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to be upset at my husband missing DD's first day of school?

(48 Posts)
AndiMac Thu 18-Aug-11 15:00:44

Husband's work takes him away a fair amount, he's often gone about 3 days/2 nights for 3 out of 4 weeks in the month. This is usually Europe and UK stuff, but at the beginning of September his company wants to send him to India for a week. I could deal with the week away as it's happened (infrequently) before, but I'm very upset about the timing. Our eldest child will start school that week.
I understand he has to do the work, but he's senior enough I felt he should have pushed to postpone it by a week. This is a one-off thing, starting school, and it makes me feel like we are lower on his priority list. I know we aren't, but that is how it feels.

Pagwatch Thu 18-Aug-11 15:04:53

To be honest I think you are reading too much into this.

The first day of school is an emotional milestone but the reality is you spend 10 minutes settling dc in and saying goodbye and then go home. That's it. Over by 9.10.

If you said he was going to golf, or the pub I would be with you. But as it is I think you are, totally understandably, being unreasonable.

I suspect that if you got him to change the trip and then had to stand with him, both of you thinking ' was that it. What do we do now?' you would feel a bit silly.

Clary Thu 18-Aug-11 15:05:19

I wouldn't worry about it.

It's nice if both parents can see the child off, but let's face it, it's not a feasible possibility for many many people.

Lots of couples include a partner who works away all week, or starts at 7.30am every day. In many cases both halves of a couple may start early.

Much more important that he makes time to talk to your child about it - can you make sure you set aside some skype time at the end of the first day?

cat64 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:07:25

Message withdrawn

azazello Thu 18-Aug-11 15:08:06

YAB a bit U, you know, but it is understandable. My DD is starting school as well and DH isn't taking the day off because he doesn't want her to think it is that big a deal - we have never both taken her to a first day at playgroup / nursery etc so both turning up to school makes more of it. And I'll turn up at 9, she'll run off into her classroom and I'll look like a lemon. Better that I'm on my own!

Instead, could you get your child dressed and speak to your DH on Skype with a webcam so he can say how cool your DC looks (if in uniform) or make sure they speak as soon as school is over and your DH is ready to be excited?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 18-Aug-11 15:08:48


Thousands of children will very shortly attending school for the first time.

Thousands of fathers (and many mothers) of those children will not be taking any time off work to watch their offspring walk into their schools.

Be thankul that your dh is thought so highly of by his employers and take photos of your ds in his new uniform in the schoolyard to show him and other relatives.

porcamiseria Thu 18-Aug-11 15:09:04

GOTTA PAY THE BILLS. you are BU, maybe people are there that week and he cant reschedule

ASByatt Thu 18-Aug-11 15:09:53

It is a shame, but lots of parents aren't able to be around when their child first starts school.

Try to stay really upbeat about it so that your DC doesn't feel like they're getting a raw deal (they're not really, you know) - and remember to do the 'photos on first morning in lovely new uniform before school shoes were destroyed' type photos - have some printed ready for DC to share with your DH when he's back from his trip.

Skype also good.

DC will be fine at school. you may 'need a moment' but will also be fine!

worraliberty Thu 18-Aug-11 15:09:54


My DH was at work whenever our 3 kids started school...and my Dad was when I started school myself.

Ok, they weren't away for the whole week...but with modern technology it's so simple for your DD and him to contact each other.

Hellishday Thu 18-Aug-11 15:11:12

Take lots of photos.

GypsyMoth Thu 18-Aug-11 15:13:02

Yabu.... It's an in and out affair. That's it

EdithWeston Thu 18-Aug-11 15:13:25

YANBU to be disappointed as this isn't going to work out as you hoped.

But YABU to think this is a reflection on a priorities list. Not every business trip is susceptible to rearrangement, and doing his job well is also important.

AndiMac Thu 18-Aug-11 15:14:09

Yeah, it wasn't so much actually going to the school, it was more the at home stuff before and after I'm upset about. Skype is a good idea, we can try that.

belgo Thu 18-Aug-11 15:14:27

YABU. I missed my ds's first day of school. He was fine with dh.

EdithWeston Thu 18-Aug-11 15:14:46

Pressed post too soon: meant to finish by saying (about priorities) - this isn't a competition.

33goingon64 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:15:01

I can understand you want him to be there as you would have wanted him there the first time she went swimming, ate solids etc, but as others have said it won't be such a big deal at the time or afterwards. Can you imagine him saying to his colleagues that he wants to postpone a business trip to India because his DD starts school that week? I honestly think you woud realise how odd that sounds if you thought about it. It's not like he's missing her being born. Also, he will probably be sad he's missing it too, and you being upset about it will not help...

hopenglory Thu 18-Aug-11 15:15:19

Up and down the country there will be Reception Class teachers and TAs peeling small children off their parents, small children who were quite excited about going to school, but didn't think it was a major occurrence until Mums and Dads start escorting them in, weeping and wailing.

All of a sudden it becomes a huge and scary event - and it can take weeks if not months for some of them to settle down.

Far better to go very low key - and I'm sure your child's teacher will be relieved at having one less parent there to trip over

MissusCT Thu 18-Aug-11 15:15:47


It's not the end of the world, and tbh the only difference between the first day and the second day of school is that everyone takes pictures in uniform on the first day!

Jenstar21 Thu 18-Aug-11 15:15:47

I understand it's a big thing, but my Dad wasn't there for any of us starting school, as he was in the forces, and couldn't come back from where he was. I don't feel scarred by it. smile I'd go with Skype-ing him when your DD is home, and wants to tell you both all about it. Good luck!

lachesis Thu 18-Aug-11 15:17:36


What Pag and Slide said.

Record it, it's all of 10 mins. and send it to him.

DH didn't see my eldest two's first send off, he didn't even come to antenatal scans. He had to work or look after the older children whilst I went.

That's life.

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Aug-11 15:18:30

i think yabu

it's just starting school.
didn't even cross my mind to ask dp to come along on ds1's first day of school. i';m sure if he didn't have to work he'd have come, but it isn't something either or us would have expected him to take a day off for... let alone postponing a business trip

i mean,.. you just take them to school and leave them there. it's no big ceremony or anything.

do people really take photos????

WideWebWitch Thu 18-Aug-11 15:19:01

Well, I started a thread ages ago saying how I thought it was odd, that so many parents were both there for the first day (noticed it at dds school) and the consensus was that I was BU. It's quite a new thing I think.

I think it wouldn't bother me, first day at school is really not something I think both parents need to be there for IMO, that's way OTT.

Hellishday Thu 18-Aug-11 15:21:02

Yes my dad certainly didn't come to school with me back in the 60's.
I do think a huge fuss is made which can make the child feel unnerved by the whole thing.

TheMonster Thu 18-Aug-11 15:21:17

YABU. I will be working on DS's first day of school (I'm a teacher) and so will DP as he cannot get the time off.

lachesis Thu 18-Aug-11 15:21:46

I took photos! I didn't tape it, though.

Now they are past the first year, it's back to the let off and drive off. I made to take them into the yard yesterday, the first day for much of Scotland, only to be waved off by my eldest, who informed me she was capable of going on her own and taking her younger sister as well.

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