How to Balance Work With a Sick Child

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance

Kids are nothing if unpredictable. For working parents, work and home life can therefore be hard to reconcile.

"Working moms and dads know juggling parenting and professional responsibilities is a delicate balancing act on the best days. Throw in a few complicated but inevitable family emergencies and it becomes even trickier," says The Muse contributor Elizabeth Alterman.

One of the trickiest emergencies to navigate is that of a sick child. "Whether your child wakes up under the weather or you get that dreaded call from the school nurse midday, you may have no other option but to stay home or leave the office," continues Alterman, who sought advice from life and career coach Amber Rosenberg of Pacific Life Coach.

Rosenberg's suggestion? Go to your manager with "solutions, not problems."

"Figure out who will step in, how you can still be available and present, and what work needs to be pushed back or delegated," Alterman advises. "With the assistance of technology, I've been able to participate in many meetings while fulfilling my mom/nurse duties from home. While it's not the same as being in the office, it's better than missing a crucial update or letting the team down."

The key is to know what you'll do if your child's sick well before they actually are.

Concludes Alterman: "Dealing with family emergencies while working isn't fun or easy, but having strategies in place can at least minimize the stress -- and ensure you're there for your child and your job's taken care of."

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.