Kids are gross. Inspiring, cuddly, lovable, yes - but also: gross. I had barely heard of things like pink eye, ringworm and foot and mouth disease until I became a mom. My kid even got scarlet fever - Oregon Trail much?
All kids get sick sometime, but nothing makes a 2 am vomit session worse than the additional worry that you'll lose your job if you can't go in to work the next day.
Unfortunately, that nightmare is a reality for far too many people in the United States. In fact, today, 40% of all workers and 80% of low-wage workers cannot earn even a single paid sick day to care for themselves or a sick kid. [1,2]
Fortunately, we've come up with some GREAT alternatives to paid sick days. Why stay home to care for a sick little one when you can...
1. Take 'em to Congress or City Hall!
I especially recommend this plan for states like Florida and Pennsylvania where some legislators actually want it to be illegal for cities within the state to pass laws that guarantee sick leave. [3,4]
2. Hide 'em under your desk!
True story! At MomsRising.org we receive tons of stories from moms and dads across the country who've had to take their sick kids to work with them. And since your darling vomiting babe will likely get you sick too, you'll have an impressive pile of tissues to hide them with! Bonus!
3. Don't get sick. Ever.
If you do get sick you can break out a haz-mat suit to keep it from your kids. In fact, you should probably wear one all the time.
We all know a supportive partner can make all the difference, but since pretty much no one can afford to have a parent stay home full time, a supportive partner might end up being thrown under the "sick day bus" by having to stay home even when they can't afford to, which brings us to idea #4....
4. Win the chance to go to work.
If "Rock, Paper, Scissors" won't fly you can always try shouting "Not it!" or "Nose goes."
You might even be lucky to have a supportive job that has emergency childcare for sick kids. LOL, just kidding, but I hear Craigslist has great babysitters. If not you can always…
5. Hire a lion to babysit!
*If for some reason none of these horrible ideas appeal to you, there is one more thing you could try...
MomsRising is working with folks in cities across the country to organize for paid sick days - and we're WINNING! Seven cities and one state have earned paid sick days for most workers and dozens of other campaigns are in the works, including a campaign for a national standard! Join us in the fight for paid sick days here! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/HFA_2013/
Art by David Mansfield at A is for Effort