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When You’re Home from Work with a Sick Child

When You’re Home from Work with a Sick Child

Liam has been home sick with strep throat for the past few days. The poor kid has had a raging fever and on top of that, got an eye infection too. It hasn’t been a great week for any of us. I stayed home with him the first few days he was sick and now Brad is home with him today. While the week has been a little crazy, I feel so very lucky to work for a very family-friendly company and in the type of position where I don’t have to worry about asking to stay home with him when things like this come up. I can’t imagine what it must be like to deal with caring for a sick child and also being stressed about keeping your job.

While it’s amazing that everyone I work with is so understanding, I’ve often wondered what the etiquette is around dealing with and talking about being home with your sick child to your colleagues. I try to accomplish as much as I’m able under these circumstances, but when you have to postpone a meeting or are unable to fulfill a request at home, how much do you disclose about the reason (to those other than your manager)? I’ve found I either feel like I’m sharing too many details or so few that it seems vague and sketchy. I’d love to find a middle ground but I’ve struggled to figure out what that is – or where the line is in terms of who to share the information with.

Have you figured out the best balance? How do you manage work expectations when your child is sick and you’re home from work?

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