Growing up, I always heard the phrase, ‘They Say It Takes a Village,’ but I never truly understood it until now. As cliche as it sounds, it is true, especially for those of us that don’t have family near us to help us out. In today’s world, it’s hard not to have two working out of the home parents. And this certainly comes with difficulties.
Cold and Flu Season Can Be So Hard Without a ‘Village’
When school starts and sicknesses start going around, and you have multiple children, sometimes the tiniest little cold lasts for weeks by the time it has gotten through everyone. Sometimes sick time AND vacation don’t even add up to how much we need to take off to deal with illnesses, daycare closings, etc. If I had to take off for every single one of these things, I wouldn’t be able to hold down a job.
I’m lucky enough that if I need to work from home, I can. My job is computer-based, and I have a lot I can work on outside of the office. I am also lucky enough to have a boss that is understanding and knows what it’s like to be a working mom. I feel very fortunate because I know there are a lot of people that can’t do this. One of those people is my husband. He does get a lot more sick days than I do, but that is because if he is away from his job [because of illness], he literally can’t do his job.
We don’t have a lot of family in the area, so we don’t get the support that others do. One day, I got a text from my daughter’s daycare teacher saying she had a slightly elevated temperature. Nothing serious, but it was high enough that I needed to pick her up. My boss didn’t even question it and told me to go. Some of my colleagues talked about how they were lucky they didn’t have to do things like that. Their parents lived close by and would have gone to pick their kids up if need be and even taken them to the doctor. I’m happy for those of you out there that get this, but I’m also really jealous. My husband and I have no idea what it’s like to have someone else to rely on when our kids are sick.
So off I went to pick up my daughter and bring her home. I ended up leaving my son there because he was having a great day and had just laid down for a nap. A few hours later, just as my daughter was falling asleep, my son’s daycare teacher sent me a message to tell me that he had just woken up from his nap crying and now had a fever and needed me to come to pick him up. I started to panic. Leilani had JUST fallen asleep. What was I supposed to do? My husband had no more sick time to use. So as I tried to calm my anxiety, I called my neighbor, who sometimes works from home. She didn’t answer. I picked up the phone and called my husband. “I don’t know what to do,” is all I could say. I was going to have to wake her up. I tried one more friend who lived in the area and asked if she was home. She was working from home, and you know what that friend did? She packed up her laptop and came over to work at my dining room table so that I could run and grab my son, and I didn’t have to wake up my daughter. I almost burst into tears.
This is my village. These are my people.
She got to my house, and I ran to the daycare to pick up my son, who indeed had a fever but was acting like his usual self because the daycare teacher knew how to calm him down. We ran home, and my friend and I chatted for a few minutes, and then she left. And I was left thinking, ‘How did I get so lucky?’ There are so few people out there that would have done what she did. I literally started to cry. If we didn’t have friends like this to help us, I don’t know what I would do. How would we get by? My friends are my village. And this village helps to raise my kids, even in the smallest little ways and for that I am grateful.
Because of my friend, my kiddos got to rest and hit the road to recovery.
Who are your people? Your village? Make sure you reach out and tell them how much you love and appreciate them!
Here are some tips on handwashing during coronavirus, cold, and flu season so we can stop spreading so many sicknesses, and some natural ways to get through this awful season!