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AIBU to wonder how working parents manage without extended family support?

(310 Posts)
SatsumaSatsuma Sat 01-Feb-14 08:12:05

I supposedly have the ultimate family friendly job. I am a part -time teacher, so work term time only, 4 (part) days a week. I often finish early enough to pick up my 2dds from school.

However, despite the seemingly convenient nature of my job, I have depended on grandparents (during January only) to:
-collect dd1 from school once while I took dd1 to the orthodontist out of town
-look after dd1 while she was off sick for 1.5 days
-look after dd2 while she has INSET day
look after DD1 for 3 days at the start of term as her school (private) has holidays that differ from my state school term dates
-collect both dds while I rushed off to an emergency with another relative in hospital
-have dd's as usual on my staff meeting nights after school

AIBU to think this is a ridiculous amount of help to need, for 2 dc, when I work term time only, P/T?

AIBU to think that it would be unbelievably stressful trying to work without their support, to the point that it wouldn't even seem viable?

Got me thinking...How on earth do others manage to work, have DC without family support?

beeny Sat 01-Feb-14 08:14:35

You are very lucky its very hard

RubySparks Sat 01-Feb-14 08:16:22

Hmm well those with partners would expect them to step up rather than extended family.

Gardeningwithdcs Sat 01-Feb-14 08:16:41

Sounds like your children are teenagers: you don't honestly mean you wonder how people cope without extended family support for fifteen years or so? grin

You just get on with it!

melliebobs Sat 01-Feb-14 08:17:39

Your lucky you have parents who can be relied on. Myself and DH work full time. As does my mum and mil. In short it's a bloody nightmare but we manage cos there's no choice but to blush

2whippetsnobed Sat 01-Feb-14 08:17:45

I don't. I had a similar job to you last year but it nearly killed us. was glad to be made redundant tbh.

barnet Sat 01-Feb-14 08:17:53

If you are a lone parent, yes it is hard. If there are 2 of you , you juggle your jobs and life between you and never go out at the same time.

annieorangutan Sat 01-Feb-14 08:18:08

I work full time + usually over 2 jobs. One as a manager at the moment. This is changing to me doing a full time masters in Social Work with two part time jobs (adding up to 25 hours but 40 hours in holidays). Dh works full time with overtime as well.Tbh its easy I send them both to nursery/club full time and dh covers me when I work the weekend. Friends do the meetings or late night courses.

Inset days are covered by club so I have childcare from 7.30-6 5 days a week, 51 weeks a year.

Springcleanish Sat 01-Feb-14 08:18:53

You have to pay for the care. Breakfast club everyday 7.30-school, after school club until 6 every night to ensure you are covered for emergency lateness from work, husband takes holiday days for inset days, losing a weeks holiday, and we take it in turns for kids sickness. You then pray for nothing out of the ordinary to happen ever.
It's a military operation, but doable, and in some ways easier, as paid care is never too busy or otherwise engaged, it's a constant.

Orangeanddemons Sat 01-Feb-14 08:19:17

We don't have anyone. It's a bloody nightmare. Dh works an hours drive away which makes it even worse

CMOTDibbler Sat 01-Feb-14 08:19:56

DH and I have no family help at all.
We manage everything with ds and our ft, travelling, jobs ourselves. We pay for the wrap around care, and eke out our holidays to cover inset days and holiday time that we can't use holiday club for.

Igglywiggly Sat 01-Feb-14 08:20:08

We teeter on a knife edge. It works okay under normal circumstances but if anything crops up we are in serious trouble.

Caitlin17 Sat 01-Feb-14 08:20:18

I worked full time from when son was 3 months old. We had no family support, it wasn't a problem. From 3 months until he was 5 we had a full time nanny who was only responsible for him and a nanny share when he started school.

Mumto3dc Sat 01-Feb-14 08:20:32

Well I have 3 dc 3, 4 and 7 and zero family support.
Dh works.
I can't contemplate being able to work at any point til the dc can look after themselves.
The only way I can see it being viable is if you earn enough to pay for a nanny.

youbethemummylion Sat 01-Feb-14 08:22:29

We have to use our holiday entitlement for emergencies such as when they cant go to school as poorly, use a childminder for inset days/school hols which costs more per week than I earn, drag the other child along to appointments even if it means taking them out of school early. Coordinate work so if one has a job that requires weekends or evenings the other has a job that doesnt so can stay home with kids. It is hard but not impossible plenty do you are very lucky you have family willing and able to help.

RubyrooUK Sat 01-Feb-14 08:22:51

Of course it is viable! But it depends on having relatively flexible employers and great childcare arrangements. So it's expensive and often stressful.

DH and I both work full time with no family nearby. If one of the children is sick, we share that time off work and juggle their care (to the extent that sometimes we split sick days in half so we can both take the meetings we need to).

We take holiday on a day with a planned appointment or just do it in work hours and then work into the evening.

Otherwise we rely on childcare to cover our working hours and take off inset days as holiday.

It's not always ideal but if you don't have parents nearby, there is no relying on the grandparents if they aren't there! Extra hard if you're a lone parent though.

wordfactory Sat 01-Feb-14 08:22:54

It's difficult!

Particularly if your job is not very flexible.

Unless you employ a live in nanny, and even then nannies get sick, have family problems etc.

SatsumaSatsuma Sat 01-Feb-14 08:22:55

my dds are 9 and 11. 11 yo dd is at a tricky stage, just started secondary so im not happy to leave her for a full day on her own.

what I mean is, I wonder how people cope with the unexpected stuff that is a break from the usual routine. dh does his fair share, but life still feels like a jigsaw puzzle!

but garden...that getting on with it must mean a constant effort arranging favours from friends to have the dc, extra child minders etc if you have the kind of job with v little flexibility (in some ways, teaching is the worst for that, btw).

annieorangutan Sat 01-Feb-14 08:23:26

Childcare is available from nurseries, clubs and chilminders practically 24 hours for all weeks except Christmas/New year. It really isnt that hard to arrange working if you need to. The childcare staff need the money so it works out for everyone.

I have single parent friends who work nights with no family support. Once you know someone your sorted.

Hayleyh34 Sat 01-Feb-14 08:23:52

As others have said, you just have to get on with it. I have a long commute but my DH works locally so he takes DD to school. We have a childminder after school. Holiday days are used to cover school hols and sickness

RandomMess Sat 01-Feb-14 08:24:19

We both work, astronomical childcare bill even though they are all now older. Nightmare now the eldest is too old for holiday club but too young to stay home alone all day. Family won't help out.

Plan for this year is to use all our annual leave seperately to cover as much as the hols as possible Fortunately we have flexi-time so we can save up some hours to provide extra cover. We also childcare swap a little with a friend.

If one of our dc ever becomes ill (apart from the odd day D&V) I really don't know what will happen...

We both work very locally and I can occasionally work from home. I really don't know how a single parent could cope apart from paying out for extortionate childcare for very many years!

Cooroo Sat 01-Feb-14 08:24:23

Of course you are not being unreasonable to wonder! Shouldn't this just be in chat?

My family are 250 miles away and my mum was in her 70s when DD was born so I never had this sort of support. It would have been lovely. Unemployed husband looked after her when I went back to work. He left when she was 3 and I had to work very hard through that horrendous time to keep relations just good enough that I could continue to rely on him for some childcare. It got a bit easier when she went to school.

Thank god she was relatively healthy and work reasonably understanding. But it is hard.

Madmartigan Sat 01-Feb-14 08:27:06

You fork out for holiday clubs and afterschool clubs, argue with dh about who is going to piss their boss off by taking the day off when ds is sick, have monumental stress when both expected to work days when there is no care available, e.g. Christmas day and NYE. We hang by a thread. Looking to relocate nearer family and change career! Interesting that you are a teacher, I find school utterly inconsiderate of working parents. I don't expect them to put themselves out, it's the assumption that everyone can pop into the office that really grates on my nerves.

bakingaddict Sat 01-Feb-14 08:27:12

What so you have never thought despite being a teacher that some parents pay a hefty chunk of their salary for childcare? Mine is really good and will take the kids if they just have minor colds and coughs and then they will just stay at her house for the day

I work in the NHS so get an extra 6 carer's days and DH can work from home if any of the kids have D&V.

annieorangutan Sat 01-Feb-14 08:27:20

satsuma - They have holiday and pre and after school clubs here up until age 15. They cover all year round with trips out daily in holidays. Mine 2 (we will be having 2 more children) will all be attending.

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