Okay, let me go on record saying that one of the aspects of my job I love is the flexibility of my schedule and time. Yes, there are some days when I will spend four or more hours in a classroom plus two or more hours in a meeting (don’t ask me about Monday’s big meeting). Yet I can also deal with days such as today when eldest was feeling unwell and couldn’t go into school.
No problem. I don’t teach today and our department supports a policy of attempting to give each professor a “writing day” where they can work from home, if necessary, or just not open their door to the corridor. Tuesday’s that day for me this term (I’m not teaching Thursdays, either, this term, though meetings tend to fill up chunks of my Thursdays while I guard my Tuesdays jealously — last term I taught five days a week and was fairly burned out by the end of term).
Anyway, eldest recuperated nicely from her upset stomach and looks good to go back to school tomorrow. She was recovered enough by the afternoon to run errands with me (dropping Mike off at work, filling the car up with gas, picking up groceries, stowing them away, picking up youngest from school, going to the hairdressers, going to Tim’s and to the toy store). And I didn’t get quite as much writing done as I wanted (I mostly reread my article in-progress, penciling in changes and restructuring) but at least I could do all of this with a clear conscience.
I’m aware of my good fortune. In virtually any other line of work I’d have to take a sick day or a personal day to make this work but academe and my department make it almost easy to be a parent/worker.