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AIBU to say no to childcare when I work FT

(62 Posts)
CathyODermie Mon 16-Jan-17 14:50:51

I work FT, my DH has retired. We have an 8yo DS. My DH has decided to become a governor at our DS's school. All very good, but the meetings have been set for 4.30-6.30pm. I can work from home roughly once a week. My DH is asking me to take care of DS while he goes to the governors meets. These meets are getting quite frequent. My son doesn't need a lot of looking after at his age, but I'm still interrupted if I'm his 'go to' when I'm trying to focus on work. AIBU to ask my DH to make provision for our DS if he is committing himself during my working hours, whether I am at home or not?

Superfizz Mon 16-Jan-17 14:52:35

YANBU you are still working and he is retired, it's his choice to do it so he should sort out childcare x

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 16-Jan-17 14:55:36

Tricky one. How frequent are the meetings? Because I would be flexible up to a point. Where that point is depends on your works, hours, how flexible he is, how much DS actually needs during those hours etc.

HughLauriesStubble Mon 16-Jan-17 14:59:04

Is your dh a sahd then? Does he do the majority of the housework and domestic chores etc? What are your normal work hours? If your dh is a sahd and it is manageable for you to be at home then I think it's fairly poor of you to refuse tbh. It's 2 hours a week and your son is at an age where he doesn't need constant supervision.

JennyOnAPlate Mon 16-Jan-17 15:00:16

How often are the meetings? I'm a governor at my dcs school and we only meet as a full board once a term. Including the committees I sit on, I have 3 meetings a term (so one a month on average).

It's unusual and not very fair if all of his meetings begin at 4.30....presumably there are other governors who work and would prefer the meetings later?

ToadsforJustice Mon 16-Jan-17 15:00:49

If you were a SAHM would you expect your DH to be home to look after DS? Some jobs just don't allow you to leave early. Your DH will have to sort out childcare. You can't be in two places at once.

PatriciaHolm Mon 16-Jan-17 15:05:29

I'm a Governor, and I think I'm going to have 4 meetings this month so I can see how it would be annoying.

There are a few options. Could you say you would commit to once a month, and for the other times he needs to sort something - a playdate, taking your son to school with him (sit in a corner with an iPad etc), after school club.

He also needs to push back and say that time doesn't work for all the meetings - I can't see how they can get all the Governors there then for all the meetings. We do a mixture of earlies (8am or 9am) and lates (7pm, 8pm) to allow for everyone's differing schedules.

MrsEricBana Mon 16-Jan-17 15:11:00

Nope I'm with you on this one. My DH works full time and I don't work. I would never expect him to look after the dcs at all on a day he was working unless of course there was an utter emergency and definitely not take on a regular commitment that involved him supervising them. Not because he isn't kind or flexible but just because he wouldn't be able to do his job and I don't work.

5moreminutes Mon 16-Jan-17 15:22:43

How frequent is quite frequent? Did you both discuss and agree to him becoming a governor before he volunteered?

Normally parents work around one another, and where one volunteers once a week and is a sahp the rest of the week it would be very normal for the other to do childcare if they reasonably could.

More than once a week YANBU to say no, once or week or less it would be reasonable to say yes IMO.

For years I had a very small evening job which only brought in a couple of thousand a year because I was a sahp, while DH earned an income that would hover on the edge of making us ineligible for child benefit, but once we had mutually agreed I would do the 3 hours a week he made sure he was always home in time for me to leave the kids with him and get there on time, including the rare occasion when he had to say he was unavailable for something work wise or had to dial into a call from home whilst in charge of 3 kids under 7.

That seems reasonable to me because we agreed mutually to me taking on the commitment in the first place.

I'm a parent governor. I reckon I attend about 3 meetings per term, all of which start at 5.30pm or later. I can't see how your DH's board of governors can have a diverse range of members if they exclude people who work a std day. But yes, he needs childcare. Can DS go to after school club and you get him at 5.30?

5moreminutes Mon 16-Jan-17 15:27:56

Mind you he could feasibly take an 8 year old with him to the meetings I've taught a 1.5 hour adult education class with a 5 year old sitting in the corner with pens and paper, a couple of Playmobile figures and a portable DVD player, but it was a one off and I did get my students agreement and offer to reschedule if they preferred, and I've taken kids to pointless but compulsory tick the box because officially everyone has to attend type short meetings equipped with a Nintendo and headphones occasionally

carefreeeee Mon 16-Jan-17 15:35:34

You can't be expected to look after a child whilst 'working from home'. On the other hand, your DH isn't solely responsible for all childcare and should be able to expect some negotiation/compromise to allow him to do things he wants to do as well.

Therefore you need to sort out a solution together - can he go to after school club/a friend's house/go along to the meeting with a book?
Or alternatively can you start work a bit earlier on your work from home day and finish a bit earlier? If you normally work 9 to 5 then it wouldn't be too much of a stretch?

witsender Mon 16-Jan-17 15:38:23

If it is from 430ish it isn't that long surely?

carefreeeee Mon 16-Jan-17 15:38:54

Also your husband is retired not unemployed - he's presumably spent his working life earning and you are all now benefiting from the fact that he can provide 'free' childcare whilst presumably also getting the benefit of his pension. It isn't quite the same situation as where the couple agrees that one partner has decided to stay at home whilst children are young but he/she will still get a normal retirement when the time comes as well.

Meandmouse Mon 16-Jan-17 15:40:03

I am a SAHM doing the same as your husband.
However DH works frequently away from home
But as suggested above, I bring DS (now age 10) with me for the early meetings.
I sit him in an adjacent room with book/phone.
It is usual in our school for someone not to have childcare.

PrimalLass Mon 16-Jan-17 15:41:15

I have an 8-year-old and work from home. She is perfectly capable of chilling out in front of the tv, drawing, using the ipad etc for that length of time. If you can accommodate it why would you not?

5moreminutes Mon 16-Jan-17 15:42:27

carefree being nominally in charge of an 8 year old from 4:30pm til 5pm and finishing at 5pm is in reality perfectly reasonable when working from home (without inverted commas). Most 8 year olds are perfectly capable of being left home alone for half an hour - the 8 yo just needs to act as if he is home alone and only disturb his working from home parent if the house is on fire or he is bleeding out or there is an axe murderer hammering on the door... He can watch 30 minutes of TV/ read/ play on a console and not disturb his parent at all 99 times out of 100.

qwertyuiopasdfghjkl Mon 16-Jan-17 15:43:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bluntness100 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:43:10

Well I think he's entitled to do the meetings. He's allowed a life. So if you don't want to do the child care then you need to find another child care solution for those days. I think saying he can't be a governer as you want look after your child when working from home is a bit much.

TheMartiansAreInvadingUs Mon 16-Jan-17 15:43:22

Nope. I don't garée that the fact he is retired is giving an out of jail card to not organise the childcare for his child whilst he is at meeting.

The OP is still working. She still has to do all the things she needs to do and if she is at home working, she needs to be able to do just that.
On the other hand, being a governor is nice but a choice. His reposnaibilityu is too look after his ds after school. Up to him to organise childcare if he eeds some time on his own.
Fwiw the arrangement could be something organised with the OP. But if that means the OP can't do the job she is supposed to do, then it's now t a viable option.

Oblomov17 Mon 16-Jan-17 15:45:45

Being a governor is something you volunteer for, you do it in your spare time. You need to agree to look after ds for 1 or 2 however many meetings you feel comfortable with.
The others are for him to sort. How did he think this was going to work, when he initially discussed volunteering with you.

tinyterrors Mon 16-Jan-17 15:45:56

I'm a school govenor and we have 1 full govenor meeting and 1 committee meeting each half term and all start at 3.30 to allow staff governors to attend.

If it's once a week then I'd do it. I'm a sahm and dh finishes early when I have a governor's meeting. It's give and take, any other day I'm the go to childcare so dh is happy to do it.

For those saying he could take ds and sit him in a corner with an ipad, he absolutely couldn't take him to a governors meeting. There are confidential issues raised in governors meetings so you can't just take a child with you regardless of their age.

julietbat Mon 16-Jan-17 15:46:20

I'm a governor at my DC's school and I'm also not the main breadwinner (I'm PT and a PT student). My meetings have been more frequent recently for various reasons (one every two or three weeks on average). When I know I have a meeting coming up I ask my DW if I can drop the kids with her because she can feasibly finish work in time if she has to. She often says yes but I am always absolutely clear that if she can't for any reason I will sort alternative childcare. I would never expect her to look after them during her working day.

Equally, all our meetings have been 4-6pm until recently when a few (new) govs have asked for a 6.30-8.30pm slot instead because they were finding it hard to fit around work. Your DH has every right to request an alternative time (at least for some of the meetings) if it's inconvenient for you both.

cherrycrumblecustard Mon 16-Jan-17 15:46:58

I think you are being a bit unreasonable to be honest.

It's once a week and it's your child.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Mon 16-Jan-17 15:48:10

I work from home and my husband is about to retire. He has lots of projects that he wants to do and that's great, but I will still expect him to do the majority of the childcare- after all, his pension will not support us all and I need to work to provide for our family. I don't mind picking up the slack every now and then, but if it was regular or interfered with my work, then he would have to make childcare arrangements.
If you were retired and he still worked, would you expect him to work and look after your child while you went off and did something completely optional?

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