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Childcare issues causing woe

(80 Posts)
VSeth Mon 01-Sep-14 13:31:56

I am married, have one child aged nearly two. I returned to work a year ago (wow that year went fast!). For childcare we use a nursery for 3 days and a nanny for the other 2. We get Childcare vouchers to help the cost.

Prior to returning to work I went out and found the nursery (only viewed 2) and I searched and searched for a nanny, fell really lucky with the lady we use, my DC loves her.

However my little one has been ill several times, last time hospitilised for 5 days (I stayed in hospital room). I got really exhausted and terribly behind at work. I juggled emails and calls on Blackberry when DC slept, worked at night etc, still not caught up really.

When I broached the subject with my DH of who would take time off when, to cover the nursery days the week we came out of hospital (DC too ill for nursery) my husband seemed a bit incredulous that I would be expecting him to have time off, told me he couldn't possibly etc etc. In the end he did take some time, I took more time and we got by. He ended up taking a day off because he was tired!? on a Nanny day, so we didn't need the cover.

DH is under the belief that we need to find someone locally to call on in an emergency for childcare, we have no family near by and most of my friends work full time. I have tried to explain that there isn't a fully qualified Nanny in the area just sitting waiting for our call, he is looking on childcare sites claiming there are loads of options, yes people looking for jobs! I have explained that childminders can't just take a sick/extra child on a whim etc etc in the end I have sent him a link to an emergency childcare site.

I feel like he should be stepping up as a parent, not trying to outsource the issue when our child is ill. He works an hours commute away, my hours are flexible and do travel for meetings, I do all the drop off's/pick ups, he has done about 5 in total when I have been away. His company are a family company, he hasn't ever been refused time off and has loads of annual leave to use.

What do other working parents do? I am very down about this, is my DH's attitude typical? We have rowed terribly about this.

Sorry its so long

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 13:38:54

I think most responsible working parents would try to share things out fairly and sensibly If your hours are more flexible & you work closer to home you're probably better placed for the day to day nursery run but, if there's an emergency, I think everyone has to step up to the plate. Employers these days are pretty understanding and flexible and, if it's a nice family company, he's got no excuse. When I started work (about a hundred years ago) a Dad caring for a child would have been shocking and his attitude would have been typical. Not in 2014

BranchingOut Mon 01-Sep-14 13:42:54

He needs to step up big time.

On the other hand, there might be someone locally whom you could call upon - we used a lovely lady who was a retired nursery worker.
But, you have to invest time and money in finding them and using them in non-emergencies so that your child is used to them.

Can you call on your nanny or does she have another job?

BolshierAyraStark Mon 01-Sep-14 13:43:21

I work P/T & DC are cared for by MIL but when she's ill or away myself & DH split the days off required. That way we're both using leave equally so have more or less the same remaining to spend together as family time.

backinaminute Mon 01-Sep-14 13:45:23

I work 3 days a week and dp works full time. We generally take it in turns and work it out between us depending on who has the most pressing work commitments that day.

We have also, on several occasions done a half day each. I have gone in at 7 and come home at lunchtime and he has gone to work (and stayed late) or vice versa. We both work fairly locally but I find being able to work half a day and clear the most urgent stuff much less disruptive than a full day at no notice.

MsAnthropic Mon 01-Sep-14 14:10:19

My XH and I take it in turns equally to look after DS if he's ill from school, and it was the same when he was at nursery and lived together.

If your child is too ill for nursery, then he's too ill to be looked after by someone random on an emergency basis (and probably too little for that anyway) or to go to a childminder who'll have other children. If your DC is feeling poorly they will also want and need their mum or dad!

cailindana Mon 01-Sep-14 14:11:56

Has he explained why he feels he has no responsibility towards his own child?

Thurlow Mon 01-Sep-14 14:16:12

Not typical at all, I'd say.

Sometimes one parent's job is easier to drop in emergencies than the other's. I tend to do most of the emergency care as my job isn't anything life saving or important in the wider scheme of things. DP, on the other hand, is in the sort of job where he can't particular dump and run.

But when we're facing a bigger illness or something that is clearly going to be more than a day or so, we do split it and both take annual leave or parental leave to cover it.

cailin has the only question I would be asking too: why does your DH feel that he doesn't actually have to parent his child?

VSeth Mon 01-Sep-14 14:23:24

We can't call on our Nanny for more hours, she can and does overtime for us on her set days but has other committments,

Branchingout, Out of interest how did you find your lovely lady?

I just can't see how how he imagines that this person is sat out there, waiting for our call a few times a year. However if we did find a nice person we would use for babysitting too.

I have said to him that his company won't be surprised by having him ask for time off, especially when they knew DC was ill and in hospital, I can't decide if he is being sexist tbh, we earn roughly the same.

It seem likes he thinks that it just isn't right that he should be asking for time off but somehow that doesn't apply to me.

He grew up with a SAHM, I keep saying that I work full time and he is treating me like a SAHM, I do the lion share of running the home. We got a cleaner after an argument where he claimed to pull his weight around the house but hadn't cleaned the bathroom, kitchen nor vacummed once in the six months we had lived in the house.

Quitelikely Mon 01-Sep-14 14:27:20

I don't think you're over reacting here at all. You're expecting a bit of support should the need arise.

There are nanny agencies who might be able to help in the situation described above but then it is also a case of your child will be left with a stranger. I think this part gets to women more than it does men. I don't think they seem to 'get it'.

Also your dh needs to remember that his needs (in context) should not come above those of his poorly child. He is losing perspective massively IMO.

Don't back down, come to an arrangement whereby you do half day about/1 day about.

And remind dh that fatherhood doesn't begin at 5 in the evening

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 14:27:28

Yes, he's treating you like a SAHM... his own mother is his model for motherhood and presumably she did all of this stuff rather than his father. I'd keep arguing, frankly, until he gets the message that you're not. It's unpleasant but you can't afford to back down.

VSeth Mon 01-Sep-14 14:35:54

Thanks everyone, I am really down after it got shouty yesterday.

Its really annoying that he doesn't want to believe me how childcare works, i.e. Childminders won't just happen to have an open place to welcome to a new and sick child for the day or that if a Nanny is advertising on a site they are looking for a regular mindee and once they have one they won't want to expose the child to our childs germs. He wants to register on the sites and start badgering people.

cailindana Mon 01-Sep-14 14:37:15

Then let him. He'll soon learn.

notinagreatplace Mon 01-Sep-14 14:42:34

If he's so convinced that he can organise childcare when your DS is ill, why don't you suggest that he goes ahead and sorts it out next time it happens?

WillowB Mon 01-Sep-14 14:42:49

If a child is too ill to go to nursery then they should be looked after at home by a parent or someone they know well. I actually think it would be cruel to farm them out to someone who is going to be a virtual stranger.
Your husband is being totally unreasonable. Many companies offer paid/unpaid emergency leave for such situations. If not then I'm afraid he will have to suck it up and use some annual leave like the rest of us do. Not ideal but that's the joy of kids I'm afraid!

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Sep-14 14:42:58

Of course he knows that's how childcare works. What he wants is for you to do all the kiddie-related crap and leave him alone. He is gambling that if he makes this all very, very difficult and carries on looking for unreasonable solutions that enable him to carry on as normal, you'll cave and say 'leave it to me... ' and he will say 'at least I tried'.

'Leave it to me' of course, is the bit you don't do. This is a power struggle... dig in for the long-haul

Granville72 Mon 01-Sep-14 15:18:23

Childminders have to work in conjunction with Nurseries, pretty much same rules and regulations including Sickness Policies. It's all to do with a Duty of Care and Safeguarding

If a child is ill and needing medication and nursing then they should be at home with a parent. A nursery will refuse / send them home, as will any child minder if they deem the child ill enough / contagious etc.

BranchingOut Mon 01-Sep-14 16:14:08

We found our lovely lady as she was working for a friend, who found her living across the road.

However, I wouldn't have actually used her for sickness - it was more for need to work an extra day/no nursery space/ad-hoc care type situations.

Finding someone will make your life easier, but so would your 'H' having a change in attitude.

My DH initially refused to do pick-ups etc but then he agreed to, once a week, for me to do a course and, surprise surprise, the sky didn't fall down! He is now much better about it and in fact, is at home with DS right now...smile

kaykayblue Mon 01-Sep-14 17:14:47

Your "H" sounds like a bit of a sexist twat to be honest.

So it's "women's work" to look after children when they are sick? It's okay for a woman to have to take time off work and get behind on things, because - let's face it - work is just a nice little hobby for them, right? But for a man to do that? A man doing serious men's work in his man job?

Well it's inconceivable that he would have to take time off from his super important man job and get behind on SERIOUS work, when you could just not do your lady hobby for a day.

I recommend writing down a list of EVERYTHING that goes into running the house and looking after the children. Then e-mail it to him with half of the jobs you are happy to (keep) doing, and tell him that from this point forwards, the rest are his. Since, you know, you are both working.

For looking after sick children, you take turns.

captainproton Mon 01-Sep-14 17:25:30

another one who does everything 50/50 with her DH. Its not your MIL fault either as DH's mum was a SAHM and he has not turned out like your DH.

Your DH wants you to do it, because its hard work and he doesnt want to. Be firm and stay strong.

just out of interest do you share household chores? sometimes that also gets lumped in as 'women's work'.

fairylightsintheloft Mon 01-Sep-14 21:49:28

Lots going on here I think. It does seem as though he hasn't grasped some basic facts of childcare. When the child is ill, CM and nurseries are no good and the "emergency" idea really doesn't work in reality because what young child is going to be happy to left with a virtual stranger? Its different if you need childcare because the normal CM / nursery / nanny can't work, but even a kindly neighbor is unlikely to want a SICK child (even assuming you would be ok to leave her). I agree with the PP who said go ahead and let him register on sites and work out for himself what the (lack of) options are. Then sit down with him and figure out on what basis the decision will be made each time as to who should stay home. DH and I both teach in the same school. We work out who has the most frees / exam classes etc and decide who's day is most missable and we balance it out. I do think its interesting what you say about his DM and what his expectations might be.

cerealqueen Mon 01-Sep-14 22:32:53

Childminders won't take sick children, it is up to the parents to stay at home with their sick child. What a bizarre notion he has.

Your DH needs a reality check. he sounds like he wants a modern day wife to share the earning of the money, but a 50s housewife to do all the housework and taking care of the family.

What is he like when he is home from work / at weekends?

mimishimmi Tue 02-Sep-14 03:45:23

It might be possible to find someone on a babysitting website. Presumably they would want to be paid a premium for providing sick care though. A childminder or center would not take them. Asking a neighbour or friend if they could do it would be unfair, especially if you didn't tell them your kid was sick.

Like others said, it sounds like he wants the benefits of a wife working fulltime but doesn't want to deal with any 'fallout' from that eg more domestic duties.

PartTimeModel Tue 02-Sep-14 06:15:59

I agree with the other replies above. Sorry your H is an idiot.

Is there a chance he doesn't have all the annual leave up his sleeve you think he has? Surely it makes sense to use that before he loses it. Why isn't that an obvious solution?

LizLimone Tue 02-Sep-14 06:48:09

Your DH is definitely being naive about childcare - he's happy to have your salary coming in but doesn't want to step up on the childcare front to enable you to both earn.

I will say, however, that it might be possible to get an on-call nanny from an agency to cover sickness care. It's expensive but might work for situations where neither of you can take annual leave to cover your child's illness. We signed up with a nanny agency for exactly these situations and it was a life saver one time when DS had a vomiting bug that I then got from him too and DH was away traveling on business. So there may be options out there for emergency care but it will cost you and it's really not ideal either when your child is sick and needs you there.

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