Monday, April 30, 2007

Rantings of a Working Mom

I felt comfort of fresh air filling my lungs this morning as I picked my car keys to go to work. There was no notes to leave for my husband; who have happily taken morning stress on his shoulders for many years now so I could go to work early & spend my evenings with children (in other words I could attend to my second full-time job at home in more relaxed manner)……there was no calls to make to the boss while dreading that intimidating talk, how my poor attendance at office is affecting projects’ progress & how I could be terminated on the basis of this poor attendance record…as if HR notification of all this was not enough.
This may sound like height of craziness, but last week I needed a place to go where there was not any craziness without actually getting away. I wanted to turn on my computer and go to my on-line happy space where other people who understand life as a working mom balancing a successful career with trying to be a good parent, loving & beautiful wife, calm & happy woman, you name short, women trying to be the best of everything and evolving into the 21st century mothers or Corporate Moms. But it was not so.
Monday morning, as if being Monday at work was not enough, just about 3 hours into sorting projects and responding e-mails; I got call from my daughter’s school. She was running 100 fever (which I know is 102 for her normal body temp being at 96). It gave me anxiety symptoms, wishing to be there right that moment but knowing that I was 40 miles away from her. I took immediately off from work, but this was the early morning when traffic is heaviest & I was not driving against it… it took me 75 mins (as opposed to my normal drive of 45 mins) to get there. To keep my mind off from all the bad thoughts; I turned on Sukhmani Sahib da paath in car; so I calmed down by the time I got to the school.
Well, then started my struggle to control that fever…alternate dozes of Motrin/Tylenol, cool baths, wet washcloths on the forehead…all that kept me on my toes for 3 days and 2 nights. I took her to doctor believing her sore throat is a case of strep…but doctor simply did throat culture & sent me home with instructions that I already knew about the fever control. She has had rash developed on her upper body on Tuesday evening right when her brother was expecting us to go to his long-awaited open house at school. After making consultation calls with advice nurse and making yet another appointment on Tuesday night, I left her in dad’s care & went with my son to his open house. It was only after the effect that I realized that ‘Mom knows the best’…I should have switched places with my husband on these tasks. Well that appointment was in vain too, doctor told us nothing more that advice nurse did…give her benadryl. It may be allergy. Change the Motrin with Advil. That night again was the longest night; just checking on her condition and planning my next day if I could go to work.
Her fever began to stablalize on Tuesday night…meaning she could go on Advil for 6 hours at stretch, but rash was increasing to lower body. I knew it was not allergy, it was not heat rash (which it looked like)..but I was feeling very helpless. The HR notification that hangs on my refrigerator was pushing me to go to office and show my face for few hours while daughter was in dad’s care in the AM; but my mother heart wanted to just e-mail my resignation than to face that intimidation at work again. Hubby was not of much help; as he could not understand that only corporate moms can. In tears I left the home; leaving instructions for dad to give her medicine. As I feared, got call from dad only after 2 hours at work that her rash is worsening. Again had the miserable one and a half hour drive back to pick her up from school & wondering what exactly drove me to come to work, when my daughter needed me to be on her side? Why could I not risk being terminated? Is it hurtful to my ego to get terminated from the company who I served for 15 years or is it loosing control on making my own decision to quit my career? I still don’t know the answer but a corner of my heart is still resenting the fact that only moms are expected to make such choices.
Well, I had open talk with my boss that Wednesday morning before I got the call; basically choosing to be mother first & everything else later. I told him that I may or may not come to work for rest of the week & even offered to write a resignation letter if so required. I guess, boss realized the seriousness of the matter & did not want to loose the opportunity to get my help training the new software engineer before I quit my job in June. He even returned my call next day just to inform me that I need no ‘off-work’ slips from doctor in order to use personal leave (as opposed to what HR wrote). So I stayed home with my daughter in peace after that. Saturday again, I took her in for re-evaluation. As I suspected before, she now had obvious symptoms of Scarlet Fever. Finally she was put on antibiotics & is recovering well. Thank you Waheguru ji!


Blogger Harkiran Kaur said...

wow! being a mother sure is alot of hardwork! I hope she's doing well now.

Lots of love :=)

7:42 PM  
Blogger Singhni said...

Thanks harkiran..With His Kirpa she is doing great now......playing, fighting with sister as usual & pestering dad to take them to park to ride bikes :)

2:53 PM  

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