From the Editor
“I got a lot of sympathy, but no offers, the first few hours after my appeal.”
When a baby’s fever coincides with a big work event, an unexpected source saves the day.
Barely one month of daycare had passed before my baby, Zachary, developed a fever that would keep him out of the center. As these things always do, his sickness came at a time when it was critical for me to work. So, my retired parents generously rescheduled some badly needed home renovations to schlep out to my house, more than an hour away in rush-hour traffic.
I was relieved that his illness didn’t correspond with our tricky-to-schedule cover shoot and interview with Alicia Silverstone. Except it did. Because he spiked a fever again the following week. It was baby’s first ear infection. My mom couldn’t delay the contractors a second time, and my husband had a client meeting. My deputy editor, Audrey, was going to Florida and couldn’t do the interview. My mother-in-law had to pick up her cousin at the airport.
So I did what any desperate mom would do: I posted a plea on Facebook.
I got a whole lot of sympathy the first few hours after my appeal went out. Then, I got an offer. My sister-in-law, Amanda, a teacher on summer break who lives a state away, had volunteered. She’d never watched a baby by herself before, had never even changed a diaper, but we both figured, what’s the worst that could happen? Everyone survived,
and Amanda still wants children of her own, so I’ll call it a win. But if not for her bravery and selflessness, this letter and the cover story (page 10) would be very different.
Luckily for moms at some of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, they don’t have to run frantically to Facebook for help; their employers give them sick childcare for situations like what I faced. That’s just one example of the incredible perks for parents at these organizations, and why I’m thrilled to share this year’s list (page 19). I’m especially impressed with the offerings at the top 10 companies (page 32), including WellStar, which has a facility with nurses for mildly sick kids!
I’m so glad that thousands of moms are employees of companies dedicated to making parents’ lives a little easier. And I will never take for granted having family who are able and willing to help out when an illness craps all over our usual care situation.
Wishing your family a fever-free fall—or at least plenty of benevolent backup care.
Alicia was amazing. I got home to Zachary quickly!
My feverish, crazyhaired baby on his Aunt Amanda’s lap.