The latest child care related news, views and reviews March 20, 2013
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Do you feel guilty for staying at home with your sick child? Our article addresses this additional element to Mother Guilt. Our mum in profile is speech pathologist Sherene Alfreds, who's also the creator of the brilliant Dinosnores CDs – our giveaway this month.

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My child's at home sick
why do I feel guilty? by Sophie Cross

sick childMy little girl is currently at home, off school with a nasty bout of flu and a throat infection. She has been under a duvet on the sofa for five days – three of which were school days – and I am quietly (most of the time) going mad. I'm not sure who has the worst cabin fever, her or me.

But it's not really the cabin fever that gets to me. Even though six out of the 16 kids in her class were actually present today (that's almost two thirds absent), all with various strains of the flu and associated infections, I still felt guilty for her not being there, for her missing school and for me missing a couple of appointments.

Feeling guilty for not sending a sick child to child care or school is simply ridiculous on several levels:

  1. You should never send a sick child to child care or to school anyway. It's neither good for their health nor for the health of others
  2. Other parents whose children went with hacking coughs and snotty noses are not in the right. So I should not feel like I've been soft or a pushover for allowing my genuinely sick child to stay at home
  3. Employers, colleagues and associates or clients should equally not make parents feel guilty for postponing appointments. A great number of them are parents too and so they should understand.

So why do I feel like this? I work from home, for myself and I still feel guilty, so I can only imagine what office-bound employees feel…

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Mum in profile – Sherene Alfreds

Sherene AlfredsSherene Alfreds is a speech pathologist and creator of the fabulous Dinosnores sleepy stories series of bedtime stories and soundscapes.

She lives in Manly in Sydney's Northern Beaches with her 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son and her husband who designs the cover art for the Dinosnores CDs.

C4K: Describe your general day-to-day life.

SA: Wow, my day to day is busy. School drop off and pick up and after school activities, doing some speech therapy with my son each day, laundry, cooking, shopping and of course then comes my business – Dinosnores sleepy stories. This means filling orders to shops, psychology clinics and direct to customers, emailing bloggers and magazines to let them know about us, and the big job of updating our business plan for to allow us to grow into the future in Australia, UK and the US. And of course there is always so much more I could be doing.

C4K: What led you to you create the Dinosnores stories?

SA: My own daughter, Emma, found it difficult to sleep during her preschool and kindergarten years. So I combined my love of relaxation and my training as a speech pathologist with her interests to create imaginative relaxation stories to help her sleep. Dinosnores sleepy stories was born - like so many things - of necessity. And it gave me back my nights to read and relax (and now work) after a busy day.

It worked so well for my Emma I decided to start a company and produce Dinosnores sleepy stories. There is so much health advice on the importance of sleep, but so few tools to help parent help their kids sleep. I made Dinosnores sleepy stories to fill that gap…

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