How to you manage work when dcs are ill?(8 Posts)
Just wondering how others manage when the dcs are ill and off school? I work 3 days a week and we've had quite a bad year in terms of dcs being off sick- nothing serious but too ill to go to school. In the last year I've had to take 4 days of leave to cover illness and my dd is sick again today, meaning another day off for me. My dh will take time off but most of the time it's me. He is self employed and earns more than me so the assumption is that it's better for me to bare the brunt. I think for these reasons he goes see his job as more important than mine.
However, I feel worried about the impression I'm giving off- I do everything I can not to go off sick myself (only 3 days off sick in the last 4 years) and to be seen as reliable etc I am lucky in that I can claim a certain amount of special leave for caring responsibilities but I still feel guilty. I know that my priority should be my children, and it is, but I find it difficult to balance building my career with juggling childcare-I only have an elderly dm to help us and I can't risk the dcs passing something on to her.
How do others manage? It's part of having young kids really isn't it?
I'm fairly new to this as only went back to work recently but have already had to take leave when DD was too ill to go to nursery.
My employer was understanding but yes I can't help feeling it gives a bad impression.
I think you need to have a chat with your DP though, it's really not fair that you should have to bear all of the burden. Over time the gap between the two of you will only get wider if you're the one who always has to be the default emergency childcare.
I rely on family, my sisters and I all work part time so there hasn't been an occasion when I have had no choice but to not go in. My partner would stay off if I asked him and has done doctor appointments etc when I have had important meetings etc.
That being said, I felt sick at work yesterday but stayed in as there's nothing going round at the moment. Came home, number 3 was sick everywhere so I messaged my boss to say there is, in fact, a bug in my house! I was warning her that if I get sick my appointments might need to be cancelled. She said she would rearrange my clients anyway so I can stay at home with him. I suppose it must depend on your job, I will likely go in extra next week to make up the hours as today I would have went in anyway, even feeling a bit poorly. I have been lucky enough with family that I haven't needed time off due to kids illness but if I would fully expect my partner to do a fair share of days off, despite his much higher wage.
"the assumption is that it's better for me to bare the brunt"
But you're not bearing the brunt. Your employer is. And no, it's not better. Your DH needs to step up and do his fair share. You are entitled to reasonable emergency dependents' leave, but if you have a DH who is not taking his fair share there is obviously a risk that your employer will start to see the amount of time you are taking off as not being reasonable, because it's not strictly necessary, it's a choice you and your DH are making that your employer needs to bear most of the inconvenience, rather than half of it.
I feel your pain, I also work 3 days a week and I've taken 9 days off sick in the last year. I'm getting called into a meeting today about my sick leave. But really, you get illnesses that your kids get. I think I'll just have to grin and bare it until they are of school age.
I work FT and DH works 3 days a week but, pro rata, has more generous leave. He also leaves for work early in the morning so I make sure I always carry forward a week's worth of leave as if DS wakes up unwell, it's likely his dad has already gone. I'm more likely to be called in on the rare times DS is ill at school because I work much closer to home that dad does - I think the school office just look at the dialing code and address for his work and call me regardless.
I guess what I'm saying is that both parents need to contribute to sickness cover. I may do more sickness when part time DH is at work but DH does the two days he doesn't work, and proportionally more of the school holiday cover becuase he has the leave available. We have no family nearby to cover for sickness.
Your DH does need to step up and be involved in this sickness cover. It may be different if you didn't work at all, but if you're both working then both parties need to do give and take, not just you.
"He is self employed and earns more than me so the assumption is that it's better for me to bare the brunt. I think for these reasons he goes see his job as more important than mine."
This is your problem.
You could just as easily tell him that its more important for you to be at work. After all- you are beholden to a boss and he isn't. He can make up the time on another occasion- as a pt worker you can't as easily.
He may think your job is less important but can the family do without your income all together? If not, then he has a responsibility to help you hold down that job.
That's the way I view it anyhow. Me and DH take it in turns to take time off. No-ones boss has complained so far.
Dh and I share it and we can do some work from home but it's really hard - my 3 dc all had chickenpox in February 😱
I find myself apologising profusely and working when I feel crap rather than be off sick myself. No family nearby or local childcare available for sick dc locally. Asked both dm and mil if they could help during pox month but neither could. Luckily I have a lovely employer and dh is senior enough to have built up a good reputation. He's the only dad who does take time off for sick dc in his office though.
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