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To ask DH not to go to a conference because I'm worried about coping with work and kids?

(87 Posts)
Beelands Sat 25-Mar-17 14:14:43

I'll try and get all the background down without being mega long...

Two DC, 5 and 1. I'm returning to work after mat leave, front line HCP. I work 2 x 12.5 hour shifts a week, and I leave at 645 and get back in the evening at 8. When I'm scheduled for a shift, obviously there's no opportunity for home working or late starts or anything.

I have my shifts up until mid May. My third week back, my DH has just announced he wants to go to a conference for three days. I'm working two of those days. On my work days, DH will take DC to childminder for seven thirty and pick them up for 630. Or my inlaws will come over the night before and stay and look after DC for the day. On the week in question, I am working the Thurs and Fri and we have childminder thurs and inlaws Friday.

DH is a solicitor, 11 years PQE, has never needed to go to a conference before and has been invited by a client. This is all part of the networking as all being well he will be made a partner next year.

I've no idea how to manage this, two very long and exhausting shifts, no idea how to get the kids to the CM or pick them up. Friday is easier as in laws will be here but they will very much expect me to come home, put kids to bed then make them a meal then they'll stay chatting for AGES, I'll be shattered etc etc.

WIBU to ask him not to go and instead to book a conference slash jolly for another time? And I can request the days off so I'm not working?

NapQueen Sat 25-Mar-17 14:16:24

Id be giving him the problem of sorting the cover. After all he is the one going away. Maybe suggest to him that as long as he can arrange suitable cover for the whole time then of course he should go.

user1476961324 Sat 25-Mar-17 14:17:16

Could you ask a relative (one of in-laws?) to come and stay for those days?

I'm sure the "this is working towards your DS become Partner" angle would work well on them...

SolemnlyFarts Sat 25-Mar-17 14:17:41

Well, he wants to go, so why not get him to figure out how it will work - including explaining to his parents what help you'll need? Can the CM have them for longer, or can he sort out a babysitter to help bridge the gaps? I don't think the default is that he can't go, rather that he'll need to figure out how to make things work.

Finola1step Sat 25-Mar-17 14:18:26

Have you asked him what plans he will be putting in place to cover his childcare responsibilities when he is at this conference?

nicknamehelp Sat 25-Mar-17 14:19:29

Any chance of swopping shifts?

Could cm have them overnight or a friend help

It's difficult but I am married to a partner of the firm and these things happen and you will have to learn to work around them - i regulary do

iMatter Sat 25-Mar-17 14:20:09

I think if he's going for partner he needs to go to the conference.

When you're coming up for partner you have to be so "on message" and your firm will look for any chink in your armour and that includes showing them you can and will go to the ends of the earth for your clients, even if it's "just" a conference.

Bluntness100 Sat 25-Mar-17 14:23:25

I think the two of you should sit down and try to work out the child care together, you should be s team and yes sometimes work things crop up that it would be prudent for either party to attend. If he is going for partner I assume the whole family will benefit from it. It's three days, work out together and with child minder/ family now to manage it.

HSMMaCM Sat 25-Mar-17 14:24:42

I agree. He needs to talk to your childminder or inlaws. I often do early starts / overnights in exceptional circumstances like these.

If all else fails, a temporary nanny for a couple of days. It won't be cheap, but will be repaid if it results in a promotion.

rookiemere Sat 25-Mar-17 14:24:57

Well as he is the one going away, then he should be the one to come up with the childcare situation. It's not a question really if you should let him go, but rather do the DCs have someone to take them to and from the CM or should some other solution be found by him.

TBH complaining about having to be sociable to ILs on Friday sounds a bit mean though. Some of us don't have any family help and whilst I understand what you're saying, you are lucky to have family childcare.

ShowMePotatoSalad Sat 25-Mar-17 14:28:32

If it were me I would take annual leave on those days so I could cover their childcare myself. If you can't do that maybe ask work if you can work flexibly on those days in order to cover their care.

If neither of those work, he'll need to cover their care or just not go.

MrsTwix Sat 25-Mar-17 14:38:16

Can you look at getting a short term nanny rather than taking them to a childminder when he is away?

expatinscotland Sat 25-Mar-17 14:43:32

Then he sorts teh childcare.

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 25-Mar-17 14:48:18

Ask cm if for that one day you can drop off early and pick up late

Or drop off early and get a babysitter to pick up 630 and tahe home and put to bed

Or ask inlaws if they could do both days tho would need to still pay the cm

rookiemere Sat 25-Mar-17 14:50:11

Thing is if he's going to be made partner, I thought there was an expectation that this effectively means being on call 24/7.

Have you both agreed that this is his next career step and if so aligned it to how it fits with yours ?

ElisavetaFartsonira Sat 25-Mar-17 14:51:40

TBH third week back I wouldn't be keen on him going anywhere. Only if it were incredibly important, which it sounds like it might be, would I be ok with it.

In that position I'd book the days off myself, but it sounds like that isn't an option for you? In that case yes, he finds the solution. Not just childcare, but things like batch cooking a meal in advance to give to the in-laws if they are doing the childcare all day (I don't think it's unreasonable to feed them in that scenario, but he can do it).

Prickles123 Sat 25-Mar-17 14:57:35

It's highly unlikely your husband has never needed to go to a conference before. Until quite recently all solicitors were supposed to undertake continuing education which is most often achieved by going to professional conferences.

It sounds like this is absolutely not the time for him to be rocking the boat and potentially pissing off good clients. You don't know that a similar opportunity will come up again in the foreseeable future. You need to sort this out together.

InvisibleKittenAttack Sat 25-Mar-17 15:01:27

Agree I would question if him being a partner is going to work with your job, with you both having long, unflexible hours, what's going to give? I would suggest you need to think about using a nanny rather than childminder and family favours for your childcare.

If you can't book time off, then I'd be suggesting a temp nanny. Or could your PIL move in for that 3 day period? Batch cook in advance, arrange takeaways, do what it takes to make this work for you.

EnormousTiger Sat 25-Mar-17 15:07:26

Why isn't he sorting out the childcare? He could hire a live in nanny for the week for example. Plenty of lawyers (including male lawyers) do that kind of thing.

bigkidsdidit Sat 25-Mar-17 15:08:42

I would ask your PIL to stay both nights, dropping DC at the cm for one of the days.

I have to go to conferences and make my face known too.

Fairenuff Sat 25-Mar-17 15:13:42

Just get him to sort the childcare.

VelvetSpoon Sat 25-Mar-17 15:15:07

As a lawyer it's pretty common to have to do some sort of overnight trip at least a few times a year.

Please don't all assume solicitor = massive salary btw. I've got almost double the pqe of the OPs DH and my earnings aren't massive. I certainly wouldn't (in their position) be able to afford an overnight nanny.

Back to the question, he kind of has to go. Work travel isn't always negotiable. I have to travel every few months, and I'ma lone parent. In the current climate he'll be expected to keep clients sweet. I'd suggest as a team you need to work out a way to make it work.

Mummyoflittledragon Sat 25-Mar-17 15:16:26

Will your inlaws pick your dc up from the cm? 6.45 is early but it's only one day.

RupertsMum2 Sat 25-Mar-17 15:18:01

I would speak to your line manager now and see if something could be worked out. Shift swap, annual leave, parental leave (paid or unpaid). I'm sure something could be organised to give you those days off which would surely be best for you and the children.

MyScaryHairyMary Sat 25-Mar-17 15:19:19

You have a one year old and you're going back to work? I really don't understand why people have kids just to dump them with a childminder confused

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