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A sickly baby and work!

(23 Posts)
Tantay Wed 09-Sep-15 20:27:30

Apologies for a moan and a rant! My DS (22 months) has turned into one of those kids who picks up bugs pretty easily and generally he is ill on the only two days that myself and DH both work - typical! Problem is both my bosses are pretty unsympathetic when I have to take time off to look after him. Bearing in mind that in 12 years of employment I have had 2 days sick leave (both of those post pregnancy as picked bug up from DS!) I think a bit of understanding wouldn't go a miss.

I write this as I cradle DS after an afternoon of vomiting and the prospect of phoning in sick tomorrow! Again! I just wish I could be one of those people who says "my child needs me and the rest of the world can take a hike!" I suffer guilt from all sides!!!! Grr!

P.s my pre-baby self would be unsympathetic, but both bosses have kids too!

TabithaTwitchEye Wed 09-Sep-15 20:30:07

Well, I think one is meant find emergency childcare sad it's hard for you, but that's the way it is. Our choice to have kids, and all that.

It's rubbish. Wishing you both well.xx

AgentProvocateur Wed 09-Sep-15 20:38:10

If you've had today off, your DH should take tomorrow. Lots of good advice on this thread currently running:

Tantay Wed 09-Sep-15 20:40:07

Yes lots of people queuing to look after a sick child!!!! Ha ha!

Yeah I know it's our choice to have kids...thought you could spec them though! Cute - check! Great personality - check! Immune system...check!

thanks for well wishes


HermioneWeasley Wed 09-Sep-15 20:42:20

It's rubbish, but you need to split it between you and find some emergency childcare

FishWithABicycle Wed 09-Sep-15 21:17:17

Yes emergency child care for sick children exists. It's expensive. My former employers had a link up service to help you find it which was an integrated part of the childcare voucher company they used. Children get sick - if you have a job and a child you need to have something in place to cover. That applies to your dh too, it's not just your responsibility but if your employers aren't willing to give you the day off whenever it happens you will need to fork out for extremely expensive emergency childcare.

Flumplet Wed 09-Sep-15 21:35:28

I really feel your pain OP!! My ds also picks up every damned bug going!! I try to share leave like this with my dh (although he has historically taken notably less!!!) I use annual leave mainly - this year we have had chicken pox, a broken leg and an eye operation (and all the related follow up appointments) so we have had to be creative in covering the extensive 3 week part time reception settling in period!! Work officially take a sympathetic stance, but off the record there's a lot of tutting and huffing going on. As a parent you've got to do what you've got to do, you can't help it. I wouldn't like to leave my sick child with a stranger.

Tantay Wed 09-Sep-15 21:36:25

I did not know emergency child care exists! Will look into it.

Want2bSupermum Wed 09-Sep-15 21:45:37

It is awful managing your work when the DC are sick. I force DH into sharing the load as he has far more flexibility than me and 2 weeks more holiday time that he can use up when the kids are sick.

For us, we found giving the kids a quick bath every night plus insisting on washing hands before eating helped to cut down on the number of illnesses. Later we added a multivitamin too.

See if you can get emergency care and also see if there are any FB groups for childcare. Here in the US FB groups has become the best way to find reliable childcare when you are in a pinch. I will hire someone and work from home on an alternate basis. If you use an agency get the telephone number of the girl you hire from the agency so when your DC are sick next time you have a number you can call without paying the huge fees. We moved last year and right now I only have a list of 6 people I can call if my kids are sick. It works out to be 2-3 people per morning and afternoon shift.

CheddarGorgeous Wed 09-Sep-15 21:46:18

If you are not sick surely you are phoning in with an emergency leave request rather than phoning in sick?

And yes your DH should be doing 50% of the cover.

TabithaTwitchEye Wed 09-Sep-15 21:48:26

We're lucky in that we have flexible jobs/ understanding employers. It's Bly through MN that I discovered that legally you're only entitled to 24 hours to find emergency care for your child, not to have time off to look after them yourself!!!!!!

One of the perks of our otherwise very hard work jobs

Girlfriend36 Wed 09-Sep-15 21:54:20

If you are part time can you swap they days you work? It is a nightmare when you have sick kids, my work is also very unsympathetic. I am a single parent so no partner to share care with and no way of paying expensive emergency childcare.

I work it with either swapping my days around (work p/t) taking emergency annual leave or hoping friends or family might help out. I have to say though now dd is older (9yo) she doesn't seem to get ill as much <touches wood several times> at least not as much as when she was a pre schooler.

Tantay Wed 09-Sep-15 22:10:06

Sorry I didn't say it right. I do take emergency leave and DH does share it 50%. I still find it difficult as hate taking time off work, but also feel strongly that DS should be looked after by me, DH or GM when ill (GM currently abroad for a family death).

Not expecting a miracle answer, just an outlet for a moan. Yet another realisation of how difficult this parenting malarkey is - (d'oh everyone is saying!!!!). It is good to know what other parents do though. Thanks for suggesting alternatives. I need to grow a backbone and do what is right for DS, not career.

On a final note said manager also took emergency leave for death of a pet...that went down well with higher managers! Where do people stand with that? Also the 3 days compassionate leave was extended to 2 weeks unofficially for the other manager (without asking his manager just creative self rostering).


Blankiefan Wed 09-Sep-15 22:30:38

I've always taken annual leave when DD has been ill. The business gets the best of both - I'm using up annual leave (rather than taking extra so resource levels are unaffected) and because it's not planned, I end up doing work whenever dd sleeps / in the evenings / generally making up the time / getting the work done.

And as per PP, you've got to split it with your partner. It's hugely unfair to your employer if you do the lion's share.

On the upside, you're doing the hard yards now. Everyone told me that dd would be more sick in her first year in childcare but would develop the constitution of an ox. She was definitely ill loads more in her first year than thereafter. If you weren't doing it now, she'd likely be more ill in her first year at school - employers tend to be more sympathetic the younger the child...

Summer23 Wed 09-Sep-15 22:37:51

Op yes you're doing everything you can. You'll probably find this stage passes quickly so don't worry. Don't think the manager with the pet is!

CountryLovingGirl Thu 10-Sep-15 20:25:39

I think it is a sad world we live in when a young child has to be put in 'emergency childcare' when he/she is sick. It is only natural, for a child, to want a parent when they are so unwell. Isn't there leave for this (parental leave)?

Tantay Thu 10-Sep-15 20:50:19

In the end DS was much better this morning, but I stayed with him for half the day and DH the rest. Work were fine as I had made the effort to come in. It is a sad time we are living in, but I suppose this is the price we pay for wanting 'it' all. My manager always says that I set the women's lib movement back a hundred years!!!!! Some days I want a career whilst others I want to be a kept woman!

ilovesooty Fri 11-Sep-15 00:23:19

Parental leave can't be used for emergency illness cover.

Pteranodon Fri 11-Sep-15 02:43:44

Why does your manager say that about you setting women's lib back? That sounds out of order.

madwomanbackintheattic Fri 11-Sep-15 02:56:37

It isn't the price women pay for wanting 'it' all, at all. It's the price society pays for bringing up the next generation. It has nothing to do with mothering, but parenting. It's just that culturally the expectation is still that mothers will take the time off, and that mothers want to be with sick children (whether the reality is that fathers do, or not).

If your manager really did say that, you need a wider discussion around how to manage your parenting, including the steps you are putting in place to minimize parental time off for sick kids. And you need to make sure your manager understands that you and dh are splitting the emergency childcare requirements.

To be fair, my kids were pretty robust, but when dd2 was brain damaged at birth it was easier for me to switch to just working at weekends, so that dh and I could split the childcare. (My job was such that this was possible, his wasn't). So, I got on a plane on Friday afternoon and left him with all three kids until Sunday night, and we spent Sunday night together before he went off to work in Monday mornings...

Glorious pain in the arse, but we lived 600 miles from the nearest relatives, so it was just easier for a few years. We then interviewed for nannies so that I could go back to working during the week. Less hassles with bugs as the nanny was off sick less than any one of three kids lol.

bbcessex Fri 11-Sep-15 17:03:56

It's a really stressful time when your children are small.. every cough and sniffle used to send shards of dread through me.

It does get easier usually when they get through the 'catching everything' phase.

Do you have any opportunity to work from home? and also, another ask as to why your manager said you're setting Women's Lib back... what context was that said in?

tribpot Fri 11-Sep-15 17:19:08

I suppose this is the price we pay for wanting 'it' all

Er. Not really. Women have always worked. The idea that 100 years ago we would all have been sat around doing embroidery and drinking tea is a myth. So how have you set the cause back by 100 years? By not being able to effortlessly juggle childcare and work like a 1980s superwoman? Your manager sounds like a twat.

Condoning compassionate leave for a pet death and frowning on emergency leave due to child sickness suggests this is a company with very skewed priorities.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 11-Sep-15 17:24:59

"My manager always says that I set the women's lib movement back a hundred years!!!!! Some days I want a career whilst others I want to be a kept woman"

Your manager is a sexist arsehole

You need to make it very clear at work that DH is doing 50:50. If there's a time when only one cover day is used and DH does it, tell them.

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