WAHM: Why I Fear Sick Days

“Aren’t you lucky, I’d love to work from home”, “It must be great being at home for Boo” I never go a week without hearing this from either clients or parents – surely being a work at home mum is the magic key to striking the perfect balance: feeding your intellectual hunger without the guilt of missing out on the day to day joys of parenting. Yes I’m fully aware that the majority of the time I enjoy the family setup that me and Boo enjoy but today (Boo’s second day off with her first nasty chest of the season) it feels like I am trapped in a working model that they tell you is a good idea but in fact is the total opposite.


I like other working parents have a routine (whether commuting or work at home) and when your child is ill, quite rightly they need looking after. But here’s the very big difference: if you have to take a sick day from the office to care for your child, you are literally ‘out of the office’ whereas this morning I have spent two hours trying to continue with work while we’re on the sofa under a blanket watching the new Tarzan, making sure to fast forward the scary bits and stroke Boo’s head (because it’s a universally acknowledged fact that a mother’s hand is the cure for everything) and I’ve achieved nothing tangible.

I could always e-mail clients to say that today is a sick day and I’m ‘out of the office’ but then that wouldn’t appear very professional: WAHMs spend half their time legitimatising their work and worth. That is something that has to end, we live in a modern society that encourages a plethora of differing working practices yet we’re still reluctant to recognise their very real worth.

All working parents regardless of whether their commute is the 8.04 to London Bridge or a stroll to the study in slippers have the unenviable task of juggling. However being a work at home mum means the lines between work and family are much less defined,they’re positively blurred and that can’t be good for anyone.



  1. January 19, 2017 / 14:34

    Yep I agree, these are the most difficult of times as a WAHM. But there are lots of amazing advantages and I guess it’s just something we have to get through. I do agree though, we shouldn’t be made to feel bad for putting off work for a few days when our child is ill.
    Plutonium Sox recently posted..20 tips for visiting Europa-Park theme park in GermanyMy Profile

  2. January 19, 2017 / 17:52

    I absolutely agree. Some people seem to think that you need to be seen to prove you are working, which is clearly not the case. But sometimes the lines blur, as you say, particularly when a child is ill. It’s all quite tricky.

  3. January 19, 2017 / 19:01

    It’s so hard isn’t it, trying to juggle everything when your child is poorly. I hope she feels better soon. x

  4. January 19, 2017 / 19:25

    I looked into working from home and I was made to feel as if I would be taking the easy way out but to me it is actually a much harder choice. Sick days, like you say, don’t exist when working at home and the kids are sick. its not fair.

  5. January 19, 2017 / 20:28

    I find this during the holidays as well. I work like mad to get a couple of days that I can spend fully with the kids but sick days you can’t plan for.
    Ness recently posted..The allotment in JanuaryMy Profile

  6. January 20, 2017 / 08:34

    I personally, don’t see anything wrong with putting an out of office on – you don’t need to give the whys… I think we as women put a lot of pressure upon ourselves. We really shouldn’t.

    I have done the WAHM juggle for 10+ years – my son is now nearly grown up now, but I know how tough it can be.
    Michelle – The Purple Pumpkin Blog recently posted..Out Of The Box / Project 365 : 2017 – Day 19My Profile

  7. January 20, 2017 / 10:12

    I think people think that a parent working from home has more scope to juggle their work schedule to fit in with child care which is not always the case. Deadlines still need to be met.

  8. January 20, 2017 / 14:25

    I hear you! I’ve worked from home for 12 years now and have done the work and sick child juggle! I used to let the child get in my bed with me whilst I worked from a laptop balanced on a lap tray! Needs must eh? But I do love working from home. People in offices don’t always realise that the stress and deadlines are as real for WAHMs as they are for them, but overall I feel blessed that I don’t have a horrible commute. Hope your child gets better soon.
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted..Review: Sukhothai, LeedsMy Profile

  9. January 20, 2017 / 20:41

    I totally agree with you and have juggled both the boys being sick and me being sick too. I wish I had a support system, but alas I don’t.

    The school holidays are the hardest for me and most of the time I have to take time off work.
    Jen Walshaw recently posted..How to Get a Good Night’s SleepMy Profile

  10. January 20, 2017 / 22:49

    That’s definitely the dark side of being a WAHM, I currently work part time in an office and work part time on my blog and I can totally see it. This week both me and my son had/have an awful vomiting bug. I was able to call in sick to the office but still had to try and Blog around it.

  11. January 24, 2017 / 16:52

    I think we all struggle with sick days whether we work at home or outside of the home. I work and when my two are ill I have to stay at home with them which is often a struggle as I have meetings and conference calls booked in which means that I’m having to ask other people to rearrange. I’m lucky that I can often work from home where I need to but then it’s a juggling act to do all I need to do and look after the sickies 😉
    Cass Bailey recently posted..My Money Story – Katy from Katy Kicker….My Profile

  12. January 29, 2017 / 13:08

    I find it so hard working from home, ignoring the washing etc! Sick days are also very hard to manage.
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  13. January 29, 2018 / 13:28

    I have literally spent the morning cleaning up vomit from child number three after she has woken up with the lurgy. Other than watching Frozen, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child I have achieved nothing – unless mopping the kitchen floor after that was a hit zone or reloading the washing machine several times in order to keep on top of the masses of new found vomit covered washing

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