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5 auto-replies a WAHM sets when the winter cold season comes early

Claire Zulkey wonders when she'll ever get used to the idea that she has two boys. She is the author of two books for young people, An Off Year and Best Frenemies. She and her filmmaker husband live in Evanston, IL. You can find out more...

The 5 stages of out-of-office replies a work-at-home mom uses when the kiddos are sick

1. Monday morning


I am home with a sick child so you will likely not receive a timely response from me today. If this is urgent, please call or text me. Otherwise, I will do my best to catch up tomorrow.

Thank you,

Claire Zulkey

2. Monday evening

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for your message! I’m away from my email right now. We are taking our son to the doctor to see if maybe he has something that can be magically cured with an antibiotic or something.


Claire Zulkey

More: Why having a child with the flu is actually worse than having the flu

3. Tuesday morning

Hi there,

I am away from my email while my husband and I fight in front of our kids about who “gets” to work and who will take care of the children. We will also touch upon why I am unable to stop making him feel guilty and why he is unable to read my mind about what house-related tasks I need him to do and when.

— Claire

4. Tuesday afternoon


I’m away from my email right now and can’t respond in a timely manner. My kid is still home sick with me. He’s not sick-sick the way he was yesterday, but just sick enough to have to stay home from day care. Here’s hoping he takes a five-hour nap.


5. Wednesday through Friday

Sorry, but I am never going to respond to your email. Our other kid is now sick.

See you in hell,


More: That time parenting was really, really hard

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