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Aibu to think I can't be the only one to struggle with work / life balance

(3 Posts)
lockdown2020mumoftwo Wed 27-May-20 20:41:00

Apologies if you have read this already, it was posted elsewhere but I think this is a better place for it. I have 2dc . DS has medical conditions so have sent neither of them to school. No point sending one to keep the other shielded, didn't make sense.
Key worker. Relied on school and grandparents before lockdown.

Their dad is caring for his poorly dad out of town, and so it's all very limiting for childcare.

Been off with mental health issues for couple of wks, have had a really tough time trying to be a balanced human being. Yes this is a horrible killer, and it has taken so many lives, but most people seem to be okay and recover. My brain tells me this. But my anxiety overwhelms that and it the peak of it all I was a complete mess. Anyway. Have been given some meds to try out ., we'll see how that goes...
due to return this wk.. been in touch with work throughout all seemed ok. Was talk of staggered / phased return etc, but nothing in concrete was just chatting about what options I had. Anyway, fast forward to today, spoke to employer, suggested different working hours. My go had also mentioned this, although I didn't really go into deep convo about it. I'd already been on the phone to the doctor for far too long ( then I was anxiously worrying that they wanted me off the phone !)
their dad and I made sort of arrangements for me to work early, as he can work late, and still care for his dad. I have to be at work for core hours , to make sure certain bits are done.. so I suggested instead of the normal 7-3 I could work 6-12. Or something similar. That's hardly a reduction in hours and it helps balance everyone work/care commitments. At the end of the day, these are unprecedented times. It's a global pandemic ffs. I could have asked the gp for reduced hours on fit note but I thought we could mutually agree.. anyway, it went down like a lead balloon. I've been told to attend work as normal , and we can have a discussion and put it in writing and it will be considered. for the time being I can use annual leave for 2 hours a day, and do 9-3 instead..... how does this help?
Even when I do send dc back to school , preschool will only be doing half days, so what do I do while I wait for it to be "considered" .. I thought u got supported after longer term sickness? Eg: reduced or phased return etc. I can't take parental leave until I've worked their for a whole year, which isn't for another 3 wks , and I still have to give notice for that I think.... anyone else in the same sinking ship? I'm so so paranoid about risking my children's health. This job means the absolute world to me. But the anxiety is through the roof. I don't feel ready to go back to work, and I had the option of extending my fit note, but I really don't want to. The longer i leave it the worse it'll be. I'm so scared il be forced to send my kids to places I don't deem safe yet, my son is only 4 and has been hospitalised needing oxygen several times in the past 12 months, and even more often the year before. I'm scared to go to work anyway, and then the thought of leaving my kids somewhere is terrifying me. I thought my employer would be more understanding of the whole situation. Lone parent to two children one who isn't in full time education anyway, have been off for weeks with anxiety and depression and I'm supposed to just dust myself off and start afresh? Is this what everyone expects? Am I the only one that feels this heavy burden?

How is everyone else coping? I used the phrase "what rights do I have" in a previous post. Maybe that was the wrong choice of words. But you get my drift..

OP’s posts: |
Calic0 Wed 27-May-20 21:03:27

It’s tough OP, and I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I see it from both sides at the moment; my mental health has been really taking a battering through this (in common with many people) but I am also a manager working for an employer delivering vital services and have to balance the needs of the people working to me with the very real needs of customers.

You can, and should, request reasonable adjustments during a return to work but that means reasonable for both your circumstances and the needs of the business. As far as I’m aware, a phased return is not a legal requirement especially if you’re not getting it put on the fit note. I’d go back to your GP and see what they think. It may be the best thing to get the sick note extended for now.

It also sounds like you need to do something to tackle the very extreme, although understandable, level of fear and paranoia you have at the moment. Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere and we all have to learn to live with it, albeit taking reasonable precautions. That includes learning how to handle our emotional reaction to it.

I hope things work out for you.

breakingthebank Wed 27-May-20 23:15:14

The thing is, any phased return after long term sickness would be for the purpose of managing your health issues rather than for childcare purposes and your employer may not be able to offer that at present. It would be better for you to get the GP to recommend phased return on reduced hours if they feel this is needed.

Given what you've written I would recommend getting your sick note extended. Sounds like things are just too uncertain at the moment and that is exacerbating your anxiety. I say this as someone who has suffered from MH issues over the years and I know how important having reliable, consistent plans in place for childcare is to alleviate stress around returning to work.

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