AIBU to consider leaving job because leave to spend time with dying mother has been refused

(62 Posts)
purpleapple1234 Wed 26-Mar-14 01:45:21

Mother is very sick and has only a month or two to live. I live abroad so popping back and forth isn't possible at short notice. As this has happened so quickly, I have asked for a holiday to be extended by 3 days to be able to spend more time with my mother.

Boss said no - I am a teacher and this a very important exam period for the kids. I need the job, I definitely need the money. Part of my says just walk out the door now, another part of me says that people go through this type of situation all the time - being away from loved ones and not physically being able to see as much of them as possible due to work and distance.

I am planning to leave asap, but realistically that won't be possible for another couple of months, by which time my mum will have gone.

AIBU to hand in my month's notice and just bugger off?

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 26-Mar-14 01:49:55

I am sorry to hear about your mum.

Would you be able to get sick leave.

WhisperingShadow Wed 26-Mar-14 01:55:49

You can only say bye to your mother once. You can look for another job.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 26-Mar-14 01:55:53


I am so sorry your mum is dying. You should be free to spend as much time as you can with her.

Your employer is being a dick. Do they really expect your mind to be on the job when you are going through this?shock. I agree with ICan. Would your doctor sign you off?

BlameItOnTheBogey Wed 26-Mar-14 01:56:57

I'd leave. YOu'll never get this time back with your mum and what you'll end up remembering about this period is resentment and anger at your employers.

I'm really sorry you are going through this with your mum. It sucks and you need compassion from work not grief.

purpleapple1234 Wed 26-Mar-14 01:59:59

No I wouldn't. I have taken a week off to be with my mum already and then have asked for extra time in a few weeks to extend the easter break. It is too late now to throw a sickie, unless I am making a very obvious statement.

The issue is two things: I want the time to spend with my mum, but also I am digusted by my boss's attitude and basically don't want to work for someone like that.

But is it just a teenage hissy fit to walk off?

NoodleOodle Wed 26-Mar-14 02:01:21

I would leave. But it would be very difficult, especially the financial worry.

BlameItOnTheBogey Wed 26-Mar-14 02:01:43

Purple - where do you work at the moment? (It might be relevant in terms of cultural norms).

purpleapple1234 Wed 26-Mar-14 02:07:15

Thanks for your kind replies. I so want to just leave.

BlameItOnTheBogey has hit on the nail on the head completely "Ou'll never get this time back with your mum and what you'll end up remembering about this period is resentment and anger at your employers."

I am in europe where they are normally very sympathic to this type of thing. I know a girl who is currently on sick leave due to her boyfriend breaking up with her!

But I don't want to ring in sick, or go to the doctor to be signed off. I want to be completely honest and say your attitude is shit and is going to ruin a precious time for me with stress.

BlameItOnTheBogey Wed 26-Mar-14 02:15:12

Do it purple. This is at the forefront in my mind at the moment. My dad died a few years back and I was able to take time to spend with him in his last few weeks and have some great memories from that time. I know that he died feeling loved and having had family around him.

By contrast an American friend of mine (also a teacher) has just lost her mum and work is making her go back between her mum's death and the funeral less than a week later. I see her grief and wonder how this is justifiable. She will be no good to anyone at work and it would be best for all for her to be at home.

Forcing someone to work at these life changing moments really gets the balance wrong between living to work and working to live.

MusicalEndorphins Wed 26-Mar-14 02:18:51

I am so sorry you have this painful burden. I know I myself would probably call in sick and not care how it looked. Best of luck to you.

purpleapple1234 Wed 26-Mar-14 02:27:14

I have just written my letter of resignation. I am such a wuss. I feel so scared and so angry at being forced into this position.

Thanks for your supportive replies. Am going to bed now.

glastocat Wed 26-Mar-14 02:32:18

You have done the right thing. I dragged myself back to work a week after the sudden death of my dad (in another country). It was ridiculous, and I ended up getting very ill with depression and having to take a year off work. I have never forgiven them for it.

saffronwblue Wed 26-Mar-14 02:45:33

Well done. You are making the right decision. Focus on every precious day with your mum.

BratinghamPalace Wed 26-Mar-14 03:00:46


Balaboosta Wed 26-Mar-14 03:04:47

Brave decision. Sending you best wishes.

redcaryellowcar Wed 26-Mar-14 03:28:01

You anbu i think your employer is terribly foolish, but having worked as a teacher i understand that ht feel they are never unreasonable!! Yet some flexibility now would buy him/ her a lot of loyalty in the future. I think ht think the world will stop if you so much ss take a day off, but in reality kids turn up, someone else sorts them out andthey carry on relatively normally!
Have you offered to take unpaid leave, also have you checked your rights, union would probably be able to advise on this, when i was teaching we had a maroon / red book which detained the finer points of our contracts, was kept in deputy heads office, but said things like you can request a family day for graduations etc, might be worth checking before you hand in your notice, but i agree in the near future you will want to change jobs as your employer has shown true and unpleasant colours!

KiwiJude Wed 26-Mar-14 04:33:50

So sorry you have been put in this position. Spend time with you mum and then find another job.

I would leave too. If I didn't I would end up hating the boss and the job and would leave anyway.

LoveBeingCantThinkOfAName Wed 26-Mar-14 04:50:59

Purple I'm so sorry.

I think you are doing the right thing. I did it and have never regretted it .

Cockadoodledooo Wed 26-Mar-14 04:54:03

But if you're to work your notice surely you're still missing time with your mum?
I think I'd go with getting signed off. Yes your employers need to know what they're doing is wrong but there's time for principles later.

NaughtySpottyBengalCat Wed 26-Mar-14 05:08:31

So sorry to hear about your mum OP.

For what it's worth I think you sound like you are in shock just now and you should NOT be quitting and giving up your hard earned rights such as sick pay. I don't think you are able to take an objective viewpoint, and are genuinely in no fit state to work or take major financial/life changing decisions. Get signed off by the doctor and if you must be heard right now for your own peace of mind then include a covering note emphasizing your disgust at the way you have been treated. Personally I think you are in too much shock to make this a good idea, and I would simply get your sick note and enter into no further dialogue for the time being.

By resigning in anger you walk right into their hands and do yourself no favours. What if they insist on you working a notice period, and if you won't, they consider you to have walked out on the job and hence you get a bad reference and struggle to get another job? To be brutally honest resigning on principle won't affect them one way or another. Not their mother. They couldn't care less. They have shown that. They will have to replace you anyway so your resignation makes it convenient, as they will only need to pay your replacement' s salary. However by being signed off sick which you fully deserve and are entitled to, they have to pay you sick pay and pay for your replacement. So if you are looking for revenge or to express your disgust as it were, this is more effective.

You have to do what feels right for you OP. I ruined my life and future hapiness by giving up caterer opportunities to nurse my dying mother. I have no regrets but if I could change things, if I had been better advised, 20 years of depression could have been avoided. Please give yourself time, be kind to yourself and don't be too hasty.

purpleapple1234 Wed 26-Mar-14 05:34:06

Thanks again for your advice. I need time to think and discuss it with DH and some good friends. I do think all of you have a point about signing off sick. Naughty rised a very good idea of playing it smart instead of going down the hissy fit route.

FrozenCherries Wed 26-Mar-14 05:47:15

What might you find harder:
Missing your last few weeks/ months with your mum and resenting your employer
Having that time with her but forsaking (losing) your job and having to cope with that on top of the grief of losing your mum.

Whichever YOU can cope best with (out of two horrible alternatives) is the one you must follow.

FrozenCherries Wed 26-Mar-14 05:49:51

Ignore my suggestion and listen to Naughty. Wise words!
I'm so sorry and saddened to hear that you're going through this

KepekCrumbs Wed 26-Mar-14 05:54:17

They won't be able to replce you instantly anyway so you could tell them after a few days quite honestly that the stress of not being with your mum has made you too ill to do your work effectively so you are getting signed off for a few weeks to deal with it.

You aren't too lying. You are being straight with them.

They may decide to try and dismiss you but if you're good at your job and normally not off sick much, there's a good chance they will have you back as it's less trouble and expense than recruitment.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now