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Staying off work with sick spouse

(244 Posts)
Sashkin Sat 16-Jun-18 23:51:28

Just posting to see whose expectations are unreasonable here.

Spouse A is off work this week to supervise builders. Toddler came down with 24hr vomiting bug on Thursday night, so both parents were up most of Thursday night changing sheets/cleaning up toddler, and spouse A looked after him during the day on Friday (usually goes to nursery).

A came down with toddler’s bug on Friday night and was up vomiting. Spouse B is working twelve hour shifts this weekend (doctor). Should B have called in sick on Saturday morning to look after toddler so A could catch up on their sleep?

To avoid dripfeeding: Toddler was completely recovered by then, so A was doing normal childcare not mopping up toddler’s sick as well as their own. A finds solo childcare stressful at the best of times, and was in tears on Saturday morning at the thought of looking after toddler on minimal sleep.

B argues that B has done childcare in worse circumstances without complaint, and calling in sick would not be fair or safe on their patients or colleagues (departing night shift doctor would have had to stay to cover B’s shift, ie a 24hr shift), plus B is likely to be applying for consultant job in this trust in next few months so wants to avoid any perception of flakiness.

A says hospital cover is hospital’s problem not A or B’s problem, and should come second to toddler’s needs. A has long resented B’s job requiring evening and weekend work - A is self employed and much better paid than B, and does not see why B is working 60hr weeks to detriment of family life. Similar problems during B’s nightshifts with A angry that B is leaving A to parent alone overnight.

It’s probably obvious which parent I am, but I have tried to be fair to both sides. Would you expect your spouse to take the day off work to look after the children if you were ill but the children weren’t?

Candyflip Sat 16-Jun-18 23:54:53

No of course not. Is there no one else to help? A sounds like a bit of a delicate little flower, crying about looking after their own child. It is part of being a parent.

Flyingpompom Sat 16-Jun-18 23:55:44

No I don't think so. I've looked after mine while I was vomiting and so were they. It is grim, but it is doable.
I would hope that b would be sympathetic though, rather than sneery. And b should realise that 12 hour shift or not, A has had the hardest day and b should take over when they're home and let A rest.

Haberpop Sat 16-Jun-18 23:57:08

No, I wouldn't, it is one of those times in life when you just have to get on with it.

Haudyerwheesht Sat 16-Jun-18 23:57:19

No B should go to work but probably try and make things as easy as possible for A. Eg make a lunchbox up for toddler, get toys out, make sure cleaning stuff easily accessible.

However I will say that when I had PND this would’ve tipped me over the edge.

elephantscanring Sat 16-Jun-18 23:57:55

Well... sounds like you have deeper problems.

But A should suck it up and parent for the day. B should go to work. (Hope B is not coming down with bug.)

And A and B need to talk about respective jobs and ambitions and clear the air.

Cleanermaidcook Sat 16-Jun-18 23:59:01

B should go to work. It's life, A would just have to get on with it

tinkerbellax Sat 16-Jun-18 23:59:01

Should B go into work in case B comes down with the vomiting bug?

MyKingdomForBrie Sun 17-Jun-18 00:00:01

No way. A will have to catch up on sleep some other time. One can’t ‘call in sick’ unless one is in fact in some way sick (although B may in fact be coming down with the bug any time now and will need to be even more than usually aware of hygiene at work!)

Sashkin Sun 17-Jun-18 00:01:27

A’s not generally a delicate flower - just very tired this morning I think.

Not sneery, probably defensive at being called a bad mother for putting work over my child hmm, but I appreciate energetic toddler are hard work when you’re tired yourself. I got home at 22:30 so toddler already long since in bed. Will be leaving house at 7:30 tomorrow but will get toddler up, dressed and breakfasted before I go (as I did today).

Sashkin Sun 17-Jun-18 00:02:51

Re: getting bug - I never get ill. Iron constitution, me grin

ElspethTascioni Sun 17-Jun-18 00:03:47

You’re not putting work over your child, the child is well again, you’re putting work over A’s desire to spend a day in bed, quite different! (But is support you going to work in these circs even if the toddler was ill)

CantChoose Sun 17-Jun-18 00:05:16

You should have gone into work and 'A' needs to suck it up a bit.
'Toddler's needs' were in fact 'A's needs. You are not a bad mother.

COI: also a dr.

BellaJessica Sun 17-Jun-18 00:06:10

Should B be going to work as a doctor whwn possibly about to come down with a vomitting bug?

notapizzaeater Sun 17-Jun-18 00:06:17

I'd have gone to work and told A to have. A nice duvet cuddly day with the toddler

BellaJessica Sun 17-Jun-18 00:07:07

A needs to buckle up and be responsible for themselves and the child. Lots of parents do that.

planetclom Sun 17-Jun-18 00:07:33

I have been A and it sucks but you have to do it, it is part of being a parent and it doesn't even matter you are a doctor that goes for any job you can't call in sick if you aren't sick end of.

SD1978 Sun 17-Jun-18 00:07:53

The issue doesn’t sound like a previously sick toddler, the issue is A doesn’t appreciate what it takes for B to get somewhere in their career, and what is expected- such as turning up to work. It’s not ‘juts’ a day off. I understand what A is saying, that sick leave isnt B’s issue- and A is right. However there isn’t a need for B to be off. Does A also realise shift work decreases dramatically when B becomes a consultant?

mirime Sun 17-Jun-18 00:10:00

Depends how ill. DH has Addison's, so I have stayed with him when he's had stomach bugs, depending how bad it might just be until I know he's taken his meds and kept them down or I might stay longer if we feel it necessary.

Generally though, no.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Sun 17-Jun-18 00:11:26

Look,get in to work you’re not unwell.stop inventing what ifs and maybes
If you’re unwell stay off. But weren’t unwell,so go in
All then mental gymnastics to justify wanting a day off

NWQM Sun 17-Jun-18 00:12:22

So just to clarify your partner is asking you - doctor - to falsify a self certificate so they can sleep? Totally get that looking after a toddler is difficult on lack of sleep / feeling ill. We’ve all been there but... did they really think through calling in sick? Parental level would be a bit of a fib even. Personally would disagree that the need to cover is just your Trust’s problem because as you say your colleagues and patients are affected. Falsifying claiming SSP though as a Doctor would surely get you into the same trouble as anyone else with your employers but could you not have a registration issue as well?

Sashkin Sun 17-Jun-18 00:12:30

A would argue he was too ill to parent safely. His standards are probably higher than mine though. I’ll happily nap on the sofa while DS plays, A would never do that.

Thesearmsofmine Sun 17-Jun-18 00:14:26

A has to suck it up, it’s rubbish looking after a toddler when you are ill but it’s part of being a parent. The only time I have had to call DH home was when myself and all three children all had norovirus at the same time and the youngest was only a baby.

LipstickHandbagCoffee Sun 17-Jun-18 00:15:11

You being off impacts on rota,your colleagues,workload. If you are well go in
A needs to get a big grip,and see that actions impact externally upon work

YolandiFuckinVisser Sun 17-Jun-18 00:15:29

What would A do if he was a single parent? No chance of somebody else taking time off work to help then.

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