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Struggling today...

(10 Posts)
CastIron Tue 17-Nov-20 04:19:31

Before I start moaning, I know in the grand scheme of things, I don't have too much to worry about, and my situation isn't unusual, but I'm having a bad few days.

Two days now since my children had covid tests, and still waiting for results. This is the second time in four weeks, and if the results don't come through in the next three hours, a total of a week off school for each of them since September, not to mention three other days for one of them with a tummy bug. So nearly two weeks off school. While waiting for results, both adults in the house are trying to combine work and some level of home schooling.

I'm on the verge of resigning from my job, a job that I love and have been doing for 12 years. But I'm not doing my job properly (and it's being noticed) and I'm not doing my parenting job properly, as when they should be learning, they're having to sit watching a film most of the day so as not to disturb mummy and daddy. Neither of us can change our hours to work early mornings and evenings (one of us is a teacher, the other has a workplace only open 9-5, and the work cannot be done outside those hours) and there's just constant stress and tension. My employers have been sympathetic so far, but it's becoming less. First lockdown we didn't have this issue - both keyworkers so kids went to school.

On top of that, my mum is alone, vulnerable, would potentially suffer really bad effects if she caught covid. She's also a couple of hundred miles away, so I'm trying to care for her as best I can over the phone. She's hardly seen anybody for months, and I can sense her mental state deteriorating somewhat.

I keep reading threads on here where people are getting test results back in 12 hours. Where do you people live and can I move there?!!! I follow the rules, but my kids coughs were better yesterday, next time I'm half tempted to lie and tell school they're off with colds and just send them back once the cough is gone. I won't do it, I'll do what I'm supposed to, but I'll be tempted.

Despite all this, I know I'm lucky that nobody I know has been really ill (or worse) with this, and lucky that we're both still employed, for the moment at least. But I've always been prone to a level of depression if life isn't going well. I'm a person who needs predictability and stability, and I just kind of feel like I can't control anything right now. Maybe I need some help, or at least find ways to relax and calm my mind a bit.

Oh yes, and it's my birthday on Wednesday. It's my day off and I was planning a day at home alone with my favourite treats and movies. Keep your fingers crossed that I'm able to get that!

Sorry for my moaning, I just needed a bit of a rant.

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whatswithtodaytoday Tue 17-Nov-20 04:37:28

Yup, it's really shit. A lot of parents went through this in the first lockdown, for weeks and weeks. I was terrible at my job and a bad parent as well, the TV did a lot of parenting.

Honestly, everyone is in the same boat. Employers will have to suck it up. Can you use up some holiday?

CastIron Tue 17-Nov-20 04:43:00

Yes, I realise we were lucky first time around. We kept them at home at first, but then both employers started needing us back in (although my job can mostly be done from home) so off to school they went. I think one of my worries now is that they're missing out on actual schooling that they should be having, whereas first time around, nobody was getting proper schooling, although I'm sure some parents were brilliant at it.

I've used some holiday. Getting towards the end of the year so it's a bit thin on the ground. All caring leave allocation has been used too. I could take unpaid leave, but I'm concerned about being seen as unreliable and flaky. It's probably silly, but I'm the only parent of school aged children in my immediate team, and I don't want to be seen as bad at my job because of it.

OP’s posts: |
whatswithtodaytoday Tue 17-Nov-20 04:52:34

It's hard being the only parent. I found actually having my child visible helped - rather than trying to hide him away (toddler, so tricky!) I allowed him to make noise when I was in some more informal meetings and people seemed to realise how hard things were.

Hopefully your kids won't miss too much while you're waiting for results. Could you find something vaguely educational for them to watch, rather than regular TV? How old are they? If they're old enough for school to be vitally important they're old enough to self-manage to some extent, though I realise getting teenagers to do something they don't want to do is difficult. Bribery?

CastIron Tue 17-Nov-20 10:29:01

I've tried to find something educational for them to watch today. I suspect they'll get restless though, and I'll give in to Paw Patrol. They're 5, 5 and 8, so although they will do stuff independently some of the time, they need an eye kept on them. We've done some reading practice early this morning, so at least that's something constructive.

And I've just had a message from my manager to say we need to chat to discuss my inability to come in to work. What exactly do they expect me to do?

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MarshmallowManiac Tue 17-Nov-20 12:20:43

So sorry to hear you're feeling down but it is totally rubbish at the moment. You're doing well Mumma, and it is really hard being a single parent flowers Hope you get a chance to have a lovely restful birthday, if you can when the kids are in bed do the things that you enjoy and that calm you a little maybe some reading, a nice relaxing bubble bath and glass of wine, listening to music, colouring, mindfulness. Just wanted to say that you are doing well, the circumstances and situation are shit, keep going Mumma you will get there, big hugs.

Lemons1571 Tue 17-Nov-20 12:47:10

Bin off the homeschooling. I long ago accepted that I am no teacher, and I am also not super woman and not able to do two jobs at once. You’re not failing the kids, it’s a virus, out of all our control. No one would accept a teacher at the front of the class, also trying to be an accountant on a laptop at exactly the same time. So why is it so easy the other way around? It isn’t. Fuck it off! The kids are of an age where they can catch up.

Share the time off with your other half. Mine’s also a teacher, and he would have to share with me if our kids were younger. Just because I am working at home, doesn’t mean I’m a dumping ground for all of it.

Don’t resign. What is your employer going to do, sack you and interview for someone without kids (by asking them in the interview Do you have kids?). I don’t think so. Your employer is bloody lucky your kids got key worker school places earlier in the year.

Will be an interesting meeting. As long as you’re sharing time off with your other half, what can they possibly say? Maybe you can offer to bring the isolating children into work with you!

Delatron Tue 17-Nov-20 14:02:11

Sounds so tough. I would also sack off the homeschooling. Put a film on if they won’t watch anything else. If it’s a job you love it’s important to try and keep it. We should be in a better place in a few months.

Your workplace don’t sound sympathetic though. Are they not happy you are working from home? What do they expect you to do? Break the law? I would put this to them and don’t let them bully you.

If your husband isn’t under as much pressure could he take over while you get on top of work for a few weeks? If his work aren’t complaining then he either has a nicer, more understanding boss or things aren’t equal in your house. They need to be or he needs to step us a bit.

So tough though.

Treaclepie19 Tue 17-Nov-20 14:34:11

It is shit. Especially when you're both working. I'm a SAHM (5yo and 8 week old) so it doesn't mess us about so much but its still no fun.
Sending sympathies and hoping you get your birthday rest.
We're in the Midlands/South staffs and got results fairly fast. 18 hours and 31 hours.

CastIron Tue 17-Nov-20 14:42:23

DH plays his part as best he can. He finishes early two days I do extra long days, so he takes them fully then, and we juggle lunchtimes and things.

I've sort of sorted things with work though. For now, at least. Just somebody getting a bit awkward.

I just wish test results were quicker. I could handle it much better if it was quicker. Keep everything crossed for them to come through this afternoon!

OP’s posts: |

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