balls to link to it. (And, the ones who post under “Anonymous”, don’t even get me started…)

    Perhaps it’s easier to criticize others, rather than put your parenting out there for the world to read about?

  33. Wow. Crazy bloggy drama.

    For what it’s worth, I didn’t read the tone of Kate’s post as snarky OR negligent. I thought it was a pretty good summary of the kind of judgment calls that working parents are faced with on a pretty regular basis.

    I’ve never gotten the impression that Kate (or Benjamin’s!) priorities were on anything but Owen. They’ve both worked really hard to make sure that Little Man is in daycare a minimal amount of time (I think it worked out to 3 days a week if I remember correctly) and any honest parent will admit that for low-grade fevers, there really isn’t much you can do. Even if Kate came home, she’d just be keeping an eye on him and hoping he gets as much sleep as possible. Those are two easy things that her daycare should and were able to do, so Kate could finish her work day and be able to come home and focus all of her attention on Little Man instead of trying to figure out how to make up lost hours.

    As for Mommy awards….shallow much? I for one am so glad that there are people like Kate who are willing to blog honestly about their parenting experiences and dilemas so the rest of us have real people to relate to.

    Kate and Benjamin – I hope Owen is feeling better, and I really hope you haven’t lost too much sleep over these ugly comments. Keep listening to your parental guts and loving that little man. You’re doing great!

  34. As a pediatric nurse practitioner and new mom of twins I have to voice my thoughts, just couldn’t hold back. Fevers are a GOOD thing, it means your body is responding to an invader be it a virus or bacteria and saying “hey you aren’t gonna continue to grow and replicate and reek havoc on me” Everybody has a different set temperature, some kids are miserable at 100.1 and some are fine at 104, hot but acting fine. And we give tylenol or motrin for comfort not necessarily to bring a fever down, we live fevers. And tylenol or motrin can only possibly bring a fever down 2 degrees so it’s not gonna get you very far anyways.
    I understand the daycare having to let Kate know whats going on but I also understand Kate just waiting it out and monitoring Owens behavior and fever because he was acting fine. The blog world is about putting yourself out there and is definitely subject to critique but jeez these comments are bit out of control!

  35. An obnoxious bit about motherhood: becoming a mother somehow signals to the world that you are open for judgement. Good for you, Kate, for openly sharing the realities of 2011 motherhood. Take the criticisms for what they are: armchair judgement from women who know neither you nor you baby. If you’re up for a google, there was a great bit on The View a few years back when Elisabeth Hasselback was pregnant and stopped into a coffeeshop for a cup of coffee only to be refused by the barista because she “shouldn’t drink coffee when you’re pregnant”. This launched a whole conversation about people who get involved where the don’t belong – the example given was comments from strangers about how your baby should be wearing a hat on a sunny day. I remember Whoopi saying “they obviously have never tried to put a hat on a baby.” I have a coworker who had about three sips of wine at a work dinner when she was pregnant, only to be chided by one of our coworkers that she shouldn’t be drinking. She responded with “well, my doctor said a little now and then was fine… but I’m sure you know more than her.” Let’s mind our own business, people.

  36. I found this post humorous, which seems to be how it was intended. And as someone who was home more than she was at work during the month of February (between me and the baby being sick, stupid flu season!) it definitely rings true. And…

    @Diana strikes again. Really? I saw the name as I was scrolling through the comments. Could you be more passive aggressive and judgmental? Would you like a medal for all of your sacrifices? A national holiday? I think we all understand what you think of us working mothers. It would probably be best to leave well enough alone and get on with your wonderful life.

  37. Wow – it’s so amazing how quickly we judge others – I agree that by blogging you open yourself up to comments from all sides. However, what is the purpose of making two obviously good and caring parents (hello – they write an entire blog around raising their son!!) feel bad about a decision that is clearly stressful already??
    Kate and Ben – As a soon to be parent, and a future working Mom, I have really enjoyed reading your blog. It helps to know that there are other working couples out there who both love their child AND their careers and want to create the best balance possible between the two. Obviously you are loving parents, and it is clear that Owen will always come before your jobs. However, I think it’s great that your son has two successful,and hard working parents who have individual goals and dreams. What better role models could he ask for?

  38. Oops – I should note, that obviously I’m a different ‘Kate’ from Kate the owner of this blog!

  39. Wow. I don’t know what to say. These responses are insane. I just wanted to give a whoot whoot to TIO and everyone else before her who defended Kate (the Kate who wrote this blog). The judgmental remarks are so ridiculous, they made me laugh. I know I’m coming into all of this after it happened, but I just wanted to let Kate and Ben know that one more person thinks they handled the situation fine. As a teacher, I see parents yank their kids out of school for no reason all the time and I see parents who send them no matter what. Kate did neither of these things, taking the balanced alternative of getting her child when it was necessary and not before. Man, I still can’t believe this comment thread!

  40. While reading the whole thing, I was certain that this post would be very touchy subject and full of responses. Oh my~! Must be hard to ignore the voice of those expressing their disapproval. Hang in there!, I think you truly had no idea it would come across the way it did. ;(

  41. @Amy. Seriously? Did you just threaten Kate with a mommy blog vote. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve read in a while. Who gives a fart.

  42. I don’t always personally agree with every mommy blogger out there as to how to raise your child; after all, I’m a different person, my child is a different child–no one parents the same in every subject–and I admit, I’ve been a little taken aback by some of Kate’s posts (a minuscule one or two) but what can I do? Nothing. Shrug my shoulders and go on to parent my child the way that *I* choose. Here’s the important part–everyone has a little something called autonomy.
    Kate clearly meant nothing offensive or harmful in her post. She weighed the situation and chose what was best for her family.
    There is almost nothing more controversial than parenting. It’s a hefty responsibility, and bears with it some immensely poignant opinions. The long and short of it is that every person thinks their way of parenting is best. The reality is that we all make mistakes as parents, whether it be something as silly as forgetting extra diapers on an outing, or something as large as forgetting to totally secure the car seat base in before driving (which is something I actually read on a parenting website–she didn’t go far before she realized the car seat toppled over and the baby was okay, of course). Either way, there will be people waving “BAD MOMMY” banners high and wide, because heck, your child could get diaper rash, and that hurts! Or, more terrifyingly, your child could have gotten hurt if you were in an accident! Both of these are true, but who are we throw any bile Kate’s way for her decision which obviously didn’t end terribly?

    For Pete’s sake, people, lighten up and stop being hypocrites. We all do the best we can as parents–they don’t come with manuals!
    (As an aside–has anyone even considered the fact that Kate and Benjamin are purchasing a house? Have you thought that just maybe they could use the money? Sheesh.)

  43. I think Ben (Kate’s hubby) said it best. Have you really been reading all her posts and then read the last one and just started assuming stuff about her? I read it and didn’t think ANYTHING of it. If I wasn’t a SAHM then I would have done the same thing. I didn’t even know anything went down until her next post… and then, I couldn’t help but take a peek (I’m nibby, I know).

    Go, Kate, you know what’s best!

  44. I just want to say that you are very brave to blog about the ins and outs, ups and downs of parenting!
    Where do you do your research for baby items like cribs, strollers, etc? Thanks!

  45. Is this for real???

    Kate & Benjamin: I having followed you along since before Owen’s little existence (and especially since Kate & I had the same due date!) I have never doubted for a single second that you two are very caring, well educated and balanced individuals. There is no doubt in my mind in the slightest that you two put Owens needs as a top priority. Day cares make these calls out of obligation (these comments are a prime example of what Mommy wrath they might experience if they don’t inform & update on your child’s health status). The fact is that kids do get sick, especially a newbie at day care and it sounds like he was just fine. You knew that and that’s why you didn’t leave & swamp yourself even more at work at that moment, especially considering you never know what the next day will bring when the little ones are fighting an illness. Being a working parent is HARD! And while OF COURSE Owen is always a top priority, I’d say weighing the situation the way you did was good decision making because the bills have to be paid too!


  46. I received the same exact call last week while I was in my 5 hour-once-a-week-can’t-miss-a-thing-otherwise-you-will-be-screwed class. URGH this always freaking happens to me when I’m busy, jesus christ if I had a job I’d be fired! I thought to myself and then I remembered all of the years I couldn’t conceive with fears of never being a mother and how I cried and prayed for this child and then I felt badly for my thoughts. I gathered my things and picked up my baby who was just miserable without his “leche” (code word for boobies because he’s almost 2 that’s another story) and his Tylenol. After Tylenol and “leche” 30 mins later he was running around and feeling better and so was I. I luckily had the option of picking my son up, but there are others who aren’t as fortunate and sadly at some point in the future I may not be in the position I am now (I’m working on that though).
    While it’s perfectly acceptable to voice ones opinion, we should always try to be respectful because words do hurt. Parenting is a hard enough job without other mothers attacking your parenting style. JMO Happy Friday

  47. I lack the children, and perhaps I’ll get an earful about how I “don’t understand” because I am not a mother. But: Not all works understand parenthood. Kate’s work seems a bit more understanding than others (based upon the long maternity leave), but at the end, while certain things are obligate employers to act certain ways, the law doesn’t cover much. Believe me– it’s one of the reasons I don’t yet have children.

    What if Owen got truly sick? Then Kate would have used up all her good will with her employer and her time off. How responsible is that? A low-grade fever is not necessarily due to a contagious illness, and, based on Owen’s temperament, he was not too impacted. Kate analyzed the situation and was responsible about it. In an ideal, perfect world with no other responsibilities (responsibilities that pay for houses and put food on table), I’m sure Kate would have more seriously considered picking him up.

    It’s rather awful how mothers whom I’m sure try to teach their kids to love people and be understanding are the most horrible commentors on your blog. If you don’t like what you read, don’t read. And perhaps you should practice a bit more of what you preach to your own kids.

    Sorry you had to deal with that, Kate.

  48. I’m late to this post, but just wanted to send some words of encouragement your way, and coming from ME, the BEST mother in the world, with THE BEST children, you should take it! (Get it guys! Humor!) Mothers criticizing other mothers (who aren’t abusing and neglecting their children) amazes me. Why does it happen? What is the point? Kate obviously wasn’t harming Owen in any way…so why all the negativity. She did what worked for HER, not you. My goodness, ladies, if we could all be perfect mothers, how boring would that be! I like the chaos, noise and oops! moments. My kids have survived this far…and that’s not an accident. Kate is doing fine, she loves Owen deeply and for those of you who posted about her priorities….REALLY? Really, people? Shame on you. So she didn’t rush home to a low grade fever…what exactly does she pay the daycare for? To be a surrogate parent to Owen when she and Benjamin aren’t with him. If it were a grandparent watching him, would your opinion have been the same?

    Kate-I have followed your journey from the beginning. As a mother of 3, I commend you. You are doing great! Rock on!

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