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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

How do you juggle working and ill children?

(23 Posts)
Darnthetum Wed 01-Dec-10 20:53:46

I have been very lucky with dd, as I work from home, so if she is ill I work that night instead of during the day. Knackering but do-able. However, I have found that school will send her home much more readily because of this. I picked her up on Tuesday and was told not to bring her in today (Wed), as she was "a bit warm" and has had a heavy cold for about 3 weeks.

I am going back to employed work in Feb. What do I do when she gets ill? I only have memories of when I was little-my mum was a single parent (I'm not, but dp can't get time off) and used to leave me at home with her work phone number and nip home in her lunchbreak, but I couldn't bring myself to do that (dd is 7). Am so worried I will lose my job for her being ill, especially as I will be temping to start with.

PaulineMole Wed 01-Dec-10 20:56:43

have you a dp?
he should be doing half, more while you're temping.
my dh does more sick cover than me, as i tend to have more pre-booked meetings which can't easily be rearranged.

Meglet Wed 01-Dec-10 20:57:09

My mum has my dc's when they're ill, which is pretty often as they're 4 and 2.

However this week I have had to take unpaid leave as DD has to be off nursery for 48 hours and mum has a crisis to deal with. My boss didn't seem too freaked out by it when I called in this morning.

Darnthetum Wed 01-Dec-10 20:59:56

We have no family nearby, and dp can't take the time off, as he has set hours at work and works for strict Germans! I'm so scared!!! (Pathetic I know, but I really am!)

Pre-dd I only ever had time off if I had a stomach bug, but this was rare as I am emetophobic, so I don't know the protocol at all!

Darnthetum Wed 01-Dec-10 21:01:45

I didn't say thank you, how rude of me!!!! Thank you grin

indiechick Wed 01-Dec-10 21:06:48

We take it in turns, dd's are 6 and 2. DH gets five caring days a year (he uses them all), I work from home when I have to. It's a nightmare but fortunately my boss has 4 kids and a wife who works so he understands. My rule with a new job is that DH always does the first month (when the kids always get sick), then we take turns, see who's got the most on. My job sort of peaks and troughs so there are some days I have to be there, others I can work from home.

Blu Wed 01-Dec-10 21:07:14

Rack your brains for anyone who could act as emergency childcare - a sahm who would be glad of some babysitting in return, see if there si a local college that does childcare courses who have people looking for work, friends...

And your dp is presumably just as entitled to unpaid leave / to use annual leave or to ask for flexible family time as you are!

Ask him what HIS solution for covering when your dd is ill is.

blueshoes Wed 01-Dec-10 21:40:33

Live-in aupair. We pay her extra for that day.

Neither dh nor I have had to take a day off.

dikkertjedap Wed 01-Dec-10 21:51:57

Blu - I think given the other threads about working mothers - SAHM, SAHM might think twice before getting involved with somebody else's kids .... I would have offered (without payment) in the past, but no way after having read how clearly a large group of working mothers think about SAHM (e.g. lazy, living of husband, etc.).

stretchmummy Wed 01-Dec-10 21:59:05

Phone and tell them you are ill. Never admit in the work environment that your children are ever any type of issue at all!

blueshoes Wed 01-Dec-10 22:23:11

I'd hate to have to scrounge around and rely on other parents for favours. Would maybe consider a reciprocal arrangement with another working mother.

But I would avoid calling on SAHMs for favours, as I cannot return it and it is not fair to them.

doozle Wed 01-Dec-10 22:26:26

You can get emergency nannies. Not cheap but if you're stuck, might be an option.

stretchmummy Wed 01-Dec-10 22:31:16

I am a SAHM, my feeling is that as I cannot find work myself, I am quite happy to facilitate the work of any woman who can.
Besides there are other ways to return favours...offer to babysit in the evening, bung them a box of chocolates, pick their dc up from Brownies, playdates on a Saturday afternoon, weekend sleepovers. The list is endless

blueshoes Wed 01-Dec-10 22:36:39

You are a big person, stretch.

My work offers me 10 free emergency childcare sessions a year with a tied childcare provider. But that is a fairly recent benefit and I am not sure how comfortable I would be to leave my child with (literally) a 'stranger'.

Portofino Wed 01-Dec-10 22:41:33

I get the offer of a similar "service provision" as blueshoes. In reality, I or DH, but usually I, work from home. I can do it easily enough in my job so count myself lucky. I start early and finish late to make up for the inevitable.

USoRight Thu 02-Dec-10 13:22:32

Discuss with your new employer what the situation is regarding emergency time off for sick children. They should have something - unpaid leave? - in place.

Try to form a network of other carers/SAHMs for emergency care, eg school closing early for bad weather etc. As an ex SAHM I willingly helped out anyone with school runs etc. but tbh I think its not fair to ask a SAHM to look after a sick child. She wouldn't thank you if her DCs also ended up with D&V./fevers etc.

skydance Thu 02-Dec-10 13:24:40

This is exactly why I didn't go back to work after having my 2nd and then 3rd child to be honest, I found it a nightmare and work were starting to get really unpleasant about it. We have no support at all, no one to help out with the children.

It was no good at all DH trying to get time off as his boss has a MIL that helps him and his wife out a lot, so his boss told him to get someone else to have the children (ie one of our mothers).

I don't know what the solution is, I took a mixture of holiday days and unpaid and yes sometimes I told them I was ill when I wasn't it was the children.

Hopefully I suppose if she's 7 it won't be too often. confused

Blueshoes surely the emergency childcare sessions wouldn't be for when your child is ill though, more if school is closed for snow etc

mousymouse Thu 02-Dec-10 13:27:39

agree with USo, when my dc are ill and need to stay home I have to take a day AL or hand in a medical certificate (10£ private certificate, reimbursed) for special leave (up to 12 days a year).
dh and I take turns as well, he has the same entitlements so why should only I stay home with a sick child.

Darnthetum Thu 02-Dec-10 16:38:39

Thank you all for your replies. I have always kept her off for d&v, but never for colds, and have just insisted she rested up at the weekend. They sent her home this week for a cold though, and she hasn't been allowed back! It is a school for ex pats, so most mum's don't work. Back to normality in Feb, and a hardy child! grin

Blu Thu 02-Dec-10 19:50:47

re SAHM / wohm relationships EEK! I like to think I have very good relationships with DS's friends mothers who are sahm, and I have no negative views on them at ALL! Far from it! And I make sure that I absolutely do not take the piss re childcare: I have one child - I often have all 3 of their children together for a half day or most of a day at the w/e because obv it doesn't give them a break / child-free time unless all their kids are spoken for, I do the boys cub run so that they don't have to drag their younger ones out into the cold, and we babysit whenever we can so that they can go out - I work really hard to make sure I can reciprocate, as their mutual support is so valuable to me.

blueshoes Thu 02-Dec-10 20:10:56

skydance: "Blueshoes surely the emergency childcare sessions wouldn't be for when your child is ill though, more if school is closed for snow etc"

I don't see why the emergency childcare provision cannot be used for ill children. There is no such limitation in the literature, which would surely defeat the purpose. The provision includes nanny sessions, rather than just childminder or nursery.

DreamingofFour Thu 02-Dec-10 20:16:49

I try to build up goodwill by not clockwatching, putting in extra hours etc when I can. Whenever I have had to take time off I go in the evening or at the weekend to make up the work so that work didn't lose out on my hours. DH did the same.
For those really essential times when you have to be present at work DH and I reviewed our working week to figure our when each of us was more available/flexible workwise so that we knew, for example, if kid sick on tuesday morning, I could cover it, but he could take over wednesday.

willowstar Sat 11-Dec-10 11:51:53

I use my annual leave, there is nothing else I can do. I returned to work 3 months ago and have been off twice with my daughter. My OH is self employed and away almost all the time so he can't do it.

It sucks, my boss is not supportive at all, just texts to make sure that I have taken the days as AL!

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