It’s every parents nightmare. You are on a client call and see those three fateful words pop up on your phone, “don’t worry but..” and they are from your childcare provider….
Well that’s exactly what happened to me yesterday. I was on a video call with a client and I saw a text pop up. “Don’t worry but Amelia’s temperature is very high…”
The old Holly (the Holly, the one who didn’t run her own business now) may well have just tried to do the call quickly, maybe send a text back under the desk and see if Calpol could be given, but she probably would have continued. The old Holly would be feel confused, guilty and frazzled. Most of all she would feel conflicted.
The new Holly, however did something very different. She didn’t hide the fact she was worried about her baby, didn’t feel guilty about not being able to concentrate on the call. She told the client politely she had to go right away because her baby was sick.
The client (who is a Dad himself) just said “Go now.”
No hesitation from him. No judgement…
So I went, cancelled the rest of my client calls and shut up shop. And you know what? It was strangely empowering and reminded me why I hard started up my own business. It was for exactly these moments; to avoid the guilt, to not have to ask for permission.
In the end she was fine, nothing to worry about at all. But I was pleased I cut that call short, and pleased I cancelled my call after that too.
And I appreciate that to many of you I may sound ridiculous, because what mother would put a client call before her kids?! Well actually many.. because often work, bosses, colleagues, clients and society makes us feel like we have to. Like we have to choose between the two.. like we shouldn’t be able to say we love both…
Because, as the old adage says…
“We expect women to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they don’t work”
And I for one am sick of it!