Children are the future – unless we need to do something important…
Yes, the headline is meant exactly like that and unfortunately this is often the truth!
My son is three years old and he is in daycare since he was 14 months old.
Has this been my choice?
Yes and no.
To afford our life we had no other option and yes, we could have moved to a village where life is cheaper and reduce the hours at daycare but then we would stop our careers. It is a balance of what we want for our child and our life and our job.
Last week the kindergarten has been closed for a day and we knew this for a while to arrange this day differently. Planning Always works fine for us.
But last week he started on exactly that day to have fever and a starting cough.
What do working parents now?
It has not been a question at all that he stays at home and that I am with him (simply because it’s easier in my job). A couple of days later I went with him to the paediatrician because he was still not as fine as we hoped for after the weekend. No more fever but not as active and happy as we know him. He still barely ate and that was very unusual for him.
The eye opener for this post happened there, at his paediatrician.
He fully checked him, asked what happened up to that day and then recommended how to move forward.
The recommendation was as follows:
“Your son has a cold, keep an eye on his ears and his throat because it’s slightly inflamed, it may fade as it seems as if he went already through the worst part but it may worsen as well and then please come back.
For the cough he gets a medication for the night so be sleeps well and recovers, throughout the day please give him lots of tea and honey, fluids are important and not too much action.”
OK, sounded like a plan and I was guessing the same before (mother’s instinct?). Before I left I just asked the following question out of curiosity: “When will he be allowed to go back to the kindergarten?”
Answer: “As he’s free of fever for two days already you can bring him tomorrow, if you have the possibity to keep him at home for another one to two day even better.”
I am in the lucky position to be able to keep him at home and did that until he was entirely fine (which turned out not to be after 1 to 2 but after 4 days at home). But what about parents who are not able to do that?
What about all the people out there who are frightened of losing their job if they stay at home, who are paid per hour and need each cent to afford the minimum standard of living, who are single parents, who have nobody around like grandparents, … there will be many scenarios which happen daily and which cause children to be in their daycare even though not fully recovered and healthy.
Imagine you are this child, you don’t feel well and your safest place is the lap of your mom or dad, resting your head on their chest listening to their heartbeat, your sweetest lullaby, and feeling simply a bit better because of the warmth and smell and love you know since you are alive. This is your place to fully relax and let go and surrender. But what happens is that instead you need to visit a place you know very well but it’s loud and children are asking if you want to play, your nose runs but nobody realizes instantly, you don’t feel fine but you try to smile throughout the day.
You are just three years old, this is not what you should learn, how to pretend to feel good, you should be where you indeed would feel as good as you can while being still a bit ill.
How do you feel now?
If I see how often my son comes to snuggle for no visible reason when he’s not fully fine I just can imagine how he would feel all alone in the kindergarten on a day like that. He starts to cry for things which normally don’t bother him, I know he would not cry there.
I know that he would not be “all alone” but it’s like standing in a crowd and feeling like the lonliest person on earth.
My heart truly aches if I think what he would need to go through and then I wonder if it would be worth it? As written, some cannot choose and I appreciate it BUT, and there is a really HUGE but to this whole topic.
It is us to raise awareness and speak up.
There are many parents out there where one parent stays at home and the most interesting part now is the following. Very often the parent’s who could not afford it stay with their children until they are recovered while the ones who could do so simply prefer to be somewhere else…brunching with friends, going to the gym, the long scheduled hair dresser appointment,….
I just want to ask all of you – please be responsible, take care of this little soul, children can feel abandoned quickly and in such cases they are even totally right to feel so. What matters most is not the happy employer or the well done hair, what matters most is that our children are as well as they deserve to be.
We have chosen to be parents, care-takers (maybe the better word here) – it is our duty to be there when they need us most!
We don’t want to raise a generation of people who don’t know that it means to be taken care of and who think it’s normal to be at work not feeling well. A generation of pretenders, is this what we want? Surely not, at least not for me.
We are the basis they build up their life on. Don’t let this be shattered to pieces – our health is the most important – all we are is connected to how we feel.
If you agree please be so kind and share, comment, spread this message – we are responsible for the future and we need to take ownership here!