Friday, January 9, 2009

Sick Day

I've been home the last three days with a sick child. Obviously that means that I've had to take a few sick days from my job to stay at home to take care of my child. Sometimes I wish every day were a sick day. Not that I really want my child or myself to be sick, but I find that I get so much of my household work done while I'm home on a sick day, chores that are otherwise left to the weekend or put aside until some undetermined time.

In-between dosing out medicine, rubbing her back, and holding her so she's comforted, I've managed to fold a load of laundry, put in another load to wash and dry, wipe down the kitchen counters, pay a few bills, pick up the living room floor of toys, sort through holiday cards to pull out the pictures, and wash a sink full of dishes.

I wonder when I'm working when I actually find time for living, not that doing chores is real living in the sense of the big adventure, but it surely helps to keep me sane if my house is fairly organized and clean and everyone has clean underwear to wear!

When I first starting teaching almost twenty years ago, my principal was very big on "mental health days", encouraging us to take a day every once in awhile when we weren't sick to do something for ourselves. She wanted us to make sure we were healthy and happy and not burned out and sickly and then missing a week of work. It made sense to me then, and while it makes sense to me now, sometimes it's harder to justify that mental health day for myself when I have that little one that may need a sick day here and there.

In the meantime today, I'll keep loving on my cranky little one, wiping her runny nose, and soothing her cries while the dishwasher runs in the kitchen, there's a casserole in the oven, and the cleaner works in the toilet waiting for me to come scrub it.


Nancy Flanagan said...

You know, I haven't heard anyone use the phrase "mental health day" in a long, long time--although I also had a principal who quietly suggested the occasional rejuvenating day off when things got hyper-stressed. "Get some rest" he would say. "Things may look a whole lot different in 48 hours."

But that was before administrators were experiencing the pressures of the past decade--back when a principal who had good relationships with his/her teachers and support from the parent community could feel free to make such human suggestions.

Thanks for the invite to "Keeper." I look forward to visiting again.

The Keeper said...

My current principal is a firm believer in those "take care of yourself" days, too, and she isn't worried about making those suggestions. I like the "human touch", makes me want to work even harder for her and with her when I am there!