Working Mum: How the holidays unravelled
By Tabitha Ronson
My meticulously planned, carefully constructed world has suddenly unravelled. In January, I spent hours trawling the internet and thumbing through journals, booking Master A into every club and activity available over the holidays.
His ridiculously long summer vacation was covered with week-long summer camps, improver swimming sessions and theatre holiday clubs.
The schedule had been working smoothly, the plates spinning remarkably well. I was feeling the least guilty about being a working mum that I had for years.
The signs were there on Saturday. Master A started to complain of feeling unwell - his head was sweaty, his skin the pallor of someone who was highly unlikely to be going back to camp the following week. And, then it appeared. The red mark above the lip with which I have become so familiar.
By Sunday, Master A's impetigo had erupted like Vesuvius. Those beautifully balanced plates sent crashing to the floor with one fluid-filled blister.
I've known working parents with no child cover send their offspring to holiday clubs regardless of the state of their health.
At Easter, one of the mums I have come to know on the school holiday club circuit even sent her daughter to camp suffering from scarlet fever.
Although the little girl was running a fever, and was unable to swallow, with one set of grandparents living in Dorset and the other in Spain, the working mum said she had no other choice but to send her daughter in.
She masked the tell-tale red rash with Pan Stick Foundation. Yes, it probably was irresponsible of her, exposing other children to such a contagious disease, but as most of us working parents know, desperate times often call for desperate measures.
I can't say I didn't eye my Max Factor before opting to make that uncomfortable call to my boss on Monday.
Working Mum, currently at home nursing a very poorly little boy while watching her precious holiday entitlement slip away and with an irate boss to face when Master A gets better.