Have you ever faced that awkward situation where your child gets ill and both you and your partner are working? How do you decide who stays home and who goes to the office?
Perhaps you send your little one off to school or nursery and keep your fingers crossed they’ll be feeling better by lunch time? It can be tricky, can’t it?
Well, a dad in the US has spoken out on a blog on parenting site Babble about how he sent his little boy to school despite the fact he’d vomited at breakfast, all because he just didn’t feel he could take time out of the office to look after a sick kid.
The man explains that his wife, who works part-time, had a big presentation to give, as well as being around 1.5 hours journey away – and he didn’t feel this was the day to be calling her home to look after their boy.
So what did this dad do? “I told my son he was fine. I nearly convinced him that was true, even as I put him on the bus and saw a sad, unsure face looking back.
“Even though I hadn’t called in sick myself for at least six months. And I had no huge meetings or presentations or interviews of any kind. My job is one that is very doable electronically from my home, especially on that day when I had nothing particularly major going on.”
So why exactly was he so determined to go to work?
“Because dads show up. Dads don’t stay home with sick little ones. That’s what mums are for,” he says, before adding, “Of course, that’s ludicrous.”
He goes on to say he KNOWS it sounds ridiculous, but that, even where he works – which he describes as a pretty enlightened office – there’s an unwritten and casual assumption that dads come in to work while mums stay at home.
As for what happened that day – he got a call from school at around 10.30am asking him to pick his son up, which left him feeling “guilt-ridden” and “foolish” for sending him off in the first place.
The boy’s granddad ended up picking him up, but this dad then took note of his son’s words when he heard that he’d told his grandpa, “Daddy should not have sent me to school.”
What happens in your home? Who’s the person who takes time off when your child is ill?