From the Editor

“I got a lot of sym­pa­thy, but no of­fers, the first few hours af­ter my ap­peal.”

Working Mother - - Contents - Mered­ith Bodgas Editor-in-Chief Mered­ith.Bodgas@work­ing­

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.

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