Every day I call my babysitter to check on my kids. During today’s call, I was told that my son was not well. He was a little warm in the morning but I gave him Panadol and he seemed to settle. Now he was running a fever and he was asking for his Mama.
Within the hour, I received a call telling me that Mr 4 had vomited and had to go to the doctor. He was still asking for his Mama.
Admittedly and I hate to say this, I was annoyed.
I know my son is sick, I know he needs his mother and I know he must visit the doctor.
But in that moment all I could think about were deadlines I need to meet and the entire role I need to learn before I change position next year.
I was so incredibly busy at work, I could barely even stop to take the phone call telling me that my son needed medical attention.
I felt that stifling guilt a working mother feels when she’s torn between children and her job. I visualised the eye-rolling and knowing glances that some staff members would share.
‘I’ll show them’, I thought, Robomumming out of the office with an enviro-bag full of marking and lesson preparation.
Mr 4 was asleep on the lounge. He was frightfully hot and groggy. His face was burning and his usually perfect lips, were dry. I picked up his frail little body and rushed him to the GP.
“I missed ya, Mama”, he said when he woke up in the waiting room.
My heart sank more than it usually does when he says this.
I stroked his hair away from his hot little face and held him tightly in my arms.
I noticed some spots near his neck and on closer inspection I saw that they formed a rash that stretched across his torso and between his shoulder blades.
My God in Heaven help me.
It turns out that Mr 4 most likely has a throat infection, (we’re waiting on results) and the rash is something that should be monitored closely but more than likely is temperature related.
Thank you, God.
I cried all the way home.
Driving and crying.
The more I saw that sleepy boy’s head bobbing around in his booster seat, the more upset I became.
I wouldn’t ever put anything before my children but today, the prospect of leaving work was intolerable. Even if just for a few brief minutes, why did I put fucking deadlines before the health of my child?
We’re home now. Mr 4 is a bit better and I’m just hanging out with him on the lounge being silly and making him giggle. His temperature is still high but he’s improving and the rash is fading. The enviro-bag of work is still on the front seat of my car, destined to stay there until tomorrow.
Instead of working, I thought I’d take a few brief minutes to reflect and share today’s lesson. Parent, partner, sibling or friend, it’s important to slow down and consider our priorities, ensure they are in the correct order.
Am I alone on this one? Or are you willing to admit you drive and cry too?