What Do You Do When You Have to Work and Have a Sick Child?

Updated on July 29, 2010
S.C. asks from Surprise, AZ
12 answers

Hi moms! I have been a SAHM since my child was born. He is now 3 and I have to return to the work force. I will be in a new area without family and one of my main concerns is... What do I do when my child is sick and cannot go to school, and I have to work? . I just worry with me working a new job and him just starting preschool and being exposed to the colds and illnesses associated with being around lots of other children. He is my only child and I am naturally very protective, and will obviously stay home with him if he is sick, but was wondering if there were any resources out there for parents in my position. Any postive advice is welcome! Thanks!

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answers from Detroit on

I'm lucky that I have my mom and grandma (they live together) who will keep my son when he is sick. .
I never stay home when I'm sick (lucky too I never get sick) so, I bank plenty of sick time just in case the kids get sick. If they are going to be out of school more than a day my mom will usually keep them at her house until they are will enough to go back to school. She says this is so they don't have to get out of their beds too early.

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answers from Buffalo on


I 1st of all wish you good luck on the new job. Now What I would do is start to get to know your neighbors, and try to get to know the other Mom's at Pre-K. These people can be a great resource. Also go on Care.com they are a great resource to find an emergancy sitter if you need one. Do not wait until you need one to find an emergancy sitter. Go out some evenings so you can test out some sitters and get a few so if 1 is not available another might be and your little one gets to have a relationship with these people. It will all come into play, just make sure the sitters do not mind taking care of a child who is sick.

Good luck and make sure they are red cross certified.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

If you are a member of a local church, befriend some of the ladies in the lady's groups. There are usually alot of "grammas" that would love to help you out. If your child is running a fever, though, you should stay home. A good employer will understand.
I am a divorced mom, and have been there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

It sounds like if he has not been in daycare or preschool before, he could catch a number of colds the first winter. I am very fortunate to work in a very family-friendly workplace, and the sick leave policy is great. I hope you have the same good fortune. Talk to your boss, and really go the extra mile before cold and flu season starts. I started my full time new job in the middle of the winter, and didn't even make it through the first day before daycare called me to come get my son because of fever. Aside from burning through my sick and vacation leave as soon as I earned it, my employer was very understanding.

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answers from Kansas City on

My employer is pretty cool about me taking a sick day if the kid is sick. My husband will try to take off instead if I don't have any sick days (like when I got back from maternity leave and didnt have any time, he had to take a week when she got rotavirus!). If it's just a cold, chances are he got it from school and the other kids have it so I would still send him. Like today, my daughter has a cold but no fever, and I know she got it from our daycare lady's daughter who also has a cold, so I didnt feel bad about sending her. But I was up front about it, letting her know she had a cold.

As long as you aren't taking off a ton of time, hopefully your employer will understand if your child is sick once in a while.


answers from Detroit on

My mom or mom in law will take the kids. I also have an emergency backup sitter in those situations. But I get paid if I have to take a day off. So if one of the three mentioned above can't sit for me, then I stay home. Usually one of the three can though.



answers from Boston on

When I work and my son is sick. I call in. I also make sure my employer know that I have a child.



answers from Seattle on

Some hospitals have "sick child daycare", but I just always chose to call in "My kid's sick today".



answers from San Diego on

Hi Sara, I run a home daycare and I can not have kids who are sick here, and I am always telling my parents, that when you are a parent you need to find a job that is family oriented and understand kids do get sick. And starting pre school he will be exposed to many germs. but if other parents are keeping their sick children at home, then your son will not be expossed to a bunch of illnesses. J.



answers from Phoenix on

Find some local mom's groups in your community and/or church that cater to working moms. You can usually do a search in Yahoo or other search engines for community groups. Working moms' groups probably have something set up for instances like that.



answers from Denver on

When our son was little we too didn't have any family around. My husband and I would take turns taking off work if our son was sick. On the few occassions it just wasn't possible for either of us to miss work, I would take him to work with me. I worked where there was little (if any) contact with the outside public. I had my own office so I would just keep him in there with me.


answers from Austin on

When I was little, my mother had a very good neighbor with her own school-age kids that I would stay with when I was sick. They are still good friends today, always bringing each other casseroles.
My old job had a tough absence policy. If you had to stay home because you or your family was sick, 10 times in 1 year, you'd automatically be fired! I didn't go back after my son was born.

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