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I have been taking a day off or two almost every week since I went back to work.(63 Posts)
In last November, I went back to work from my maternity leave. As I have a baby (Now 10-month old) in a nursery, he so often gets something from there. You name it, conjunctivitis, temperature, runny nose/bottom etc. They have a rule for each symptom that a baby is banned to come back. Now, the older one got ill (he rarely gets ill nowadays) and have to take time off to stay with him at home. I am feeling so guilty and started to feel worried that my boss one day will say to me that I'm no longer needed there. I know there is nothing to do, but I just wanted to speak to anyone who might have a similar situation...
I don't think you're being over-sensitive, no. Unless your DH is running the country/Barack Obama, then he can take occasional days off. Even they get holidays. What would happen if your DH fell under the proverbial bus? They would survive. I'm not wishing that on anyone, just making the point that no-one's indispensable.
Competitive anything - job responsibilities, tiredness, amount of time spent doing childcare/ own thing - never works out well IME.
Of course dh did his fair share! 2 parents, both out working, both trying to juggle that with managing childrens' illnesses.
I like don'tmindifIdo's suggestion on P1. If he manages a team, how would your dh respond if one of them was taking days off almost every week ? . I'm amazed any employee thinks it's acceptable to be doing that, tbh. You need to point out to him that, unless he takes his turn, then you are soon likely to be without a job, and see if he's happy being the only one with a job. If you were my colleague, I'd not be very happy to be continually having to take on work you weren't doing.
Dh and I share the responsibility. For what it's worth, I earn twice what my husband does and manage a team, I wouldn,t dream of not taking my turn! It takes 2 to make a baby after all.
Please don't feel guilty and please tell your DH that this is the UK in the 21st century!
Thank God you are saying the exactly same thing as I said to my DH!
The thing that wouldn't make it better is that DH's mother is almost on his side. Almost hinting that I should be with DC and mu DH has to be at work to manage the team unlike me. Most shocking thing was that my DH said last night that he had more responsibilities in his role than I do in mine, so that I should take a time off when DC is ill. Shocking.. or am I oversensitive about the comment???
Your DH needs to step up, yukes. Splitting the childcare responsibilities no longer means Daddy does playing and Mummy does everything else. My DH and I worked it out a bit like Pacific [quick wave to Pacific] - who could most easily take the time? It depended on who had last taken time off, whether either of us had to be in the office (and that was absolute necessity, not just "I have lots of meetings" or "My team can't survive without me") and anything else relevant. Both sets of employers were and are supportive; many employers have parent and carer policies and/or diversity policies that support equal parenting. If both of you are working, it is only fair to share the load.
Working from home with a poorly child never works out very well in my experience. I would get stuff done when my children were asleep and in the evening but you never know when and for how long they will sleep and it's best, I think, to highlight the fact that you won't be immediately available to your line manager to manage his/her expectations. DH and I tried as far as possible to minimise the times where the same person had to cover two days in a row which helped.
Please don't feel guilty and please tell your DH that this is the UK in the 21st century!
It is bad form to "work from home" with sick, v young DC, my employer (v reasonable) doesn't allow it, we use a lot of annual leave. Agree with others that CMs much btter than nursery for illness. Imo nurseries should publish info on sickness absence rates. We are in similar situation, I take more time off than DH as my employer is better and his job less secure, but today I was in tears over the time off have had, feeling that colleagues think me flakey and how behind I am. My DC are 5 and 2.
Dear OP (original poster) DH means dear husband, by the way
can you share the time off better?
when dc are ill I go in very early and come back around lunch, so have around 5 hours of work done the rest of it I can make up over the rest of the week by only having a quick desk lunch. dh then goes to work and works later. both our works are fine with this agreement.
We also share the childcare responsibilities equally, and all the couples i know from school where both parents work it is the same. I have seen plenty of dads on pick up with sick child on toe.
Sadly as many many people now do not live near families or relatives who can help, they have to rely on each other to cope. You could argue that both mine and DH's careers have suffered because of this but at least we are in the same boat!!
We have 4 children and it would be impossible for me to hold down a professional job AND take all the time off needed. It's a team effort!! Even the working from home thing isn't really a solution, because it is really stressful and hard work to try and work at home with a sick toddler or young child, so although it helps I think you should still have a word with your husband.
Well my DCs are 4.3yrs and 2.5yrs and we've gone a whole year without the DCs needing time off nursery due to illness. It does get much much better.
If he is a decent manager, his team will cope fine without him being there, because they will know what to do
Excellent point, ihear. The mark of a good manager is one where the team runs smoothly in her/his absence.
Sadly a lot of managers think the opposite is true.
Mim dd was sick for 6 weeks . We moved his nursery. Odd cold and d and v since but not the ongoing illness. He ewas 1, school age noe
In my personal and professional opinion it gets better once they are around school age...
It is difficult when both of you work, no doubt about.
Like everybody else said, the responsibility for looking after unwell children should be shared between you and your DH. We have 4 boys - that's a lot of chickenpox...
My DH and I both work in professional jobs in which if either one of us does not turn up lets a lot of other people down (we are both drs - hospital and GP). I have no idea who of us has taken more time off for unwell kids as we have always made the decision based on what was going on in our respective days at the time. We don't keep a spreadsheet, but it is quite clear that childcare is not just MY issue or problem.
Wrt to illness though, this is why we had a childminder for the first 8 years of having children and now have a nanny. Could you try and look for a nanny share? We also at one point had an older neighbour who was happy to 'babysit' at short notice should the need arise - it was a great relief to have had that offer even though we only needed her once, I think. We had no family to back us up - is that an option for you?
We are sharing the sick child days but I still worry about all the time off. Those of you who have said that it gets better - when? At what age or after how long at nursery did your kids stop getting ill regularly? At the moment we seem to be averaging once a month
Also, I might've written or sounded slightly wrongly.. Our nursery takes children/babies after 24 hours since the eye drop treatment started for conjunctivitis.
They take children/babies with runny nose of course. I meant that my baby gets it from there. The nursery has different rules and days that children are not allowed to come in. For example, Diarreha 48 days, conjunctivitis 24 hours etc etc.
out of interest, do nurseries reimburse some of their fee for days they won't accept your child for minor illnesses? I know they're still keeping the place open, but is there a token amount reimbursed for food / nappies etc not used?
I didn't think that women had to do everything. I do think opposite actually. That is what I said to my DH (this means husband, right?)
I am actually from a different country and this thing still goes on big time back in my country. I thought UK would be much more advanced than my country in terms of this kind of "sharing responsibility for children" matter, but I started thinking that it might've been still the same here as my country.
According to everyone who commented here, it is proven that I am wrong and I was right that UK IS much more advanced in terms of sharing responsibilities.
Your employer is being a saint and your husband is taking the mickey. He needs to step up and it's his turn to take as many as you do, and you've built up quite a credit it seems.
You should also register with a local nanny agency who provide emergency cover and sometimes you'll just have to bite the bullet and hire last minute home care - it's expensive but it's cheaper than getting the sack.
Oh and she takes children with conjunctivitis too
My DH takes 50% too. The first day off is taken by whoever is least busy and the next by the other etc.
My CM takes my DS with all my sickness / diarrhoea though sonwe haven't had a day off in a while
Yes our nursery takes DCs with conjuctivitis provided it's being treated.
Not read whole thread and apols if I'm repeating but guidance changed recently and nurseries tend to take children now with conjunctivitis - if its being treated. Just thought I'd mention in case you didn't know
Doesn't matter what his role is within his job, the point is legally he can take time off because he has dependents. A dependent doesn't just include the dc's it also includes you or anyone else that might depend on him. As a manager it is shameful really that he isn't aware of this, so I would pull him up on that.
He really needs to pull his finger out of his arse and start taking time off with his children. It is irrelevant that your work have now organised remote log in. The point is, as a parent he has a duty of care. This includes dealing with ill children..
If he is a decent manager, his team will cope fine without him being there, because they will know what to do.
I have always shared days off for illness, inset etc, even when I ran my own business and it meant I made no money, I took time off. Even though dp is the head chef of a very busy kitchen, his team manages fine without him there. There are millions of bosses, managers etc out there that at times suck it up and take time off. How the hell does he suppose manageresses deal with this, or his is head so stuck in the 1950's that he doesn't believe females can have executive positions?
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