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My employer wants me to work away for a few days

(239 Posts)
Missfloweryname Mon 07-Oct-13 09:12:35

Hi, I am going back to work part time after having my DS. Once a year there is an event which involves working away for a few days. It's not mandatory but it's expected. Two of the 3 day event are my working days so I am expected to go. I would be a 2-3 hour drive away and I don't feel comfortable driving on the motorway so I would probably have to use public transport if I went. But basically I don't want to go!! Working 9-5 3 days a week is one thing but to be hours away from home and stay away over night is too much I think! My priorities are different now and I would hate to be that far away from my DS who would only be 11 months old at the time!! Going back to work is bad enough but we need the money. Am I being un reasonable not wanting to go? Or is it unreasonable them expecting me to go now I'm a mum? I would be grateful for your thoughts on this :-)

MadeOfStarDust Mon 07-Oct-13 09:25:39

if you don't want to go just say so - most employers are not big nasty dictators..

if it is EXPECTED that you will go, then you are showing willing if you DO go, but unless it is part of your contract, then it is not compulsory....

I don't go away with my PT work - BUT - I made it clear at my interview from the start that I would not be willing to go away (I care for my MIL at home) my boss has ASKED if I would go, but I have said no, and reminded them I was not willing.. (boss said "just thought I'd ask - no problems")

AnyFucker Mon 07-Oct-13 09:26:00


Special treatment because you are a parent ? That'll go down like a lead balloon

Suck it up or leave the job so that someone willing to give it 100% can have it

BrokenSunglasses Mon 07-Oct-13 09:26:34

If it's part of the job then I think YABU to expect that your employer won't want you to go. Especially if they have already reduced your hours to enable you to work 3 days, although you don't say if you've always been part time or if that was arranged for you after having a baby.

I can completely understand you not wanting to go, but if you want the job then you have to do it properly and your employer is not being at all unreasonable.

Sindarella Mon 07-Oct-13 09:27:23

Well i dont think YABU, you don't want to stay away from your 11 month old baby over night. I wouldn't either.
If its not mandatory just say no thank you, i'm not ready to be away from my lo for that length of time so far away.

Its not for anyone else to judge, only you know what you are happy with.

LittleBearPad Mon 07-Oct-13 09:29:00

YABU. You've got heaps of notice. I'd go for the three days. Swap one of your non working days that week and go. You need to take your job seriously especially as you need the money. Your DS will be fine.

Do you think seriously that all the other attendees are childless....

kiriwawa Mon 07-Oct-13 09:30:44

Unless you're a single parent and don't have anyone else to look after your 11MO, then YABU

Tailtwister Mon 07-Oct-13 09:31:19

I can understand why you're not keen to go, but I'm afraid YABU. It's part of the job.

Is there something specific you're worried about? Are you still bf or the only one your lo will settle for?

Trills Mon 07-Oct-13 09:31:28

is it unreasonable them expecting me to go now I'm a mum?

Being a mum is your business, not theirs. It's not unreasonable of them to expect you to do your job just as they expected you to do it before.

(I wanted to say "your problem", but that sounded harsh)

It's once a year. You have lots of warning.

Is there anyone else at the company who wouldn't be going but could conceivably fulfil your role at this event? Someone who could do it just as well (or better) than you? If so, you could try to see if they could do it instead, BUT don't be surprised if you then later get overlooked for other opportunities - ones that you might want to do. The other person will have had the chance to show their skills and to do an exceptional job and get positive attention (something that is often much easier outside of the usual routine). You will have turned down that chance.

HaPPy8 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:33:00

Why can't you drive on the motorway?

beepoff Mon 07-Oct-13 09:33:26

My employer (HR person) actually postponed a similar event for me when DS was 9mo which I thought was nice. But it's not just a once a year thing so easy for me to go another time.

Are you BU? I think it depends on the job tbh. If it's just a ten-a-penny job to you, and you don't really care then I can't blame you (although I'd question why you weren't looking for something else). If you are in a more specific role with defined responsibilities etc then you should take it more seriously.

Mumsyblouse Mon 07-Oct-13 09:35:03

I do not like attending events away but I have to- so I limit them as much as possible (so one or two a year), get my husband to drive me/come with me/make a weekend of it, look forward to some time off from children and so on. But I'm not going to tell you it will be fun, some people don't enjoy staying away from home by themselves in hotels and I am one of them, so I sympathise.

NotCitrus Mon 07-Oct-13 09:36:47

I'm assuming your baby is only 6-8 months now?
By 11 months and having been away from you while you work for some time and got used to it, it'll be fine - good for your partner to have some longer-term practice looking after the little one, nice experience for baby, and once you convince yourself baby is in the charge of a perfectly responsible adult, you can enjoy chilling out in a hotel. At that age they eat more, drink other stuff, and are fairly amenable to differing routines.

As a one-off, annual event, I think it would be worth going to generate goodwill from your colleagues and boss. Get a lift if you don't want to drive.

I have to admit when I did similar when ds was that age, he stayed with gps for a night and I wrote a manual for them (to be fair, they did ask for one!), but once I'd got past IF xxx, then call 999! I felt a lot better. Was fine - they got him to sleep by laying him on gf's lap in front of boring documentaries, which was a lot better than letting him cry (probably my biggest fear).

MaddAddam Mon 07-Oct-13 09:38:36

It is hard when they are that tiny but I've always seen a couple of nights away with work as a rest cure. As long as there's someone else competent to look after the dc, I thoroughly enjoy a night or two in a hotel room. I miss the dc and we're all pleased to see each other on my return.

I also like train travel on my own for work, another chance for relaxing.

NotYoMomma Mon 07-Oct-13 09:38:48


WhisperingShadow Mon 07-Oct-13 09:42:58

Not being u r about wanting not to go. I' ve been back 8 months and have had to do 3 nights away in the UK and 4 in the US. I have dodged going back to the US this month because my Manager decided he needed to be mindful about people and travel! But I do have to go again before the year is out.

I really played it up in my mind and worked myself up. In fact I was considering leaving an excellent career because of the internal dialogue I was having with myself about not wanting to go. I ended up stopping bf because of the first time away because I could not express. But it the end, it was all fine and I enjoyed myself. I had a glass of wine, dinner out and spent time with adults. Non of that seemed important to me until I was doing it.

TantrumsAndBalloons Mon 07-Oct-13 09:44:24

It is not unreasonable to not want to go.

It is very unreasonable to expect your employer to treat you differently because you have a child.

You probably are not the only parent working for the company.

ChasedByBees Mon 07-Oct-13 09:44:54

I also work part time and have to go away for a couple of nights almost every month (international trips). I think if it was part of the job before your DS, it's reasonable for them to ask you to do it now too.

It is hard being away from your DC when they're young though, I hated the first couple of times. In fact, as I was still breastfeeding my LO, her and my DH came with me on all my business trips for the first 9 months back at work until she was 18mo. Is that an option?

Your DS will be fine though. I'm still feeding mine - the morning feed is proving particularly difficult to break and when I'm there she does go through a very upset phase first thing in the morning. That is specifically related to BF though. Otherwise she's fine and TBH, she gets over that fast enough.

For a trip 2-3 hours away, I would consider commuting but you'll have to get used to driving on motorways. It's not so bad with practice.

ChasedByBees Mon 07-Oct-13 09:47:24

PS - we obviously had to pay the extra for my DD and DH to accompany me but for us it was worth it.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Mon 07-Oct-13 09:47:26

As I read it you haven't gone back to work yet and your DS is still very little. I'm sure the whole prospect of leaving him is a bit daunting for now. But you will get used to it. I expect the thought of this event is just too overwhelming.

But your employers are not unreasonable to want you to go. And I do think it would be unreasonable to say you won't go because you are a mother.

BUT - you say DS will only be 11 months on the first one. Mine were still being breastfed at 11 months at bedtime, morning and at least once, probably more, during the night. I was back working by the time each was 6 months. I would not have gone away overnight until they were weaned. Expressed milk from a bottle didn't work for them at night. So if this spies to you I can see that 2 nights away is too much.

I do not think you would be unreasonable to say you can't go the first year as DS is still so young and will only just be getting used to (nursery/childminder/whatever your plan is) But I do think you would be unreasonable not to go in future years 'because you are a mum now'.

Good luck going back to work. It will all get easier once you get used to it.

bonkersLFDT20 Mon 07-Oct-13 09:55:58

I don't think YABU and I don't think your employers ABU either. Imagine if they said "we know you have an 11 months old baby so we are not asking you to come on this trip". There would be outrage. Women have fought to be treated equally in the work place. It works both ways.

However, if you are breastfeeding then your employer should not ask you to work in a way which compromises this, so it is perfectly OK for you to explain that you can't go on the trip for this reason. Out of your whole career, the young baby/toddler days are a tiny fraction so employers should be flexible.

Not wanting to drive on the motorway is your problem.

My work expects me to travel overseas once or twice a year. I didn't resume this until both my children were 2 years old as I was breastfeeding. I was BF beyond 2 as well, but was able to travel.

TantieTowie Mon 07-Oct-13 09:56:52

Going away for two nights at 11 months doesn't at all mean giving up BF, if that's an issue - but do take a breast pump if you have one for your own comfort...

Missfloweryname Mon 07-Oct-13 09:57:46

Thank you for all your comments. I had a feeling I was being unreasonable :-( I think it's because I am the one looking after DS 24/7 and I've never been that far away from him that it just seems a really scary thought to leave him. I do also worry that I'm quite far away incase anything bad happened but DP will be there so I probably shouldn't worry.

ommmward Mon 07-Oct-13 10:01:15

I did exactly the same as chasedbybees, and had small child plus either oh or my mother in tow, at my expense, until the child in question was no longer nursing at night. No one ever minded - kind of nice to have children knocking around the hotel to leaven such occasions.

And I was a lentil weaving natural term breast feeder, with more than one child.

If we are lucky enough to be in professions where such things are acceptable, I think it's a powerful feminist message to be chairing a meeting with a six month old nursing discreetly, and a role model for younger women entering the profession. I'm certainly encountering more and more of it - but when I was entering the profession, most women in it were either childless, or their children were kind of a shameful secret in their professional lives, which just doesn't seem healthy to me.

WhisperingShadow Mon 07-Oct-13 10:02:22

Yes it doesn't mean you need to give up bf if you are. My DD was 15 months and I had wanted to give up the moment I started so when I had worked away and couldn't express, for me it was time.

I know when I have to go out again I will hate it until I go, and they it will be fine. It is the build up that is the issue. If you can find a way to work through that (except it?) then I think you will be fine.

jellybeans Mon 07-Oct-13 10:08:35

YANBU I could never have done that. I would not enjoy it or find it bliss but would be horrible. I did 12 hour shifts at the weekend while DH had DC but even that was hard. I would have quit. That is why I am a SAHM as I hated leaving them (especially later on after I had severe probs having them). Yes I am lucky we can manage on DH's wage.

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