The last several years, we have been lucky in that my jobs allowed flexibility in trading work days with co-workers or making up missed days. And even more luckily, these frequently fell on days I was home with the girls anyway. Since November 1st, it seems Mother Nature is trying to teach me a lesson : "Ha ha! You thought you could do this? Think again beeee-yatch!"
Of course, the best is finding out that I have not accumulated enough paid time off to stay at Izzy's side during this brain/face smooshing disaster. Because the law states "When it rains, it pours." (Hee hee) Remember? So, what's a couple of rainy/windy/too hot/too cold/too snowy/sky-was-too-blue-creating-dangerous-sun-glares-on-bus-windshields-days on top of that?
So, my husband and I have officially been initiated into the "School Delay/Cancellation Child Care Scramble Club". It is an honor we take seriously as you have to be of a certain level of intelligence to be in it. Mensa? Ha! We are waaay too smart for Mensa! This club forces mind bending tricks involving bending the time/space continuum and having to be in two places at once. Not everyone can successfully do this.
Seriously, though, I find myself thinking, "How long might my absence at work go unnoticed?" or better yet "If there is a small blond child in my pocket, will that be inappropriate?" Plus, it creates a huge opportunity to teach the kids independence and how not to be frightened! After all, they know where the bus stop is. When I was in first grade, and we lived in Germany, I walked home from school by myself! I even got a lollipop and balloon on an almost daily basis from the friendly neighborhood bank to reward me for finding my way back. Would it be so bad, once in a while, if they had to get on the bus themselves? Maybe the county is trying teaching character building for the little ones?! Maybe, we should all be greatful for this sneaky opportunity.
Aside from the minor problem of not getting paid if you don't come into work, there are a couple of other issues. First, there is mommy guilt for not being there for your child. I mean, if I had just stayed home in the first place, we wouldn't be in this pickle, now would we? Next, is another version of mommy guilt - for not being there for your patients, knowing you've let down their mommies, and knowing how that might feel. This is especially true in the winter season as some of these kiddos are actually pretty sick.
I have done a lot of research on this topic of the working mothers and what to do in case of emergencies with your children and have found that the answer is : 1. Find a lot of money 2. Hire a "nanny on-call". I don't actually know anyone who has said "nanny", but in a dream world it would be da bomb.
Cleverly, this all ties back to my previous post about forming a commune. We should have a child care share, where we dump our kids together on these days and take turns suffering through the delays & cancellations. If we have great friends with great kids who our kids love, it might even alleviate some of our mommy guilt.
This is what happens when the children are home on snow days by themselves...or with Daddy...sometimes that is nearly the same thing.