Thursday, August 13, 2015

What Happens When You Have One Sick Single Parent, One Healthy Kid?

What happens when your kid is sick but both parents work?

That's the question the author of this article, Two Working Parents, One Sick Kid, addresses. When faced with his kid sick for the first time, the author (the dad) realizes sexist cultural norms still exist today and that, by default, in situations like these, mom stays home vs. dad.

He writes:
I, on the other hand, felt the full weight of parenthood finally pressing down on me. The buck stops with me, I thought, but I am not the buckstopper... Now, it was on me, and he was sick, and he was sad. And I had work. Lots of it. Something had to give. It was exceedingly hard to say, "Hey, I need to take some time off to care for my sick son." ... And I realized I was holding onto some guilt, too. Like I had abandoned my work, which I care deeply about, for a sick kid.

It's comments and, frankly, complaints like these that make it difficult to empathize.

Abandon his dear work to care for a sick kid? A sick kid? Said sick kid isn't just any kid but happens to be his own. What do working people who love their work really think when they have kids? That they won't have to make sacrifices for the life they brought into the world?

Moreover, it's all relative. While the author acknowledges working-parent cultural norms are sexist and the privilege is in his favor, he fails to acknowledge the full extent of his privilege. That, while he might have to take a few days off, his family still benefits from a) a higher chance that at least one present parent is healthy enough to care for their child and, b) a dual income to support his family.

This is not some raging single-mom rant. But to put things into perspective, what happens when you have one sick parent, one absentee one, and one healthy kid?

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Posted by Humans of New York on Thursday, August 13, 2015

The author of the above article is experiencing a completely normal situation in probably the best of circumstances. While everyone is entitled to complain, what is he really complaining about?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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