Our 6 year-old son, W, woke up this morning with a nasty virus after being up in the night coughing. Fortunately, he didn't have a fever, but was sick enough to stay home from school. We certainly didn't want to send him with the horrible sounding croupy cough.
After consulting our respective work calendars, my husband and I determined that he would be the one to stay home with our son. It was a logical decision, based on our schedules. Not to mention that W is old enough for us to be able to get some work done from home, and if taking time off is required, my husband also has a much healthier PTO balance than I do.
But I still hated leaving him this morning. It's situations like this that make me feel so conflicted about work/life balance. I knew that W was fine at home with his dad. I also knew that he wasn't terribly sick and just needed some extra rest and TLC. But I still wanted for it to be me at home with him. I wanted for someone not just to be at home with him, but to be with him.
Memories aren't just made at the "big" moments in life. "Being there" doesn't mean only being there for the ball games, plays, events, and parent-teacher conferences. Memories and being there also happen in the little, everyday things - like making hot cereal or soup and snuggling my son when he doesn't feel good. If my schedule and PTO balance would have allowed, I would have taken the time - that bonus day rarely gifted to us by all things a virus - and spent it with him.
Will it get easier? I doubt it, but I can hope so.