Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The other day while I was at work, I got a call from our nanny. As soon as I saw her name pop up on the screen, my heart started to pound. The nanny never calls me, even when I’ve asked her to just so she can fill me in on how the day is going. So she told me that Peanut woke up from her nap with a rash all over her face. Besides that, she was super cranky and didn’t want to eat. Then I went into panic mode…what do I do? Do I leave work early and rush home? Is a sudden rash enough to warrant leaving my employer and co-workers in the lurch? I was filled with indecision. I always figured that when the call from the nanny came, it would be with news that Peanut has a 103 fever or something like that, which would make my decision very clear. There’s no question that I would drop everything and rush home then. But a rash? What does that even mean?

I called our doctor (who, unfortunately, is over an hour away from us since we moved and haven’t found a new one -which is a whole other issue since we love our pediatrician and don’t want to leave her practice…but now I’m totally off-topic…) and she said about what I expected her to say: they can’t make any kind of diagnosis without seeing her. It could be nothing or it could be something. Well, that didn’t help at all. I asked every single mom I knew at work and they all said basically the same thing. After a call to my husband and another call to the nanny, I finally decided to finish out my day at work with the promise from our nanny that she would call immediately if Peanut got a fever, started to throw up or had trouble breathing. And when I got home, the rash had mostly cleared though it was obvious that my girl was pretty miserable from a lack of sleep and just a generally bad day. We put her to bed early and the next day she was back to her usual happy self.

Whew. Crisis averted. But I’m still thinking about the decision I had to make. Am I a bad mother because I chose to stay at work for the rest of the day while my daughter was not feeling well? Am I a bad employee because I stayed at work even though my mind was on my baby and left no room to focus on my job? Yes, it turned out to be nothing but what if it was something? How am I supposed to know when to drop everything and when to trust that it’ll all be ok? What would you have done?

(And also, does anybody know if a rash is associated with teething at all? We still haven’t figured out the cause of the sudden appearance – and just as sudden disappearance  – of the rash and the only thing we could think of was teething but I haven’t found anything to back that up.)

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7 thoughts on “Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. I would have done the same thing you did. Freaked out, fretted, generally ruined my work productiveness due to my mom-worry, then I would have moved on to self-doubt about my decision to remain at work. So I know I didn’t help, except for maybe to tell you that you aren’t alone.
    I’m glad your little one was back to normal the next day 🙂

  2. I’m not sure if it’s medically documented but when both of my girls were teething the mixture of the saliva and it rubbing up against their faces would produce a rash that made them both look like they had ezema. I completely understand your worrying, I stayed at home with my first an basically had my own parking spot at her peds but was waaaaayyyy more relaxe with the second. Don’t worry your an amazing mom!!!!

  3. You are great to worry but as you’ll learn, not everything needs to be seen by a doctor. I used to freak out when I got a call from daycare/school also but it normally turned out to be something silly. Your nanny did good by calling you, but I wouldn’t leave work unless there’s fever, vomiting, or some other completely off behavior that might signal something is really wrong. If you leave work for every little thing you could get in trouble with work and then it would cause even bigger problems.

    Rashes could come from anything, like Kathy said it could just be from when she slept and the drool getting on her. Could be something she ate. Could be viral. My friends 3 yo gets this weird rash that pops up for like 10 mins at a time and then is gone for days only to come back. The doctor told her that it was probably related to her recent ear infection (she had it 4 months ago) and that it was probably viral. It doesn’t itch her or bother her, just appears. If it comes back I would have your nanny take a picture of it (best she can) in case it goes away and then schedule an appt with the doctor. She’s still growing and her immune system is still maturing, she’s going to have lots of weird things going on with her but she’ll be fine.

    You are doing awesome and she’s lucky to have a mother that loves her and worries about her well-being.

  4. When my daughter was little she would get what the doc called contact dermatitis, which was bascially a reaction to where S would rub her face against her blankets. Turns out that our washing machine was on its way out and wasn’t washing the laundry soap completely out. You might keep track of if it shows up right around wash day or bath days, or see if it’s a new lotion or soap. We also had a run-in with the teething drool that the others have mentioned; saliva plus burping cloth equalled rash.

    Unless there’s a fever or vomiting or such, babies are a lot more resillient than you’d think. Won’t say don’t worry, but don’t beat yourself up for not rushing to her side for every sniffle or rash. You’re a great mom, else you wouldn’t be as concerned as you are!

  5. You are a great mom! I admire the moms who hold down another job other than parenting. I can’t split my focus that way. You would have worried and stressed about it even if you had been at home, so at least you got paid to do it at work! 🙂 HA

  6. Agree with one of the comments above, I was going to say that sometimes it’s just a reaction to detergent or something like that. I bought my nephew a new blanket one time, washed it and all with his detergent, but the first few times he curled up in it, he got a rash whereever it had been against him. And now 3 years later, he still uses it all the time, no rash. Sometimes it’s just them adjusting to something new, or it could’ve been even a switch in the Nanny’s clothes/detergent. For myself, if I wear anything washed in different detergent than what I use I have a rash. She could’ve just rubbed against something that was new to her.

    Oh, but side note, double check w/ the nanny she didn’t have anything with strawberry in it….usually food allergies build, so first exposure may be mild discomfort w/ nothing visible, second exposure a rash, and then 3rd or onward would grow progressively worse. I’d run through her food intake before it occurred just to double check.

    You’re doing great!

  7. Thanks for all your encouragement everybody! I think we all suffer from some self-doubt, especially when it’s something as important as motherhood so it’s hard to convince myself I’m not doing a terrible job. But, as my husband often tells me, all I have to do is look at my happy, laughing daughter and then a little of my doubt eases. It’s so nice to hear from all of you though; your experience, encouragement and words of wisdom help me so much!

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