Thursday, April 30, 2015

Being chastised by a working mother

There I was on the phone trying to make an appointment with the GP for my son who has been nursing a cough off and on for three weeks. I don't usually take him to the doctor for the common cough and cold because they usually abate after 5 days. However with the onset of the cooler weather, I thought otherwise.

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.

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