SAHP and being “off sick”(165 Posts)
I work full time, demanding job, sole breadwinner, good contract etc. Recently I needed to take some time off sick - no problem, DH looked after me along with the rest of the household.
Now DH needs some time off sick - but how can he? I can’t take a week off to run the house instead as my contract is good but not that good. I’ve managed a few days initially as a temporary thing but he needs longer. Meanwhile, he’s still trying to keep going (laundry, shopping, cooking, childcare) but he clearly needs some downtime.
How do other SAHP cope in this situation? We have no family here (they are all 12000 miles away), all our friends work full time. I’ve suggested increasing the times the cleaner visits, getting a dogwalker in and using taxis for the school run (it’s an hour’s walk, unsafe road to cycle with an impossible hill coming back). Any other suggestions?
Let the cleaning slide, lower standards, plenty of TV time for the kids, easy meals, get the food shop delivered if possible.
You do as much as you can evenings and weekends.
Hope the whole household is well soon
Could you work from home a couple of days or even just a couple of afternoons, and help out with some of the basics? (But still take work calls as needed, answer emails, etc., and maybe play a bit of work catch-up in the later evening)
It's grim. It happened to me a few times when I was a (non car owning) single parent. So not quite the same, but no partner at all, no control-parent and no family nearby to help.
You have to cut corners, call in favours, and carry on. If you can shop and cook for the duration, as well as the extra cleaner hours, taxis, etc, that's probably better than most people manage.
I always offered lifts, inset cover and general help to other parents when I could, which helps build reciprocity for emergencies.
If you can avoid a cleaner, dog walker and taxi then why not hire a nanny? Would give him more free time to recuperate
How would you manage if you both worked? Maybe time to get a back up plan.
We've used cleaner, extra babysitter (including overnight), dog walker, taxis, grocery delivery, ready-cooked food, as supports when the SAHP needed a sick day.
Yeah it’s pretty crap being a SAHP when you’re ill. If I’m really ill DH will try and take a day or two annual leave, or work from home and rearrange his diary so that I can nap. Otherwise it’s a case of soldiering on with lowered standards and early nights.
I don't mean to sound harsh but he's lucky that you were able to take a few days off to let him rest. I am on mat leave and we all got really ill a few months ago - DH was off work for 5 days and just stayed in bed and I brought him soup and generally made him comfortable whilst he recovered. Following week it was my turn to get the virus and he wasn't able to take anymore time off so I basically had to get on with it. Worst point was when I had the baby down on the floor on the play mat with lots of toys and I was lying next to her, shivering and crying because I felt so bad (not loud crying but tears steaming silently lol) and just feeling like the thought of standing up and making her lunch was going to be such a difficult task! Honestly it was bloody grim. The only thing we could do was make sure he was home from work as early as possible (4:30pm when he usually works on later until 6) and as soon as he got back I would go straight up to bed and he would take over with the kids. I took double the time to recover than he did, probably due to the fact I was still having to do all the normal things and push myself to use energy my body just didn't have. Hope your DH feels better soon, it's really tough
Hire a babysitter, order in food, let the laundry / household stuff pile up for a while and try to do as much as you can for him in the evenings.
If money is a problem or if he is unwell for longer than - sadly - your DH will have to suck it up and accept that he won't get the same time to recover as you did. I've been the SAHP and have been sick and my DH does what he can around work but it's very difficult. A lot of the time, I find myself battling through flu or strep or whatever and just getting on with it because someone has to pick the kids up from school, cook dinner and so on. It takes me longer to recover as a result.
I had a c section, came home after 3 days and was then on my own with a new baby and a 3 year old.
Nobody helped me. DH had to work...long hours.
What happened was that I got up and walking and taking DD to nursery far faster than had I had help.
Unless your DH is hospital-sick then he just has to manage. Unless you can afford help that is.
My Husband has taken the odd day off over the years when I have been really unwell but generally I drag a doona in to the lounge and try to keep my eyes open enough to watch the kids.
Whether you need to try and do something else really depends on what is wrong with him. I imagine you wont find many people willing to come to the house to help if he is contagious but if he isn't then I would look at hiring someone to do the bulk of the work while your DH supervises from the couch.
I had norovirus a couple of weeks ago... I’ve got a 5 year old, a 3 year old and a then 9 week old. DH was away with work. A very kind neighbour took.the 5 year old to school for me, the rest of us just had to manage. Trying to breastfeed a hungry baby at 3am while shivering with a 40 degree temperature and dashing to the bathroom every 2 mins was a particular low point.
Unless you have small children your DH can rest when they are at school. Soup and a sandwich for tea. Oven chips etc for supper. Cheese on toast and jacket potatoes. All require minimum effort. Increase the cleaner’s hours if possible. He can rest as much as he can during the day. You can take DC out at weekend.
How old are the children? If they're at school then hubby has most of the day free to rest. Not ideal but could he call in favours for the school run too? Could you finish work earlier so youre home for tea?
Lower your standards. Do as much as you can before and after work, worry less about what the kids are eating as long as they are actually fed.
It's difficult, I just had flu and am a stay at home mum. The worst day I had to keep my older two kids home as I couldn't get them too/from school. I did as little as possible, as soon as my husband got home he took over. It wasn't easy and it will take a month to get on top of the house work again.
You just get in with it because there isn't any alternative.
I am disabled and chronically ill. This is my life permanently. I only have one child because I never recovered from my pregnancy. It got especially bad when dd got to 3. You just get on with it. When dd was little she went to nursery, which I increased to 3 days a week when I became incredibly ill. My friend looked after us 1 1/2 days, a home start lady came for a couple of hours when my friend wasn’t around for the 1/2 day. Dh was then there for the other 2 days at the weekend.
Now at school. Childminder once a week, cleaner. Dh did the food shop. As I got better I was able to online shop - too ill to do it before. Bed most of the time followed by a short burst of doing things. Any cooking is batch cooking. I have a car so drive everywhere. School is only 10/15 mins away on foot but I can’t do that especially the uphill walk - slight incline. I have a disabled badge. Some days I can’t walk more than a few steps.
You just get on with it unless it's really serious. I was a sahp for 7 years and never once had a whole day without being responsible for everything and everyone at home, let alone a day in bed. DH on the other hand fully expects to spend the day in bed when he's off "sick", I've never once asked him to take time off for me. Unless you're willing to pay for temp nanny or cleaner, or put kids in nursery extra days, you'll need to do more when you're at home to help out. At least you've recognised he needs downtime, most people don't realise that with sahp and it's pretty depressing. If he's really bad then put the kid next to him in bed with an iPad and pack of biscuits!
I’m a SAHM. I’m also very ill with a chronic and life limiting heart condition. I struggle to get through every day.
DH works very long hours. I have NO other help.
I have had to do what I can in short bursts with lots of rest in between. A job like tidying the kitchen and sorting the dishwasher after breakfast often takes me till lunch as I have to keep stopping.
I have had to lower my standards and leave bigger jobs for the weekend when DH can do it. Like laundry.
If I asked DH to take time off work to look after me he would never go. This is how my life is now.
I dont see with all the suggestions you made wrt the cleaner, dog Walker and use of taxis, how your dh then cant manage??
Many people dont have that option. So if increasing all the services replaces what he does, then why do you also need to be at home.
I don't understand why you can't take a day off emergency leave for dependants when your husband is sick and unable to look after the kids.
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