In a two income household where both parents work offsite, arrangements outside the norm have to be made when the thermometer reads 101 degrees and your child’s cheeks are burnt crimson. Decisions about whether or not one parent stays home or if outside reinforcements are brought in and what that means need to be discussed as Mom and Dad prepare the non sick child to head off to school as usual.
When I was a young mother employed outside the home, a sick child was the ultimate disruption to a tight and well-executed routine. I believed it wasn’t convenient for either me or my then husband to miss a day of work if one our kids was sick. Waking up to the sound of a barking seal coming from either of my kid’s rooms made my heart sink and my blood pressure rise. Not only did I take it upon myself to make sure all the proper arrangements were made, but I also had so much vested in how my employer viewed me that to miss one day was akin to striking out in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded.
From my vantage point today years later, I am saddened by my lack of perspective on this situation. If I could go back and tell my younger self that missing a day or two of work to care for an ill child will not bring the world as you know it to an end, I would do my best to press upon her the idea that what’s perceived as convenient — and what’s not — are all relative.
Nevermind that your beautiful, loving, talented, delightful, normally happy child’s health is compromised.
Nevermind that the right front tire you knew was getting low is now flat.
Nevermind that Mother Nature just dumped two feet of snow across your city and everything has come to a complete halt.
Things are going to work out just fine.
The reality is this. Nothing that happens outside of our control has, is, or ever will be convenient. You could argue that since most of life is beyond our immediate control, most of life is not convenient. In fact, most of life is inconvenient as Hell when you stop and really think about it. None of us can ever know when “that” phone call will come or “that” meeting in the boss’s office is scheduled or that “deal” falls through or…
All we can do is check in with ourselves about how we respond to changes that seem to come out of nowhere.
What is a matter of convenience is really nothing more than a matter of perception. Of priorities.