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How To Handle Kid Emergencies When You Work From Home

  February 8

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As a self employed mom who works from home, I am definitely on the front lines when it comes to mini-emergencies. You know, stuff like a kid waking up from a nap covered in you-know-what or our babysitter not being able to get here because of the snow. Over time, I’ve learned I really have to roll with it. I keep some space in my schedule to manage mini-emergenies becuase I like to be there when they happen.

I recently filmed a short YouTube video about a recent mini-emergency with my son and how I handled it. For those of you at work who can’t watch the video, I’ll post more below.

Essentially, this past weekend, my son cried in the morning for me to get him out of his crib, but instead of walking when I put him down, he just screamed and cried and his little legs shook. He refused to walk, which was totally weird and a bit scary. Luckily hubs is only 9 weeks away from being finished with medical school – yay! – so it was nice to have his expertise around.

Hubs ended up taking him to the pediatrician who told us to keep an eye on it, but by the end of the day he was running around watching the Superbowl and all was well. We think he was just very cramped or sore because he ran around Central Park the day before in some hiking boots and he was running up and down dirt piles. Basically, it’s like the kid went to the gym and totally regretted it the next day.

Still, this whole adventure meant that I wasn’t able to get work done. I was really worried about him and my mind was jumping to all the terrible things it could be, and I really couldn’t focus very well.

Sometimes these things come up with kids – whether they are sick or just having a plain bad day. I love working from home because I can be there with them when they need me. Even if I have our babysitter here, I can tell if one of my kids is being especially cranky and sometimes it’s nice to come out of my office and give them a big hug in the middle of the day to try to make them feel better.

Over the last two years of being self employed, here’s my steps for dealing with min-emergencies:

  1. Stay calm – I tried to just think through the situation, call the doctor, and hear what the next steps should be.
  2. Re-prioritize – My first priority was going to be work, but then it quickly became my son.
  3. Re-schedule – I ended up doing work a little later in the day and the next morning to catch up. It wasn’t the most ideal time, but I figured it out anyway.
  4. Repeat – Anytime something else comes up, thinking with a clear mind and trying to rectify the situation usually helps.

I know I’m not alone because another mom friend of mine wrote that she recently had to deal with a sick child while trying to work from home, so I know this is a common issue.

kid emergencies

Even if you don’t work from home, I’d still love to hear how you handle a sick child. Which parent usually takes care of the issue? How do you readjust?

13 responses to “How To Handle Kid Emergencies When You Work From Home

  1. I think one of the best things that couples can do prior to these emergencies is not assume that the work from home parent is necessarily the “lead” parent who handles these things, but instead explicitely decide on that course of action. Of course, in most cases the reason we work from home is to make it easier to handle these things, but it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

    For most of my son’s first year, my husband handled much more than I did since he had the car.

    1. That’s a great point. It could have been either one of us that took my son to the pediatrician this past weekend, but it ended up being my husband. I stayed home with my daughter and tried to focus on getting the house in order while he was gone.

  2. It’s very difficult to get much work done when you have little ones at home. Maybe during their nap time, but often times I’m so tired I’m tempted to take a nap too. I don’t work at home but yesterday I stayed home with my son who wasn’t feeling well…thought it was just a cold that was lingering but he kept pointing to his ear and also threw up (on the rug!) I took him out in the mini snowstorm to the pediatric urgent care because our pediatrician said the first available appointment was at 3:00 pm (I called at 9:00 am). I had to find parking of course my son fell asleep and I had to choose waking him up or letting him sleep. I let him sleep a little bit and went to the doc…he was a good boy. He had an ear infection and went to the pharmacy (still snowing but not as bad). It’s a lot easier going to work =) but I love being able to spend time with him. I think he also shared his germs with me cuz I’m feeling under the weather. Parenting is tough!

    1. Parenting is so tough! I don’t work when I don’t have child care, only during nap time and after they are asleep. It’s too hard to juggle work and parenting at the same time and I don’t feel like I do either one well when I try to do them at the same time.

  3. Totally had this happen this week. Both of my kids have colds. On Monday, I was off from my FT job and planned to do some writing; however, I kept my schedule that day pretty clear (call it mother’s intuition). Surely enough, at 11 am I received a call that my daughter had a fever and I had to pick her up from school. She couldn’t return the next day because she had to be fever free for an entire 24 hours without medication. So even though I work from home, I still have to have someone watch the kids. Luckily, it was mother-in-law day and she kept the big girl busy as she watched the little one. When it comes to my kids, it’s hard to concentrate on work. I have a semi-open door policy. Majority of the time, my door is open and I’m able to attend to little boo-boos or hiccups quickly. However, If the door is shut, they know mommy is in her zone. It’s frustrating for sure, but eventually easy to get used to.

  4. I feel the pain, really I do. I work 2 jobs outside of the house and when I come home our son clings to me. It’s very difficult to balance being a dad, husband, blogger and employee but I make it work. Sometimes I have to put the blog on hold because our son comes first. He’s always getting into something or he wants me to hang out and cuddle for an hour and read to him. Life goes on. We can’t get back time with the kids.

  5. Good for you for staying calm! The main problem is that parents freak out, which freaks the kid out, which further freaks the parent out.

    And yes, working from home definitely affords some benefits. Even if it means shuffling priorities a bit. If we manage to have a kid, he’ll have two parents home all the time. Which also nicely means he won’t be able to get away with much either!

  6. Good for you because it is hard for me to handle mini emergency as I work at an office. That is why I have been wanting to work from home. For us mothers, it’s better to work from home for us to take care of our kids well.

  7. This is one reason why I became a stay at home mom to quickly attend to these kinds of mini kid emergencies and take car of my kids.

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