Friday, April 13, 2012

Calling in Sick - The Dilemma

Guest Blog Post by: Susan Michener Spracher


Why is it so hard to call in sick when you or your child don’t feel good? What should be a no-brainer decision becomes a knot in your stomach, pro-con list runaround in your head, followed by a guilt sandwich. Sometimes we try to avoid the whole issue by saying, “let’s try to get going, take some medicine and see if we feel better” as we push our kids along to school and we forge on to work.

The first thing I think of when a colleague comes to work coughing, sneezing and sniffling is GO HOME and take your germs with you! I would much rather do without their productivity then inherit their illness. And really, how productive can a person be when they feel like crap? I’m certain teachers, and the parents of the other 29 students in the class, feel the same way when we send our child to school sick.

How did the idea that “the show must go on” become so ingrained? I wonder about the wisdom of passing that theory along to our children. Sure we want to teach them a good work ethic; be on time, be responsible, follow through. But what about the importance of listening to our bodies? Maybe the message could be: it’s OK to lay down when you’re sick and doing so will make you feel better faster. It’s alright – you’re not letting people down. You’re protecting them from getting sick too. And whatever you missed, can be made up when you’re feeling better.
As parents we are often last on the list of things to take care of. But as we know, our children are observing and absorbing our every move. Perhaps if we model taking care of ourselves by laying down when we’re sick, sitting down when we’re tired or leaving the dishes in the sink to have some fun; our kids will learn to do the same for themselves. And wouldn’t the world be a happier, healthier and less stressful place?