This week's Daily Record column is entitled "The never-ending day." The article is set forth in full below and a pdf of the article can be found here.
My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.
The flu season in Rochester has been vicious this year, due to the mass proliferation of a particularly virulent, vaccine-resistant strain that knocked otherwise healthy adults off their feet for a week or more. The flu affected the lives of many working parents for weeks on end as one family member after another succumbed to the illness.
In my case, my youngest child was particularly hard hit since she developed recurrent ear infections and a lingering upper respiratory infection that morphed into a serious croup infection. The difficulties encountered by families with dual working parents when an illness such as the flu strikes can sometimes seem insurmountable, since it is nearly impossible to conduct “business as usual” when work, family life and illness collide.
As an example, I offer the following description of one day in my life that exemplifies how challenging it can be balance work, family and life in the face of an illness such as the flu.
To set the stage, my youngest had a horrible cough, with the annoying side effect of her vomiting during severe coughing spells. This seemed to occur, for the most part, late at night when she was in bed.
The following is a crazy, and yet fairly typical, day for me since my entire family was hit by the flu 7 weeks ago:
6:30 a.m. Wake up, shower, and get ready for the day.
7:45 a.m. Eat breakfast and help get older child ready for school, although my husband had the day off, so it was mainly his job.
8 a.m. Check and respond to e-mails, read news headlines online. Post to one of my blogs.
8:30 a.m. Leave for the office.
9 a.m. Arrive at the office. Pick up files and discuss pending pro- jects with colleagues and my wonderful legal assistant, Heidi.
9:30 a.m. Go to grocery store to pick up food supplies for a dinner we’re making for people close to us who are going through a very dif- ficult time.
9:40 a.m. Go to TJMaxx to buy a birthday present for my eldest daughter’s friend’s birthday party the next day. Stand in line for 10 minutes.
10:15 a.m. Arrive home. Wrap the birthday gift. Get a cup of cof- fee, set iPhone alarm for
11:27 a.m. and perform legal research on West- law, while my husband and youngest daughter are at the pediatrician.
11:30 a.m. Go outside and get my eldest daughter off the school bus. Make her lunch. My husband arrives home and advises that our youngest has yet another very bad ear infection and has been pre- scribed stronger antibiotics.
11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Draft a letter to New York State Court of Appeals seeking leave to appeal a criminal case while my husband makes baked ziti for our friends.
3 p.m. Drive back to the office and oversee preparation of enclosures for letter to the Court of Appeals. It takes longer than expected.
4:30 p.m. Leave the office and drive home in the middle of a snow storm. Stop at the pharmacy to pick up antibi- otics for our youngest.
5 p.m. I arrive home. Everyone piles into the car and we head to our friend’s house with the baked ziti.
5:30 p.m. We arrive and visit for half an hour or so.
6 p.m. We then head to the Pittsford Wegmans and eat take out. The kids and my husband watch kid’s movies upstairs while I do the weekly grocery shopping downstairs.
8 p.m. We arrive home and give our youngest the antibiotics. She doesn’t like the taste and begins to cry, which causes her to cough. She promptly vomits right onto to the piles of laundry waiting to be put away, which consist of freshly washed sheets and blankets that were vomited on two nights prior.
8:05 p.m. I clean her up and take kids upstairs to get them ready for bed. My husband cleans up the mess, throws the soiled bed linens into the washer and puts away the groceries.
8:30 p.m. The kids are in bed, but don't settle down until about 9 p.m. We attempt to watch television, but begin to fall asleep on the couch around 9:45, so off to bed we go.
3 a.m. Our youngest wakes up coughing and can’t go back to sleep. I’m “on duty” since my husband has to work the next day. I finally manage to get her back to sleep at 4 a.m. or so.
The next day, while my husband is at work, my youngest develops pink eye and the birthday party the eldest was supposed to attend is canceled at the last minute since the birthday girl is sick. And so it begins — yet another never-ending day in the life of a flu-infested household with two working parents.