Monday, May 24, 2010

Calling In Sick

When I was working and going to school I often times would do both while sick. I'd lay my head on my desk while going through the motions and listening to the lecture. What did the teacher care, I was just a number and I attended class that day. I'd stand at my cash register sipping my Coke and eating crackers while dishing off most responsibility to the other employees that felt fine. They didn't mind because at least I was there and they didn't have to cover the things that I could do like ring up customers and answer phones. They were grateful for what I could give.

So what does it look like when you call in sick as a mom? Are we allowed to? Will life as we know it end and the home stop functioning properly? Will the children feel unloved and abandoned? Will our husbands fire us? And what is our job anyway?

I was listening to the radio last week and they said that if you added up all the jobs and responsibilities that a mother does in any given week, she would make well over $100,000 a year. Right on, I thought. Then I started thinking about what those jobs were and what I would actually get paid to do them. Janitor? I would have been fired. Cook? Average pay, I believe. Nurse? Eh, it's hit or miss if I have band aids in the house.

But who really gets paid the big bucks? The CEO's, the Presidents and owners of successful companies. And for some of those owners, is it really the pay and financial increase, or is it the reward of seeing something you've created from the ground up actually make a difference in the world?

I overheard a phone conversation at the library a while ago where a man was talking to someone that was trying to sell him something. He finally ended the call by saying, "listen, I'd like to make the decision here, but you're talking to the CEO. My wife is the President of this family and I have to check with her first." I hope his wife caught wind of that discussion and feels her infinite worth as a contributor to their family and society in general.

A friend recently posted that mothers and teachers are two of the primary wealth contributors to society. Right on, I'm both. But where's my wealth?
  • It's in the eyes of my children as they laugh and play.
  • It's the student that can read and his parents that are grateful.
  • It's the youth that make my Wednesday nights delightful.
  • It's the relationships that form and endure through the tough times.
  • It's the inflection in my daughters voices as they repeat common sayings around our house and the friends that tell me how much they sound like me.
  • It's seizing the moment to capture a good time.

And most importantly, it's today. The day that I'm calling in sick from most of my responsibilities, eating crackers, sipping on a Coke, and hopefully won't go under. I'd like to think that I've set up this business I like to call home in a way that lets the other employees take charge. We don't have to put up the "Closed" sign because the President isn't feeling well. The 11 year old can start laundry and cook dinner. The 6 year old makes a fine babysitter. And the CEO will come home and pull a second shift because he's just as devoted to this company as the President is.


April said...

What happens when the president and the ceo are sick simultaneously and they both lay in bed for four hour stints two days in a row? I think I'll see the aftermath tomorrow. Ew!

H said...

You're supposed to call the president of a similar company and call for reinforcements. But then, when that pres. is sick as well...

Bill said...

It should never happen. It is like worlds colliding! Besides, the CEO can't call in sick without first asking the President, and the President can deny the request.