To think ‘Really?’ when a work colleague takes time off with her sick DDs.(283 Posts)
To be clear - I have no intention of mentioning/doing anything about this IRL, and I am very willing to accept I’m BU. I mainly just want to gauge if my scepticism is justified in any way.
A work colleague has two DDs, 15 and 17 - no special needs, no long-term health conditions, both in mainstream schooling, older one learning to drive. Whenever either of them is off school with a minor illness - heavy cold, stomach bug - she calls in to claim emergency carer’s leave and takes the day off with them, sometimes two days. This happens once every two or three months, with either girl, not just one in particular, so we have to pick up her work.
Now my DCs are only 7 and almost 5, but I was very much hoping that by the time they’re in high school, I’ll be able to confirm they can access the loo, food and fluids, then leave them at home by themselves and not pass my workload to my colleagues and make it into work. My mum did this with me from the age of 12
possibly even younger
AIBU to think 15 and 17 year olds are old enough to look after themselves when they’re a bit unwell, or is this one of those parental care things that has changed since I was a teenager? Or is it a ‘depends on the child’ thing?
I was going to say YABU but 15 and 17? YANBU UNLESS they are seriously ill a 15 yr old should be able to deal with a stomach bug or a cold herself.
I think YANBU but lots here believe children need skin to skin into their 20s (maybe slight exaggeration..)
My suspicion would be she is just using this leave for extra holiday.
I’d think taking the piss too, but she’s probably technically / legally allowed as they’re under 18
My DP works with a woman who’s children are 26 & 24, she takes time off with them when they’re ill, takes them to all appointments, Drs/Dentist etc.
In fact, she also makes those appointments for them! She hasn’t done a full week for years, at least once a week, she has to leave early for one of her children’s appointments.
My former colleague used to do this and also still got a babysitter / nanny for her mid - late teenagers. Her DD still had a babysitter at 17.
Unless there's an underlying issue she's a piss taker.
I remember being left from ten, after mum (single parent by then) had made sure I was comfy on the sofa with blanket and water. She'd leave me some food made up in the fridge. No mobiles in those days. I lived (and actually enjoyed having the house to myself even when I was ill).
YANBU. Fair enough if they were 5 and 7, but 15 and 17 is ridiculous for minor illnesses.
Maybe they are not responsible teens, or need to be taken to the dr? I would assume that kids that age would be ok on their own.
She's being a caring mother, and if work allows her the carers leave there's nothing wrong with that.
Also you never know what might have happened to them in the past, maybe she once left one alone sick only for her to get seriously worse and she still has anxiety about that. You never know what other people are dealing with.
@Malibucyprus how does she get away with that?!!
I'm a teacher. We have two sisters that age who are frequently off 'sick' at the same time and turn up a couple of days later with perfect hair, nails and golden / orange skin.its an open secret that the mother takes them off like they're her BFFs to a spa 🙄 but they are allegedly ill.
I would hope that management would be querying the level of time off, a couple of days every 2 to 3 months is quite a lot of absence.
Also I would be interested to know why it's being given as emergency carers leave. As an adult, and almost adult, having colds or stomach bug aren't exactly emergencies.
“She's being a caring mother, and if work allows her the carers leave there's nothing wrong with that.”
Being a caring mother is not the same as needing emergency care days off work.
OK, she might have issues.
If there is a Dad does he take days off like this? Nope thought not.
I would assume they arent I'll at all and she wants the day off.
At 17z if my mum had taken the day off because I was ill, I would tell her she was off her rocker and I was spending the day in bed.ast thing i would want when i was ill was my mum fussing round, at that age.
She’s taking the piss.
A very occasional day if they’re very ill or need taking to the doctors is fair enough. But not every time they get a sniffle.
Are you sure no special needs ?
My ds is 15 but has severe autism and can't be left alone .
If not yes definitely taking the piss I have to use annual leave if I had to take day off for either of my dc .
I suppose it's down to your employer for letting her abuse the system.
On the face of it it seems unnecessary given their ages, however if work are happy with it then I wouldn’t be bothered.
We seemed to need more emergency days as we got older. Poor dad
@Nquartz she joined the company the same time as the boss, has been his “right hand woman” for years and he thinks the sun shines out of her arse. Her own sickness record is awful, she gets sent home for sneezing.
Some people are just piss takers.
At first I was going to say YABU then I realised how old they were. The only time it would be acceptable was if they were bed bound with a very serious illness. I had tonsillitis at 18 and I was so ill I couldn't get out of bed. My mum had to call the docs out twice and I needed help just getting to the toilet. It would be acceptable in those circumstances i think.
Surely there's a limit as to how many days she's allowed per annum to do this?
Well unless you are her manager you don’t really know what’s going on. Perhaps there’s an underlying issue but the message colleagues get are daughters are a bit ill.
I would recommend she takes them both to the doctors for checkups if they are ill enough to take a couple of days off school every couple of months!
I have the day off today (I was owed it anyway) as DS (15) is having new train-tracks fitted and I felt that one of us really should be there. He normally attends check ups alone.
As for illness we would leave him at home. I would alert work that I need to keep an eye on my phone and DH would try and pop home if he was passing.
As long as she isn't getting paid for it. If she is getting paid then she is taking the piss. I wouldn't put up with that and would be contacting management.
I would not leave an ill 12 year old on their own.
This happens once every two or three months, with either girl, not just one in particular,
Two days off every two months? Those kids must be really poorly 🙄
With 17 I think no way I would stay at home for a cold. 15 is a hit and miss, it still very much depends on the teen.
Saying that, I have quite low blood pressure and even a cold can wipe me out to a point I really struggle getting up and making food, I fainted as a teen on a regular basis with “just a cold”. A bug is even worse. So even when a child appears with no health problems there may be more to it than your colleague talks about.
One of my colleagues with a teen always tried to work from home so that at least some work could be done while looking after her teen.
I would not leave an ill 12 year old on their own.
How about a 15 and 17 year old, like in the OP?
Anything after 14 and I think its taking the piss
She sounds a CF, but perhaps you don't know the full story. One of my DS is 17, he's had some MH issues, which I've told my line manager about but no on else. Sometimes I take a day off with him to help him over a difficult situation or because he has counselling or needs to talk.
A friend still gets a sitter for her nt 15 year old great hulking lad! I was babysitting myself from 13
I guess it’s impossible to know what they are ill with. If it’s a mental health issue it could easily be essential that she be there. It could also be her being ridiculous. You just can’t tell.
She’s taking the piss and I’m surprised your employer lets her get away with it.
I was prepared to say YABU until I saw their ages. It can be difficult when you have younger children and no alternative childcare but a 15 and 17 year old can look after themselves!
It depends how I'll they are.. DS (14l) has been sent home from school 'ill' 8 times in the last two terms ( a whole other issue there!). I don't leave work unless he is too ill to get himself home which is nnevr so far
However he had a ' bug' a few months ago where he had a really high temperature and was obviously very ill. I stayed home for two days with him that time as he could barely stand up and wasn't drinking without being reminded/ encouraged to.
Also I don't tell anyone at work
( Except my direct line manager in confidence) but DS has ASD. I talk about him as if he is a normal teenager to colleagues ( when I talk about him at all , which is not that often)
Do they have any MH issues? You may well not know - I certainly wouldn't share with colleagues this info. But if not then it is ridiculous - but in life you tend to have to suck up the ones who do this kind of thing, and not let it eat away at you.
How do you know she is not taking herĺ annual leave, but emergency carer's leave, if you are not her manager?
My colleague has special dispensation not to work weekends (24/7 shift work) because of her DD. She was granted it when her DD was 4 (she's single parent) Her DD is 15, nearly 16 now and she still never works a weekend. When chatting casually she's said her DD never gets up before midday at weekends, and cycles everywhere, to friends houses and town etc. She often barely sees her.
The colleague who does the rota sometimes asks her to do one shift, on one weekend day, because otherwise someone will have to do 3 full weekends (6 days) and she usually says something non committal, but if she's put on the rota for even an early shift finishing at midday at a weekend she crosses it off.
She's a good colleague in most other ways, but it rancles that I often have to pick up a 3rd full weekend so she can be off every weekend "with" her DD (who is probably in bed or out without her mum) when my children are all younger than hers.
Oh joy. Once had to gently (grrr) explain to a mum that, although she'd accompanied her 19 year old daughter to our workplace, she wouldn't be sitting in on the interview. Sigh. How far can childhood extend.
I have 3 grown up DC and this thread made me think back to when they were younger. I honestly can’t remember taking a day off when they were unwell. Then I remembered why. My parents lived in the same road and would step in and help out. To be honest my DD has a lot of illness. Tonsillitis, cellulitis, appendicitis, meningitis and endometriosis. She also broke her arm and had an operation to remove a power ranger from her head. My eldest DS was never unwell. And my other DS had asthma so was often unwell. I was lucky to have grandparents who were like a second set of parents for my DC. Having said that unless really ill I would have left my teenage DC at home in bed and not taken time ofd. But everyone’s situation is different so I won’t judge
She is taking the piss.
I worked for nhs. Their policy was that paid parental leave was only for children up to the age of 14. You could still take parental leave after that, up to child’s age of 18 but that was unpaid.
Hi - I'm a mum of a DD18. Until 3 months ago, she was an A level student, geeky and seemingly happy. Then one day, I felt something 'wasn't right'. I went into her room and found evidence of hard drinking (she was a functioning alcoholic) self harm and suicidal thoughts. Since then our worlds have fallen apart. Panic runs to A&E, dealing with manic outbursts and a detox. We've at times just had to drop everything. My DH has had to ring in absent at no notice because his DD is suicidal.
It's very easy on the face of things to go "they're 17, can take care of themselves".....but it's sadly not always like that. There could be a MH issue here. It's very hard to disclose these things to colleagues, though if it that I'd encourage her to be brave and say something to work....we've had no choice actually and the kindness and understanding of others has really helped.
I get one carers leave day per year. Rest of the time it would be unpaid or holiday.
Last winter l was asked what my plans were in regards to work (NHS) if the weather turned bad. I said the only time l wouldn't attempt to come in is if the school closed. I was informed that's not a good enough reason to be off and to make other arrangements now
even though they know I'm a single parent and my closest family member is 55miles away and I'd be disciplined for not going in
By the way.....my DC's were the type who never previously had a day of ill with snivels etc when they were younger. But now, the time needed to obtain support for an older teen with MH issues has been astronomical and we've had no choice in the matter. Depression causes intertia and those affected might be old enough to help themselves but they literally CANNOT.
At 15 I was left to fend for myself. If I was sick and thought I needed to see the doctor, I called myself and either walked or caught the bus.
I remember getting Noro just before Christmas one year and my parents still left me to look after my younger sibling whilst they went to a party!!!
The trouble is, there may well be a reason (such as the DCs' mental health is an issue, as some PP have described) that this woman doesn't want to share with the whole office. Because of the way mental illness is still stigmatized: the colleague probably doesn't want to have to spend time fending off all the fucknuggets who feel entitled to tell her that she is 'spoiling' her DC or they are faking, or what they need is a colouring book, some green tea and to do a yoga.
If there is a demonstrable impact on the rest of the department, it might be worth speaking to the manager about how to fix it, but not in terms of 'Waaah, Gloria takes so much time off to mind her kids, make her stop it.' Bear in mind that the manager might well tell you nicely to mind your own business/go and fuck yourself, because whatever the issue is, you are not entitled to information about a colleague's health or the health of their family members if that colleague doesn't want you to know.
There’s a woman at my work who does this too. Her daughters ring her and she goes home. They are 14 and 16. It’s ridiculous!
Completely taking the piss. Plus she is also lying I reckon - 15 and 17 year olds are not ill that often ime.
Now my DCs are only 7 and almost 5, but I was very much hoping that by the time they’re in high school, I’ll be able to confirm they can access the loo, food and fluids, then leave them at home by themselves and not pass my workload to my colleagues and make it into work. My mum did this with me from the age of 12 possibly even younger
Mine are both in high school and this is exactly what I do. Thankfully mine are rarely ill and have never had anything serious (touch wood!). I also work very locally so can pop home if necessary. At 15 & 17 she's taking the piss!
Hope you daughter improves soon, That must be so difficult for you all.
This is exactly the type of situation that I was thinking of where the age of the ‘child’ is irrelevant. You just can’t know from office chit chat what’s going on.
It is incredibly common, I have had similar in any place I have worked. My previous boss restricted annual leave during school holidays for everyone as she would be at home taking care of her 18 year old. In my current job there are two woman who were taking leave to care for sick kids until they went to university, and if it were not the kids, were the dogs. Not that they were ill and needed to be taken to the vet, but they refused to leave the dogs alone for an extra hour if their job demanded an early start a couple of days a year... so we, parents with younger children, had to turn ourselves around find extra care, pay for breakfast clubs so we can cover for them and do their job, so Fido didn’t feel anxious for staying 5 hours alone instead if 4. I bet Fido was not even looking at his watch.
Yanbu and her children seem to be sick more often than the average teens too! My son was off school sick yesterday - first time in a couple of years.
Carers leave is usually unpaid isn't it? Perhaps if she isn't getting paid for any work she hasn't done she doesn't think it's a big deal if she'd rather be with her kids when they are ill?
My DD18 actually went to enormous efforts to hide her MH issues for months and months. This lost time made the problem worse. But she didn't want to inconvenience or upset us or to be a burden... so she thought it would be easier to take her own life and then we'd not have the hassle. I write this, with tears in my eyes. If it's an ingrowing toenail, I get the annoyance of posters..,.,but quite important to get the facts before judging.
@IceRebel OP said she would leave her own DC when they are in high school as her DM had left her when she was 12 or younger.
If the workplace are okay with it then it really is none of the op's business. Op has no idea whether the teenagers have underlying needs which their mother hasn't wished to share with her colleagues.
15 and 17? Unless they have norovirus, our cold with a raging temp or a hospital stay that is so stupid.
Yabu OP as it's none of your business. At all.
Also... "its an open secret that the mother takes them off like they're her BFFs" wow so on Mumsnet mothers can't be close to their daughters now either? 🙄 What a snide comment.
If there's no additional needs/issues she is taking the mickey. I would not be happy as I'm guessing this causes additional pressure across the team as her work needs to be picked up by everyone else.
I used to work somewhere that offered term time - nearly everyone that had that contract had kids in there 20's, sometimes with kids of their own. It used to anger me so much as it restricted who else could have leave over the summer and they couldn't offer these times to anyone until someone gave them up which no-one did. So SP (like myself) would pay through the nose for holiday clubs, so these women (all were women) to enjoy their summer. Sorry, I went on a rant, I hate it when people are inconsiderate towards their colleagues.
I have 13/14 year olds.
I would leave them alone if it was a "known" minor illness - e.g. they had a cold, or the second day of a sickness bug etc. Sometimes, though, you know they are ill, but not what nor how it will progress - i.e. they wake in the night vomiting, but have not yet surfaced by the time I would need to leave for work. Or they have a very high fever, still rising. In those circumstances, I would arrange to work from home. If it makes any difference, though, I WfH at least 2 days a week anyway, and my schedule is flexible, so its not really disruptive to switch around days, plus when I'm in the office I have an hour plus commute on public transport, as does DH, so neither of us could be back quickly if the situation deteriorated. At the ages mine are, unless I know its a minor illness, I still think someone needs to be around. Not sure when I will feel differently, quite possibly not til they leave to go to Uni. That said, its probably once, maybe twice a year between my two children that I have to switch around a WfH day - not once every month or two!
The thing is it does impact upon the OP, so it is somewhat her business.
That doesn't mean that she has any right to an explanation, but if you're regularly having to pick up extra work for someone, stay late and rearrange your own caring responsibilities etc. it most certainly affects you, and the sneaking suspicion that you're being negatively impacted by someone who is taking the piss or taking special treatment at everyone else's expense creates poor workplace moral.
My question would be, why isn’t she taking leave?
No problem with a mother wanting to look after her children but I am not convinced carers leave applies to children - with no medical conditions. Also, don’t you have to be registered as a carer to start with?
Tallgreenbottle are you looking for ways to take offence? The post you quote is part of a paragraph about a parent taking her 15 and 17 year olds out of school during term time to go on regular spa days, but claiming that they were ill. Being "best friends" with your school age, dependant offspring with whom you necessarily have an unequal power dynamic is also deeply unhealthy. If you can't see how inappropriate that is it's unfortunate.
In my company they are very understanding when you have a sick child and no other care options, however wilexpect unto take leave. I am a registered carer for my mum who has incurable cancer, I am also able to take 5 paid days per calendar year to look after her, appointments etc.
Last thing I would say is, whilst annoyoying I think we should all try and be kind. No one really knows what kinds of pressures our collegues are under, it’s really a poor management issue I would say.
She's on the skive. I bet they're not ill
Is the leave paid?
Technically she is entitled to unpaid parental leave until they are 18. Practically she is being an idiot.
Saying that, I used to have a colleague that would take time off to take her boyfriend to the dentist. He was in his late 20's for goodness sake!
I worked with a woman who took carers leave when her husband had the flu. Seriously. She said she had to take him to the doctor & look after him.
Do you think the girls may struggle with their periods?!.Often the case especially the younger one .I dont think having time off like this is helping either of these girls however .Will she still take time out when they are in their 20s FFS?
MrsGrammaticus I’m so sorry.
My Dd had MH issues at 17, thankfully we were fully aware of them. I wouldn’t have left her on her own if she was “ill”.
Unless you’re very close to this family, you don’t know what’s going on, so stop being so judgemental without knowing all the facts.
The leave is paid - I’ve seen her filling in the emergency leave requests.
I casually (and, I assure you, supportively) asked after her DD in one of these episodes and the reason she needed to stay with the 17 year old was because she refuses to drink enough after she’s had a bout of diarrhoea. I honestly can’t help but feel that she has a nice movie day off having 1:1 time with her DD when she is a bit poorly, without it eating into her annual leave entitlement. Which is lovely but a bit stressful for us!
I’m positive there’s no MH issues - colleague is very open and we’re NHS in an AHP role where we really don’t stigmatise MH problems. She is a single mum and has had a fucking awful few years (breast cancer plus a cunt bag of a partner who left her for another woman) so hence I would never say a thing, but...I’ve had a fucking awful few years (multiple hospitalisations with life-threatening, newly diagnosed life-long condition plus sudden death of my mum) and hope I don’t do anything quite so piss-taking! But life stressors affect everyone differently...
On the face of it yanbu.
I wouldn't go spreading that opinion about though unless you are 100% sure there is no special circumstances/needs, as if there are and you are bitchy about it you'll look a right twat!
I have had to take time off with my dd1 who's 17, but she has brittle asthma and go from being a little bit coughy and wheezy to needing a nebuliser v. quickly. She's gone to work with dh before now but sometimes that's not possible.
Thankfully it doesn't happen very often
My 8 month old has tonsillitis and I'm sat here feeling CRAP about letting my colleagues down. How do some people just have no shame?!
I know you are not going to say anything in real life but its probably just a habit she's stuck with from when they are younger, and isn't really thinking of the shit she's leaving others in, just thinking they are ill I need to be there.
Problem is it does need someone to have a word irl, at 15 and 17 you don't need to be there for minor illnesses, point out how much slack she's generating for others to pick up, and point out if very ill shed need to be there but if say if they were away at uni you wouldn't be there, for the girls good they also need to know they can manage these things without mum, suggest to her she leaves an hour early or comes in an hour late to loosing a full day. but I know its easier typed than said in real life, I don't know if you can get someone to have w a word next time it occurs - and surly when 17 becomes 18 she cant get leave?
It sounds really strange that work are so accommodating for this.
I live in Sweden where there is very generous paid time off to stay home with sick children up to the age of 12. However from 13 they are deemed to be fine to stay at home by themselves with minor illnesses - although you can get an extension if your child has SN or major illness.
YABU to think anything. I mean who cares? Oh yes, the Mumsnet vultures, desperate to slate another woman who they don't know the first thing about.
One of my DC would have needed me at that age. It doesn't matter why and it's not anyone else's business. I am a parent first, employee second.
My 8 month old has tonsillitis and I'm sat here feeling CRAP about letting my colleagues down.
Please don't. It's not right that anyone should feel bad about taking time off for a sick baby
Maybe she hasn’t told you of an underlying problem? Are you good friends that you think you should know? A friend of mine had a child who had a hidden illness (wasn’t comfortable telling anyone but her boss and HR) - it was no ones business until someone put a complaint in about her taking the piss - she then had to tell everyone what her child had and got the sympathy that she absolutely didn’t want.
She’s taking the piss but it’s for management to pick her up on. Assuming no other issues there’s no way a 15 and 17 year old with a cold can’t be home alone!
Stop being so judgemental without any real evidence or facts for goodness sake. 🤷🏻♀️
Wow some people work for really soft companies. When DD was 6 she had a head injury at school, relatively minor but needed to be seen by a doctor. I took half a shift off and manager and colleague were both very sniffy about it. Did not get paid for those lost hours either and had to work like a maniac for the rest of the shift to catch up.
I really want to work with one of these lovely understanding companies where you can get away with murder.
I bet if the leave wasn’t paid she’d not be such a “caring mother”.
There may genuine underlying reasons but it’s far more likely she’s just a lazy, entitled cheeky fucker who sees her kids as a passport to doing what she likes. I’ve come across plenty of them.
My boss does that.
He always leaves early / takes time off to take his kids to the GP/ hospital appointments etc.
They've both graduated uni not that long ago...
As your not her manager you should mind your own business, if her manager doesn't have a problem with it why should you, where i work we have 5 day's carer leave, if they're used up then we have to take a day's holiday it comes off annual leave.
Where I work you are entitled for paid leave to stay home with kids if they are under 10yo. After that it's unpaid if you choose to stay home.
Do you have unlimited emergency days? I feel like she is working the system, because there are no strict rules in place. Its cheeky, but others could do the same?
17! How ridiculous. That's old enough to be married with a child of your own.
One of my DC would have needed me at that age. It doesn't matter why
Sorry, but the reason why is important. If it's because the teenager is lazy and pampered or is it because they have sn or a serious underlying medical condition? If it's the former, then it's taking the poss and if it's the latter, it's understandable. I'm not asking you by the way because it's not my business but the reason the parent needs to be at home is relevant.
17! How ridiculous. That's old enough to be married with a child of your own.
Indeed. However there are people of 27/37/47... who still need another person around if they are unwell. Not sure why you think the age is what dictates whether this person needs someone around. Now that's ridiculous.
Sorry, but the reason why is important.
I meant it doesn't matter why to you, to OP, to my work colleagues. My DC would have needed me so I would have been there. I don't feel I need to explain that to anyone, a bit like the person get it g ripped to shreds here, perhaps she also has reasons she hasn't disclosed. To the OP, a simple work colleague, it really doesn't matter why.
I bet if the leave wasn’t paid she’d not be such a “caring mother”.
How do you know that?
Oh wait, you don't.
I never got paid a penny for taking time off. I still prioritised the DC when I had to.
Indeed. However there are people of 27/37/47... who still need another person around if they are unwell. Not sure why you think the age is what dictates whether this person needs someone around
Age is massively relevant.
Most parents of young children take time off if their children are unwell, not just because of the illness, but because their usual childcare provision won't take them.
15 and 17 years should be fine by themselves, unless they are really poorly. Your company is entitling her behaviour.
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