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Dp cannot watch the dc whilst I work.

(232 Posts)
cottonTailTrail Wed 18-Nov-20 11:04:46

I am in a really tough situation.

Dp works from home but earns very little profit. I currently work 4 days a week. We basically live off my earnings.

Recently dp has become unwell and he cannot look after our dc by himself.

There are no holiday clubs for the Xmas holidays and no family or friends that can help with childcare. Even when holiday clubs resume I will still have inset days and illnesses which mean days off.

Basically I need to be home with my dc whenever they're off school. Understandably my employer is not ok with this.

I have my resignation letter in front of me now and I just don't know how we will survive financially once I leave this job.

Does anyone have any advice or are in a similar situation?

I feel like I will never be able to work again unless I can set up something from home. Or the dc are old enough to look after themselves.

OP’s posts: |
AnneLovesGilbert Wed 18-Nov-20 11:06:53

How old are they? What’s wrong with DP, is he seeking all the help he can and is he not likely to get better?

Quitting is very extreme though I sympathise with the urge.

Manteo Wed 18-Nov-20 11:08:11

Look for childminders? Does your children's school have a Facebook page or WhatsApp group where you could ask what other working parents do?

Ali657 Wed 18-Nov-20 11:09:42

Would you be entitled to universal credits? And then maybe you could look for a cleaning job for the time being? They are usually very flexible

Respectabitch Wed 18-Nov-20 11:12:26

Do you have any money to go towards hiring a babysitter to cover post school hours/inset days?

How unwell is your DP and is he expected to recover? What are his reasons for sticking to a business he makes no money at?

I really wouldn't quit your job at this stage. It's a big step and it is very likely to leave you worse off longterm.

cottonTailTrail Wed 18-Nov-20 11:18:15

Dp is not likely to recover. He still does his low pay job as it's all he's able to manage and stops him feeling completely useless.

We cannot afford a babysitter/child minder.

I just wish there was a solution but I just can't see one now.

OP’s posts: |
RedskyAtnight Wed 18-Nov-20 11:23:13

Presumably you do have annual leave? So you can use this for inset and illness days and some of the holidays).

Find a fellow parent in a similar position and "swap" children. i.e. you look after their child some of the time; they look after yours the rest of the time (you can be each others' childcare bubbles at the moment; later you could increase this to more parents).

How old are your children? Would employing a teenager (cheaper than childminder) be acceptable - especially if DP is around, just not able to look after the DC on their own?

Respectabitch Wed 18-Nov-20 11:23:44

I'm trying not to side eye your DP because I'm sure he's genuinely unwell. But I'm trying to imagine a man quitting work because his female DP was ill and could no longer watch the kids, and... I can't. The DP would simply have to suck it up, or if she was genuinely completely taken out by her illness help would be bought or borrowed.

I admit to also having little tolerance of "male DP/DH has his own business which takes a full working week and produces pocket money at best", which seems to be a strangely common scenario. What specifically makes him well enough to keep running a business but not well enough to manage school-aged kids for a few hours a day? Or does he work for someone else? Surely he earns at least minimum wage if so?

maxelly Wed 18-Nov-20 11:25:26

I'm sorry to hear this, it sounds so tough. Have you looked into taking parental leave instead of resigning? It's unpaid but you are entitled to take 4 weeks per child per year which might be enough to see you over the holidays and into the new year when hopefully things with covid may have improved so childcare easier to sort with clubs etc.?

Is there a prospect of recovery for your DH in the short/medium term, are you claiming all the state benefits you can get including any childcare help? 'Entitled to' is a great website to check. Do you have any family help?

minipie Wed 18-Nov-20 11:27:39

Could DP look after the DC if they are on screens a lot of the time? You can batch cook/prep sandwiches the night before to reduce any cooking required? I know that’s not ideal but has to be better than quitting your job if you are effectively the sole earner.

What work does DP do?

Smallsteps88 Wed 18-Nov-20 11:30:07

Would you be eligible for tax free childcare?

maxelly Wed 18-Nov-20 11:31:39

Depending on the ages of your children and your home set-up, an au pair could possibly be a good solution in the longer term? An au pair is not a nanny and should not have sole care of very young children for any length of time, but can do school drop off/pick-ups, supervise homework/play time for a few hours until parents are home from work, light housework etc and could probably supervise a sick older child off school or on an inset day (or you could use annual leave for this) - it could work well if your DP is around and can be 'in charge' but not able to do the running around etc. The au pair will need their own bedroom (ideally large enough to have a TV and small seating area so they have their own space), they live as one of the family so you provide meals etc and you pay them pocket money and usually also for some 'extras' like English classes, gym membership, travel card etc. Obviously having a strange teenager/young person living in your house isn't for everyone but sometimes needs must, it won't be forever and if it's this or you quitting your job it could be worth looking into?

RunningFromInsanity Wed 18-Nov-20 11:34:17

Respectabitch

I'm trying not to side eye your DP because I'm sure he's genuinely unwell. But I'm trying to imagine a man quitting work because his female DP was ill and could no longer watch the kids, and... I can't. The DP would simply have to suck it up, or if she was genuinely completely taken out by her illness help would be bought or borrowed.

I admit to also having little tolerance of "male DP/DH has his own business which takes a full working week and produces pocket money at best", which seems to be a strangely common scenario. What specifically makes him well enough to keep running a business but not well enough to manage school-aged kids for a few hours a day? Or does he work for someone else? Surely he earns at least minimum wage if so?

This. If he’s well enough to work, he’s well enough to look after school age children on the odd occasion.

If they are ill, they will likely be in bed/watching tele. Inset days you will know in advance so he/you can prepare activities etc.

If he can’t manage both, he needs to quit his job as you are the higher earner.

Im assuming this is a mental health problem rather than physical? He’s a parent, he needs to step up.

mindutopia Wed 18-Nov-20 11:35:54

Are we talking an illness that is life limiting or a long term chronic one? If your dp's illness is say, advanced cancer, and he only has 6 months to live, then I think there is some value in taking time out of work, so that you can support your children, whether than is some sort of parental leave combined with a leave of absence, etc. or resignation.

If his illness is a long term chronic one (I'm thinking like chronic fatigue or an autoimmune condition), then I think he needs to prioritise his health and just holding things together for the family to allow you to work. This means, if he can't do both, then his work needs to be what goes on the backburner. Having a little job that doesn't earn much money may be good for mental health, but it can't be at the expense of longterm financial security for your dc.

Your dc are presumably in school, so he can rest all day and just do the school run. I manage just fine using AL and parental leave to cover school holidays and inset days and you will too. Where there are long stretches of time, like over xmas when this isn't possible, then your dh may need to just pull it together. If your dc are school age, they can manage to watch tv and get their own snacks if he needs to rest. Mine lived on a diet of easy snacks and 8 hours of netflix so I could work over lockdown/summer when there was no school. They'll be absolutely fine for a few weeks of this. But I wouldn't throw away your security and your future earning potential for a short term solution. There are plenty of single parents who find a way to manage and with another parent at home, albeit one who is unwell, you likely can too, but it sounds like you need to take some time to consider your options.

LimpidPools Wed 18-Nov-20 11:36:28

This sounds unwise OP.

I don't want to be unsympathetic to your DP - especially without knowing anything much about his illness or situation. But surely if anyone should be giving up their work it's him? Presumably if he wasn't doing that, he'd be better able to look after the kids. Especially if ultimately it's only inset days and illnesses confused

I don't see why of the two of you, you giving up your job (which actually earns the money you all live off) is the better option.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 18-Nov-20 11:36:42

How old are your children? you're mentioning after school clubs so I'm guessing school age? how much 'looking after' do they really need? You could fling together a packed lunch before you leave in the morning, they can entertain themselves surely? DH is there as a responsible adult but realistically how much caretaking do two school-age kids need? If DH can hold down any kind of job he can do the basic supervision which is all that many, many children are getting over lockdown, surely?

I know it's hardly ideal to plonk them in front of the telly all day but it's better than you giving up your job and plunging the whole family into poverty.

Then you can look at swapping days with another parent, more strategic use of your AL, parental leave, etc...

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 18-Nov-20 11:38:02

And yes, I'm sure it's important to DH's mental health to work to not feel completely useless, but if he's looking after his kids he won't be completely useless either... c'mon OP, don't resign.

Hardbackwriter Wed 18-Nov-20 11:38:06

Respectabitch

I'm trying not to side eye your DP because I'm sure he's genuinely unwell. But I'm trying to imagine a man quitting work because his female DP was ill and could no longer watch the kids, and... I can't. The DP would simply have to suck it up, or if she was genuinely completely taken out by her illness help would be bought or borrowed.

I admit to also having little tolerance of "male DP/DH has his own business which takes a full working week and produces pocket money at best", which seems to be a strangely common scenario. What specifically makes him well enough to keep running a business but not well enough to manage school-aged kids for a few hours a day? Or does he work for someone else? Surely he earns at least minimum wage if so?

I agree, especially if he was the main/sole earner.

Is increasing your hours to have more money in the pot for childcare an option?

Shoxfordian Wed 18-Nov-20 11:42:01

It seems unwise to resign. If your dp is well enough to work then why can't he supervise the kids?

thisisnotus Wed 18-Nov-20 11:43:39

I wouldn't resign.

It might help us to generate alternative options for you if we understood what the illness is, or at least in what ways does it incapacitate your DH to the extent that he can't keep an eye on the children by himself?

ImMoana Wed 18-Nov-20 11:47:37

Could you look for a night shift type work? That way you could get the dinner ready before you leave and sleep during the day when the DC are at school?

cottonTailTrail Wed 18-Nov-20 11:47:36

He has both mental and physical conditions. He can do his job as much or as little per day.

We have 3 dc and as any parent knows siblings will fight and argue a lot. Dp cannot physically stop them fighting and I worry they will hurt each other. On the times he has watched the dc whilst I had to go to work he is mentally exhausted when I return and with his mental condition this has a knock on effect for several days. It's hard to explain.

It isn't a case of his job or looking after our dc. He genuinely cannot watch them all on his own.

I will look into some of the options people have suggested before I hand in my notice.

Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Someonesayroadtrip Wed 18-Nov-20 11:49:58

I think it's very difficult to advise without more information. As in children's ages, and husbands illness. Is he able to get some benefits if he is so poorly he can't look after the children?

What happens if you quit? I assume you won't be able to claim any benefits if you have quit (I am not sure how things work). If that's the case can't you just take unpaid leave? Far from ideal I appreciate but means the difference between no money and some money surely?

Can your husband do something else if what he is doing isn't profitable?

ShalomToYouJackie Wed 18-Nov-20 11:51:13

If he's so ill he can't look after his children can he claim PIP?

MyOwnSummer Wed 18-Nov-20 11:52:26

Afraid I have to agree with PP here - it is difficult to know what is best without knowing more about what illness your DP has, but like others I cannot see how someone who is fit to work can't take care of school age children for a few hours.

To be blunt, his feelings about "not being useful" are not more important than the family being able to pay the bills. And to be blunt, why would he think that providing essential childcare is not useful? It seems that there might be some fairly selfish and sexist assumptions underpinning this.

If I've got this horribly wrong, I'm sorry - but based on what you have written, the idea of you resigning makes zero sense.

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