How to deposit your sick kid at childcare before the teacher figures it out*

Sick? Just don’t take your temperature.

Yesterday, new Government rules designed to keep kids from catching bugs and viruses in child care, had everybody talking (you can read all about that here).

So in honour of those new rules and in the spirit of truthfulness about less-than-perfect-parenting, we wanted to share with you this excerpt from Sh*tty Mum: The Parenting Guide For The Rest Of Us, the New York Times bestseller.

*this post is designed to be tongue-in-cheek, not taken as serious advice, people…..

How to deposit your sick kid at childcare before the teacher figures it out.

If you read the headline and thought, ‘Oh, I could never do that! It’s so irresponsible! Just stay home!’, then this is not for you. Move along, princess. Enjoy your supportive husband or your family nearby or your boss who lets you work from home, or your own money, or whatever it is you have that allows you to react to a working mum’s dilemma with such horror.


Is she gone? Good. It’s time to discuss the only parenting topic more taboo than incest; taking your sick kid to daycare.

Let’s set the table properly so all concemed can understand what’s at stake. First off, you have a job. You can’t stay at home to care for your daughter and no one else is available either. Yes, you are aware that if you bring her to daycare, she’s going to get another kid sick. Well, you can’t think about that right now. Eyes on the prize: you have a job.

For now.

If you lose your job because you stayed home with your little baby, terrible things will happen. You will fall back on your rent or mortgage and you will be evicted. You and your child(ren) will be thrown onto the streets, in this economy. To pay for the seedy hotel that you now call home, you will sell your body. You will strut all over your corner (yes, you will secure a corner) and lean into car windows. You will negotiate the price of a blow job. And sister, they go for a lot less than they should.

And where are the kids during all this debauchery? If you couldn’t leave them home alone when you had a good job, you certainly can’t do it now. The kids are in your car, counting your money. For now, they don’t know how you earn it. All they know is: Mummy goes for a ride, then Mummy brings back $35. Ten or twenty times a day.

‘Well;’ you tell yourself, ‘at least they’re getting good at math[s].’


Ok, this may not be exactly how things play out, but it’s what you have to tell yourself to stay focused.

A parenting guide for the rest of us.

The nuts and bolts of a sick daycare drop-off

1. Never bring your child to nursery/school if she has a fever.

2. Correction: never bring your child to school if you know she has a fever, which is why you should never take your child’s temperature, especially if she feels hot. The less you know, the less you have to lie about.

3. Teachers can tell when you’re lying. Like cops, they hear the same bullshit over and over again. If the teacher asks point-blank if your daughter has a fever, you can’t say no when the answer is yes without tipping her off. However you can look her in the eyes and say, ‘Not that I know of.’ Because it’s true. Information is your enemy.

4. Drop her off during a busy time, like a 8 a.m. Get lost in the herd of mums dropping off their healthy-for-now kids. The run. Try to be in your car before your kid coughs.

5. Teach your child how to cough into her elbow. The less your kid coughs on others, the less likely the teacher is to call you at work.

6. Teach her how to say, ‘I have allergies.’ If she’s particularly articulate: ‘year-round allergies’.

7. If the teacher does call you at work, don’t pick up the phone. Better yet, leave the phone in the car. How can you feel guilty about missing a call if you don’t have your phone with you? Remember: information is your enemy.

8. Don’t return a call from daycare until the second voicemail. If you kid is really sick, they will leave multiple messages.

9. If you have to pick up your kid, wait until the end of the day. Pick her up an hour earlier than normal. You’ll still get there before closing time, but you won’t be leaving work too early.

10. You work when you’re sick – most people do. How can we compete in a global economy if our kids stay home every time they have a ‘cold’ or ‘strep throat’? Take your sick kid to daycare. For yourself. For the economy.

This post was originally published on Mamamia’s sister site, iVillage.

ABOUT THE BOOK: We’ve all been there, between a rock and mum place… where there are just too many Sh*tty Mom moments to think about.  Like handing your child the iPhone at dinner so you can eat quietly at a restaurant, or baking cupcakes for your child’s birthday celebration at school (only to learn that half the class eats gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free).Sometimes you just want to give up!  Well you can’t.This book is about how to survive babies, and what they grow into: children. You can buy it here

Confessions time: What’s your worst naught parent story?

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