Whenever my child has a temperature or is not feeling well, every other thought just flows out of my mind. All my focus and energy are then redirected to my child, and I think most parents can relate when I say that work and everything else just flies out the window.
However, dropping everything in an instant does not work every time. There are times when we cannot easily dismiss or postpone our work responsibilities. But don’t fret and chill mama, because here are a pieces of advice that might help you stay on top of both your parenting and work responsibilities in the future.
Know your rights and company policy.
If you’re a working parent, the number of leaves depends on your employer. But the government has mandated the following number of leaves per year:
Yearly service incentive leave (after working a year): 5 days
Solo parent leave (after working a year and required a solo parent ID): 7 days
On average, most private companies offer the following leave benefits:
Vacation Leave: 13 to 18 days per year
Sick Leave: 12 to 15 days per year
Solo Parent Leave: 7 working days per year
This means that parents can make use of some of these leave days to tend to their child on days he/she’s not feeling well. Aside from these, some companies also offer extra leave benefits such as emergency leaves. And staying on top of your leave benefits – both government-mandated and company will allow you more flexibility to take care of your child.
Inform your boss.
Even if you still have a number of leaves, it’s best to keep your boss and even your workmates informed of you and your child’s situation. If your child woke up with a temperature and you’re considering taking a day off to care for him/her, then message your boss ASAP of the situation and that you’re considering (and even once you do decide) taking a leave. This way, your boss and workmates can adjust and even pick up your slack at work as necessary. A lot of companies and work superiors give importance to family and chances are, they’ll understand your situation.
Try to set up go-to alternative care.
Not all jobs or companies might be as flexible as parents want or need them to be. And if your position is considered such, then perhaps the next best way to cope is to set up alternative care. This can be either your partner – if his job is more flexible than yours, one set of grandparents, aunts or uncles, or even your trusted nanny. This way, you’re assured that your child is getting the best care while he/she’s sick and you’re not stressed out over not being able to stay with him/her.
Accordingly, if you’re unsure about when to let your child take a sick day from school and when you need to take a leave yourself to care for him/her, you can refer to our checklist.
*Originally published in momcenter.com.ph