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To find today the hardest working day I have ever had in my working life?

(58 Posts)
Livingtothefull Thu 23-Apr-20 18:40:28

I have a professional role and in the current situation I am working from home. DH is a key worker so travelling to work during the day.

DH is severely disabled both mentally and physically. He usually goes to a special needs college but in the current situation of course it is closed. So I am having to care for him at home whilst working. Normally we would have carers in while we work but of course that isn't an option right now.

Today I had a massive deadline for a project and really thought I would go mad with the stress of getting it done. DS was upset at my being preoccupied, decided to try to distract me by threatening to call 999. So found myself working on the project and trying to write coherently and professionally in between trying to wrest the phone from him.

Luckily my workplace are supportive but I still feel this won't be sustainable for very long.

OP’s posts: |
HuntIdeas Thu 23-Apr-20 18:51:36

Oh no, that sounds incredibly hard. Why aren’t the carers coming in? They are still allowed to work / look after vulnerable people

WhyCantIthinkOfAgoodOne Thu 23-Apr-20 19:04:05

That sounds so difficult OP. Of course you're not BU. I'm shocked that the carers can't come - I know special needs school for younger kids are staying open to a certain extent. It sounds so incredibly hard.

Livingtothefull Thu 23-Apr-20 19:04:55

Thanks Huntldeas, the carers don't want to come in atm. DS has regular carers he knows whom we engage through contacts, a lot of them have young families they don't want to put at risk. His college does the best they can by sending him work etc.

OP’s posts: |
RedSheep73 Thu 23-Apr-20 19:08:45

I don't see how you can any work done if you are also caring full time - that's very hard.

fluffiphlox Thu 23-Apr-20 19:11:14

That sounds hard. Can you ask for leave of absence for the duration?

catgirl1976 Thu 23-Apr-20 19:18:57

Can you ask to be furloughed? You can be placed on furlough if you cannot work due to childcare issues. If your work are supportive maybe they would go for this? Worth asking them

Livingtothefull Thu 23-Apr-20 19:19:19

I am getting as much work done as I can RedSheep73, although I can't work at full capacity I do as much as possible.

I am not sure I can afford to take leave of absence fluffiphlox, however I am going to try to take some leave days maybe next week.

OP’s posts: |
Amotherof6 Thu 23-Apr-20 19:20:58

Wow that is incredibly tough for you.

The suggestions the others have said. Sick leave/furlough/ any close family that might help - there are exceptions to social distancing if providing care

Growingboys Thu 23-Apr-20 19:23:09

We have the same problem OP and today was also the hardest day so far. We are exhausted. Desperate for the special schools to go back.

catwithnohat Thu 23-Apr-20 19:24:30

flowers I hope you've got a decent employer as I think you should really put your hands up and admit that caring and WFH isn't working in the current climate.

Have you discussed furlough/taking parental leave/reducing your hours until things improve, are you able to discuss this with your line manager and HR ?

LakieLady Thu 23-Apr-20 19:29:27

Do you either you or DH get any paid parental/carers leave? That would be the first choice, to use that up first. Then maybe take it in turn to take odd days of annual leave.

Is there anyway that DH could do his keyworker job from home, so you could tag-team caring for your son? Not ideal, I know, but if you really can't afford to take unpaid leave I'm not sure what else you could do.

Normally, I'd suggest applying for respite care, but I bet that's not possible at the moment. Might be worth asking social services, just to see what they say.

I really feel for you though, it must be so tough.

sixthtimelucky Thu 23-Apr-20 19:36:13

I'm so sorry OP. I have had an incredibly busy and stressful week of deadlines at work but I don't have the challenges you face and I still feel I can barely go on with this. Can you furlough as others have suggested? x

Leighwalk Thu 23-Apr-20 19:49:13

Desperate for the special schools to go back
Many are open? Guidance from the DfE has increased in expecting more from schools in terms of vulnerable children.
Is the school in regular contact? Have you expressed your concerns? Do the school have a risk assessment in place? - does this flag up the need to be in school at least for some agreed time?

Numbers of vulnerable children attending school are rising, given stresses on families and child need.

Leighwalk Thu 23-Apr-20 19:51:24


ThinkAboutItTomorrow Thu 23-Apr-20 19:53:14

ginthankscakeI feel for you. Sorry you had a rough day.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Thu 23-Apr-20 20:00:10

That sounds so hard. Nothing sensible to suggest but just wanted you to know I have read this and sympathise

NotMeNoNo Thu 23-Apr-20 20:01:23

Our company is introducing furlough for people genuinely prevented by working including those with exceptional caring burden, you would fit the criteria.

fascinated Thu 23-Apr-20 20:09:01

May help? Notice periods may be negotiable under current circumstances?

But as above is unpaid, furlough would be better for you. But if they won’t agree furlough, mentioning the above might give you some bargaining power.

See also:

hatgirl Thu 23-Apr-20 20:10:19

All of the specialist colleges in the counties surrounding my area are remaining open (some very reluctantly). Is his actually closed or have they guilt tripped people into accepting their children back home so they can close down as far as possible without actually officially closing?

Is he an adult or does he still fall under the Education team? Is he usually a day student or a residential student?

It's really shit isn't it. I think it sometimes helps just to acknowledge how shit it is as a situation rather than falling into the trap of feeling like you are somehow failing to be good enough when actually you are just failing to achieve the utterly impossible.

hatgirl Thu 23-Apr-20 20:14:23

Normally, I'd suggest applying for respite care, but I bet that's not possible at the moment. Might be worth asking social services, just to see what they say

We would say, are you in crisis? Can you no longer physically keep your loved one at home safely? If so yes we might consider you for our very sparse respite provision somewhere in the county.

Most families don't want someone to be shipped off to respite, they just need a break for a few hours during the day so they can get stuff done. We can offer that (Direct payments etc) but there has to be people willing to do the work and lots of people aren't at the moment usually because they also care for vulnerable family members.

It's just shit.

MitziK Thu 23-Apr-20 20:21:55

Who earns the most - you or your husband?

It might be financially better for him to take time off to look after your DS and you to continue working.

Naicehamhun Thu 23-Apr-20 20:26:02

I am so sorry that you have had such a bad day.

I have solidarity with your situation. I am desperate to be furloughed. I am a single parent working in a very pressured job full time whilst trying to home school my son. The only option I have been given is unpaid leave, I wouldn't be able to afford food.
I am at my wits end.
Just keep swimming @Livingtothefull.

PatchworkElmer Thu 23-Apr-20 20:28:53

Oh goodness, I really feel for you. I’ve lost the plot this evening and I’m not dealing with anything like your situation. Is asking for furlough not an option?

Cremebrule Thu 23-Apr-20 20:38:31

It must be so hard. Are there any services open at all near you. There is a centre near me that has remained open for animal therapy for vulnerable or disabled children and teens. Is there anything like that operating near you? Furlough does seem to be your best option is that is possible.

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