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To expect DH to be on call for baby when I'm ill?

(33 Posts)
ToffeeForEveryone Mon 03-Apr-17 14:40:09

Genuinely not sure how other people handle this situation, willing to hear IABU. Sorry it's a bit long!

DS is 1 year old and in nursery 3 days a week so I can work part time. Today I am off work unwell with a sinus infection - had it for about 2 months off and on but the last couple of days I've been feverish, couldn't make it in today. Got some antibiotics from the doctor this morning and have spent most of the day so far in bed weak and sweating so glamourous. The last time I had antibiotics, or went to the GP for anything other than pregnancy, was about 10 years ago.

DS is just getting over a cold and has been a bit unsettled and tearful at nursery drop off last week and again when DH took him this morning.

DH has asked me twice now, once this morning and once at lunchtime, to go get DS early as he was tearful when being dropped at nursery. I'm refusing as if I was well enough to look after a toddler I'd be well enough to be in work. I'm in bed ill and frankly not sure how I'm going to manage walking over to pick him up at 5.00 never mind entertaining him all afternoon.

Also, and this is purely speculative, because there's been no call from them and there's no reason to think DS's not fine, but - DH says he is completely unavailable today as he has a meeting late afternoon he can't miss. So if DS was to get ill at nursery today there's an automatic expectation that I would be the one who has to get him.

I have stuff to do at work too that I am missing today because I am unwell, which is going to make for a stressful time catching up when I'm back in. If I could, I would be in work today. DH's attitude has just made me feel very unsupported and sorry for myself that he's not stepping up whilst I'm unwell.

What would your family do in this situation - would you expect the non-ill parent to be on call / picking up from nursery? Or am I being lazy and selfish by not having DS home with me today?

notinagreatplace Mon 03-Apr-17 14:51:22

I'm sure there will be lots of posters along soon to tell you that YABU, that if your DH was in the army, you'd have to cope and that they coped with 7 children, a DH who was at war, while working down the mine.

However, I don't think YABU at all - does your DH ever do any sick days with your DS?

blackteasplease Mon 03-Apr-17 14:54:04

You definitely don't need to walk over there early when there's been no phonecall. Have a sleep instead. Kids are often fed up to be dropped off and nursery isnt like being at work. They can have a good nap there etc.

The rest depends on how important the meeting is. I'd expect any dh to be honest about how vital it is. If it's unmissable you'll have to go if physically able. Stick the telly on until h gets home. If you are unable to walk at all then I guess he'll have to miss it even if "unmissable".

minipie Mon 03-Apr-17 14:55:50

Honestly it's hard to judge as it's a question of knowing (1) how ill you really are and (2) how crucial DH's work stuff really is - and balancing the two against each other.

He shouldn't be assuming you will be available, however you shouldn't be assuming it of him either.

In general since you are already home I would say it would make sense for you to be on call and do pick up - unless you are literally too ill to do that safely.

museumum Mon 03-Apr-17 14:58:58

If I were ill I'd probably go pick up but NO WAY would I pick up early. Your ds will be better at nursery with multiple on-task carers than at home with you so ill.
If I were you I'd just get all the sleep you can now before 5.
Also in this situation I'd do pick up but dh would get home early and do bath/bed.

Sirzy Mon 03-Apr-17 15:03:49

I wouldn't pick up unless called by nursery - they normally have pretty low thresholds for calling for illness anyway.

However if they did call then unless the parent at home is really ill then I wouldn't expect the other to come out of work to pick up.

Snowflakes1122 Mon 03-Apr-17 15:07:32

No call from nursery=DC is fine.

He is BU in expecting you to go and get him. If he was that concerned he would find a way to get out of work and get him.

Get well soon flowers

TheHuntingOfTheSarky Mon 03-Apr-17 15:16:20

YANBU.

My daughters' nursery used to drag me out to pick them up early if they so much as sneezed, so take yourself off to bed for a nap and forget about it. He'll be fine.

Get better soon and tell your OH if he's that bothered he can go and pick up himself flowers

ToffeeForEveryone Mon 03-Apr-17 15:17:52

Thanks all. Reassuring to hear that others also think DS is better off in nursery this afternoon - would be a very long afternoon of CBeebies otherwise ...

DH hasn't done any sick days for DS but it hasn't really come up yet as I've only been back at work since Christmas. I'm about 25 minutes closer to nursery than DH so it would have to be something exceptional for him to come back on a normal day, which I think is fair enough.

The thing with the "important meeting" is that to hear DH tell it everything he does is important and can't possibly be compromised. His work comes very high in his list of priorities. I'm frequently nagging him to come home early-ish so he can help put DS to bed whilst I clean up / make dinner (otherwise I have to do all of it). And to be fair he does do bath time and bedtime when he's back in time, it's just that it's like a favour for him to leave work before 6.30 (contracted hours to 5).

Probably not helping my thought process that I realised this weekend that since DS was born DH has never done a bedtime completely by himself, not once, or had to look after DS for more than 4 hours on his own.

DH would be inconvenienced to step up today but I guess I just feel it's his turn and my turn to sit in bed until I feel better cake see told you I was being self indulgent

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 03-Apr-17 15:18:39

DH has asked me twice now, once this morning and once at lunchtime, to go get DS early as he was tearful when being dropped at nursery. You know your DH, but that almost feels like he's 'punishing' you for having a day of and neglecting your duties. If he feels DS needs to be picked up that badly, he should do it.

After all, you could be the one working down a mine whilst at war.

BendingSpoons Mon 03-Apr-17 15:24:38

MrsTerry makes a good point. If you were at work today, presumably he wouldn't have suggested you leave early to pick him up. Sounds like he feels you aren't really that ill.

smilingsarahb Mon 03-Apr-17 15:27:44

Important Man Things are really getting on my nerves these days. If nursery calls and you are too ill to look after child, DH needs to do it. If nursery calls and you can manage a duvet afternoon with cbeebies until DH can get back from work early and take over doing all bedtime and cooking stuff (no working beyond 5) then do that as your child will be ill lots and you both want to save taking time off for it as much as possible.

Itmustbemyage Mon 03-Apr-17 15:28:19

Toffee I think once you are feeling better you need to get out more.
Arrange an evening(s) out with a friend or join a club or so that DH needs to be home sharp after work for you to hand DS to him and walk out the door.
Also he needs to be parenting his own DS for longer than four hours at a time, all day at a weekend would be a good start.
What if you were really ill and had to be hospitalised? It would benefit both DH and DS to spend more time just the two of them.

Teabagtits Mon 03-Apr-17 15:29:12

OP I feel your pain! I've no additional words of wisdom but get well soon!

kittybiscuits Mon 03-Apr-17 15:29:55

it would have to be something exceptional for him to come back on a normal day, which I think is fair enough

Here's the problem. He does not see himself as an equal parent with equal responsibility. You should insist on taking it in turns if your child is ill in future.

minipie Mon 03-Apr-17 15:34:27

Hmmm. Your DH is being very U to suggest you should go get DS if nursery haven't suggested it. Does he secretly wish you were a SAHM?

The thing with the "important meeting" is that to hear DH tell it everything he does is important and can't possibly be compromised. His work comes very high in his list of priorities. I'm frequently nagging him to come home early-ish so he can help put DS to bed whilst I clean up / make dinner (otherwise I have to do all of it). And to be fair he does do bath time and bedtime when he's back in time, it's just that it's like a favour for him to leave work before 6.30 (contracted hours to 5).

Whether this is U or not depends on how important DH's job is to you as a family. In our family DH is the main earner by a long way, so his job is very important to the family. His hours are demanding and it would really dent his prospects if he regularly left early. We have therefore agreed that I will be the "main childcarer" and that does mean that I do the lion's share of pick ups, sick days, bathtimes etc. My work suffers more but we are agreed that that's the logical best solution for us - for now at least.

Sounds like you need to have the discussion as to whether you have a main breadwinner/main childcarer split, or whether you want to be more like 50/50. Either is fine but the key is that you are agreed. You don't want a situation where you think it's 50/50 but he's thinking he is the breadwinner and your job takes all the hits.

highinthesky Mon 03-Apr-17 15:37:37

Does DH think his meeting this afternoon might turn into a late one? S there a good reason you couldn't collect him at his usual time?

Stop using DS to make a point, ok you're not well but it's not his fault his parents are having a power struggle. There are better ways of getting revenge on DH.

harshbuttrue1980 Mon 03-Apr-17 15:39:20

Meanwhile, while his two parents are squabbling, a child has been sent to nursery when he is probably too unwell to be there (if he's crying and doesn't normally cry when he goes). You've taken a day off work (quite rightly) as you don't feel well, but surely kids should also not get sent to nursery when unwell? One of you should have stepped up to look after the child today.

BoffinMum Mon 03-Apr-17 15:57:06

Don't fuss about this. Just pick up DS when you feel you want to and ignore DH. You are not a nanny to this child, you are the other parent.

You do sound like you need some additional help though, and I don't think it matters whose work is the most important to the family. That way all men would have important work and the women's work would always be seen as secondary, which twenty years down the line would lead to the mother of all income differentials. Bad for families, bad for society.

In other words, can you occasionally get hourly paid help in at home when you are ill/knackered, etc, to offer back up and avoid the parental disputes about who does what? You are both maxing out here.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 03-Apr-17 15:57:19

Whether this is U or not depends on how important DH's job is to you as a family. In our family DH is the main earner by a long way, so his job is very important to the family. His hours are demanding and it would really dent his prospects if he regularly left early. We have therefore agreed that I will be the "main childcarer" and that does mean that I do the lion's share of pick ups, sick days, bathtimes etc. My work suffers more but we are agreed that that's the logical best solution for us - for now at least.

And therein lies the rub. Women tend to have jobs that are PT or less prestigious. They get passed over for promotion and extra duties because they are perceived to be not as dedicated and present as men, because they are doing all the heavy lifting of parenthood. Which wouldn't be an issue, unless about half of marriages ended in divorce and women were left with their less good jobs, still doing most of the parenting, supporting their children. And so it goes on.

In my house, my job is important. It's is not as well paid as DH's but we are both parents and he steps up.

ToffeeForEveryone Mon 03-Apr-17 16:18:30

I'm not trying to get "revenge" on DH highinthesky or disadvantaging DS in any way confused I usually collect him about 5.15 which is what I am planning to do today.

He's also perfectly well enough to be in nursery. Crying at drop off doesn't mean he's unwell, the staff would call me if he was sick or overly tearful through the day.

Its a good point that DH probably doesn't think I'm that sick. I've been ill with it for a while now but just taking painkillers and getting on with things, it's only the last few days I've felt worse. And no, it's not like I literally can't walk just that it's going to wipe me out - similar length walk to GPs this morning and it was exhausting. I have rested all day now tho so just going to have more paracetamol and put on my big girl pants ...

We do need to have a conversation about balancing work / house / DS. We're moving long distance at some point in the summer as DH has a promotion lined up. His job is important for the family as he earns more money but I don't want to abandon my career to get, as he suggested "a little local job for pin money" (yes he seriously said that) when we move.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 03-Apr-17 16:20:31

he suggested "a little local job for pin money" (yes he seriously said that) when we move. Fuck that noise.

Amar1na Mon 03-Apr-17 16:38:31

Toffee - will you not be able to maintain your career after you move?

Vegansnake Mon 03-Apr-17 16:39:12

I'd be staying in bed,let dh pickup ds at 5

Darbs76 Mon 03-Apr-17 17:02:55

When I went back to work we split days when the nursery called of if our children were to sick to attend. We were both working so why should it be just my responsibility? I did probably do slightly more and he did complain sometimes (my job is so important blah blah) but sorry I was working full time too at that time and it was hard leaving work all the time and taking days off as they catch so much that first year of nursery. I'd tell him he needs to pull his weight.

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