The receptionist informed me that all the afternoon appointments for that day were taken and suggested alternatives which I then advised were unsuitable for a working mother. She then enquired the whereabouts of my son and when I told her that he was in childcare, her tone was judgemental, "Why is he in Childcare if he is sick?"
I was taken aback and too stunned for words. This conversation was no longer professional.
I collected myself and told her very calmly that I would never send my son to childcare if he was vomiting / had diarrhea / sporting a fever / felt lethargic. That the cough and cold is very common especially in childcare and cited the reasons why I want him seen.
She then suggested that I take up the after hours GP service as the earlier times do not suit. I declined her suggestion and chose the only time slot available in the "late afternoon" (4:15pm) on the next day.
I was reeling from that phone conversation because I was being chastised by a working mother. Surely her children are not immune to being unwell. Perhaps they don't go to school / childcare when they are unwell as there are alternative arrangements. Unfortunately, for many dual income working families, there are simply no other options. In this particular instance, I do not feel guilty being a working mother as much as I do feel guilty letting my colleagues down for not being there.