parent opinion

'Dear employer, I am sorry.'

Dear employer, I'm sorry. 

I'm sorry that this winter is smashing me and my family harder than before. It feels like illness is coming at us from all angles, knocking us down time and time again, often before we even have a chance to get back up.

I'm sorry for the early morning calls and late night texts and for the over explanations, ones you never ask for but get anyway thanks to the ever bubbling guilt of not coming in. Again.

I'm sorry for the days I arrive later than usual. On those mornings, I have lived a whole day before I even step foot at work. I have administered RAT tests, checked temps and applied lip balm. I have negotiated snacks with very emotional children and stocked pockets with cough drops.

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I'm sorry for the days that I have had to leave early. When the school phone number pops up, I dread answering as much as you dread hearing that I have to leave. I am sorry for the logistical havoc that I leave in my wake, but I am more sorry to my colleagues who are left with my work, my load, my responsibilities.

I'm sorry that I seem less reliable and more preoccupied, less focused and more scattered. Now, as a mum, it feels like I am living two separate lives that should not impact the other, but in an evil twist of irony, both actually solely and entirely affect each other.


When my littles are sick, but I am at work, I am tired. I am exhausted. I am functioning on very little. I am trying my best to be present and focused, but most days all I can muster is the professionalism I need to get through the important stuff and the energy I need to do my main job. So the peripherals, the fillers, the side bars... they suffer.

But, while I am sorry for a lot of things, I am not sorry for being at home.

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At the end of the day - to you, I am an employee, a number.

But to them, I am their everything.

I am their bathroom steamer and Vicks applier, their puke catcher and med administer.

I am their forehead rubber and nose wiper, their book reader and storyteller.

I am their comfort and their calm, their nurse and their doctor.

I am their everything, I am their mum.

So, I am sorry dear employer, but I am where I need to be.

I’ll be back when they are well, because I am mum first, you see.

This post originally appeared on Little Jemmings Facebook page and was republished here with full permission. 

Janessa Dockling is a full-time mum and part-time teacher dabbling in a bit of writing about things she loves. You can find more from Janessa on her blog or Instagram

Feature Image: Supplied.

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