COVID19 Work

Day 143: Uh Oh

August 5, 2020

We again interrupt the habits series because I feel it is worth discussing today’s disaster dilemma challenge. Our nanny is unable to come (health issue that is typically short lived, thankfully not COVID related) and I found out at 2 am. Or 1:41 am to be exact.

You can imagine that the rest of my night of sleep didn’t go terribly well, but I know she just wanted to give me as much warning as possible when the issue came on.

I have a full day of telehealth today. I contemplated 4 options:

Option 1: JOSH – what are you doing? 3 surgeries. #(%*&#@. Having your telehealth visit cancelled = annoying, but not a true calamity. Having your surgery cancelled = not cool. So, not really an option.

Option 2: Cancelling my entire day of patients and moving them to next week (we were supposed to be off, but working one day wouldn’t be the end of the world and I’m assuming our nanny would be willing to come in that day)

Option 3: Scramble for some emergency childcare. But I mean . . . pandemic. Would it even be fair to ask our former babysitters? Plus, most of them are busy working for other people who have kids stuck at home.

Option 4: Try to see all the patients with no childcare for a day.

Believe it or not, I’m going to attempt option 4. The afternoon won’t be tooooo terrible – the patients are tightly packed (sibling pairs for the win!) and I can probably be done by the time her nap ends at 4ish. So basically, the afternoon can be while G is asleep and A&C play Minecraft etc.

The morning is tougher. On the upside, my patients happens to be spaced a little farther apart. I plan on “hiring” Annabel to make sure G stays alive, allowing them unlimited TV/movies if desired, and checking on them between each patient. (Means I probably won’t get notes done, but I’m off tomorrow & and can do them then).

I will also offer a reward of up to $20 to spend at Target for each kid if they are good and don’t get in fights or bother me all day.

CAN THIS BE DONE?! We are going to find out!

(Yes I know many have been working without childcare for weeks, but this would be easy on a GME day. A patient day presents some challenges b/c I really can’t have them wandering into my room or interrupting the encounters. I am fairly optimistic though!)

I was only able to fall back asleep after fleshing out this plan. WILL REPORT BACK TOMORROW.

G randomly wanted to take an evening walk yesterday (yes those are pajamas)!
Maybe she reads my blog.
To those who asked about a stroller, she will ride in one but likes to get in and out to venture on her own. Who can blame her?


  • Reply Lee August 5, 2020 at 6:42 am

    These days people are forgiving about kids/spouses wandering in to video calls. So if they do, don’t sweat it too much. I know you want to be professional, and I’ve been there, but it’s not the same as it was 6 months ago.

    • Reply Jill August 5, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      Completely agree. While not ideal, it has certainly become the norm since so many people are without childcare!

  • Reply Kristen August 5, 2020 at 6:49 am

    I believe the day will be a success! And look at it this way…if you hear crying or yelling from the other room, 3 small voices mean 3 living children. They’re probably fine. 😉

  • Reply Erika August 5, 2020 at 6:53 am

    Ugh. I hate when things like that come up. Sounds like you have a solid plan to make the day successful!
    I’ve had this happen to me twice in the past month I had to go into the office to see pts though. My girls 7 and 5 basically had to “babysit” themselves (while husband working from
    Home) with about 2 check ins from him in a 6 hours timeframe.
    I left out all of their snacks and packed a lunch . That way that they could eat all at their discretion. I made a checklist of activities for them to complete including a few chores like making their
    beds and putting away clothes. I also put Other non remarkable things like watching a movie, play a game together ,do an Arthub video, make me a scavenger hunt for me, etc…it worked surprisingly well. I don’t think I could do it everyday but we all survived!

    Good luck! Your kids seem awesome and
    Hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised too!

  • Reply Grateful Kae August 5, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I’m sure Annabel can keep them alive. I remember babysitting for a family when I was only 10 that had like a 3 and 5 or 6 year old. The Dad worked from home out in his shop/ garage so he was nearby but I was in charge (though gosh, looking back 10 years old seems young, now that my kids are that age!!). Anyway, I don’t remember ever having to go and get the Dad and we all survived. Plus, A sounds plenty mature. It’ll all be fine!

  • Reply gwinne August 5, 2020 at 7:37 am

    LG could keep Tiny Boy alive in a pinch while he was younger than G (7.5 years between them).

    But also, I’d be frank with your patients and say they might wander in (I get the privacy issues, but also KIDS); everyone gets it. Really. Some find the interruptions charming.

    Good luck!

  • Reply Carrie August 5, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Good luck today!

  • Reply Irene August 5, 2020 at 8:16 am

    For one day, you can totally do this. The kids will think it’s a novelty and be excited about the extra screen time. These things are fine short term especially since you can catch up on extra work tomorrow. It’s when it’s every day it starts to be harder (in my experience).

    My daughter responds well to me telling her our family is a team and our team really needs her today because we have an extra challenge and then as much praise as I can squeeze in for any viewed good behavior. Does not work for toddlers, nothing does 😀

    Good luck! Report back!

  • Reply Alyssa August 5, 2020 at 8:45 am

    You got this! And I just want to give G a squeeze in those pink PJs. 🙂

  • Reply August 5, 2020 at 8:57 am

    I know some frown upon it, but I am a full on supporter of bribing kids when necessary. Good luck! You got this.

  • Reply MonicA August 5, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Good luck 👊🏻👊🏻👊🏻

  • Reply Sarah K August 5, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Good luck! This is basically my plan once school starts. We have been using a college babysitter all summer but she’s moving into a sorority house on campus this week and it just seems like a terrible COVID risk. So we’re going to attempt to handle all childcare ourselves… I have been approved for EFMLA so hopefully it will be a little calmer than last spring when I was trying to work full time and be a full time homeschooler. Argh. Not looking forward to this but it doesn’t feel like we have a better alternative.

    • Reply Michelle August 5, 2020 at 10:10 am

      Oooh can I ask how you qualified for EFMLA? How was that process?

  • Reply Karen August 5, 2020 at 10:01 am

    Good luck!!

  • Reply Gillian August 5, 2020 at 10:02 am

    It is just one day, maybe not the most fun day ever, but it will be fine. My 10 yo daughter has been a great “babysitter” for a few years now. And one day of liberal screen time never hurt anybody. I predict success as long as you define success realistically–Everyone will be alive and the patients will be seen. I agree with the above that in the current environment a wander in from a kid is not the end of the world.

  • Reply ptrish August 5, 2020 at 10:23 am

    For a telehealth medical visit where I was fully clothed, I would care zero about a kid wandering in, if that helps! Frankly, even a spouse/partner wouldn’t bother me that much, assuming it were a fairly routine visit.

  • Reply TAS August 5, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Off-topic but OMG, Genevieve is so adorable. The pic of her wandering around in those pjs is pretty much the cutest thing I’ll see today.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 5, 2020 at 10:31 am

    I am sure your patients will be understanding if you do end up getting interrupted. I know this is far from ideal but you’ll get through it and have a good plan set up. Yes many of us did work without childcare and still are, but I bet that wasn’t the case for many healthcare professionals! We had our son home for 7 weeks but I work for an asset mgmt company so it worked out ok. I would only take client calls from 1-2:30 when I felt somewhat confident our son would nap (he’s a terrible napper). He would often make a cameo during team calls and such but everyone completely understood.

    I hope today goes ok and that your nanny is back to full health very soon!!

  • Reply Kathleen Randall August 5, 2020 at 10:43 am

    Y’all can do this! As a suggestion, our library has some online programming like story time and I think there are some videos/audio of people reading books. We have access for Audiobooks SYNC through our library. The other thing I thought of is a special Facetime with a relative call at a certain time(s)? Maybe that would occupy them for a little while.

  • Reply Elisa August 5, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Good luck, Sarah. Lots of solidarity here!

  • Reply Nikki August 5, 2020 at 11:30 am

    And unlimited snacks to your strategy and I think you can totally swing this for one day! Great timing that tomorrow is an off day. Good luck!

  • Reply Shelly August 5, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    I am also sending you good luck as your day continues on. My kids would love unlimited screen days (they had many in the early days of lock down). They still do more than I like but I’ve decided the stress of worrying about that is worse on me than realizing this is a phase that won’t wreck their future lives.

  • Reply E August 5, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Good luck!!!! 🤞

  • Reply omdg August 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Sarah, In our house we have two babysitters: The human one, and the electronic one. Two Saturdays ago I got 9 hours of consecutive database work done because I let Dylan play on the iPad for 9.5 hours. Oh well. I daresay the electronic one works better than the human one at keeping Dylan from constantly interrupting me most days. YOU CAN DO THIS!

    • Reply omdg August 5, 2020 at 2:50 pm

      Forgot to say — Love that G wants to get out and explore! Ah! She is so cute!

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