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taking time off for a sick child

(12 Posts)
stainesmassif Wed 04-Nov-09 20:15:58

ds is 11 months and has had some kind of virus for the last four days.
i have been back at work for four months, work 3.5 days a week and have taken the last 2 days off as emergency holiday.
his temperature today went up to 40 - quickly brought back down with calprofen and bath, but am still very worried. (just checked temp, 36.6)

my question (sorry to ramble) is at what point would you worry that your employers look unfavourably on you taking time off to look after a sick child? my dh is self employed. if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid, so we don't have much option - besides, i want to be there for ds. however, we rely on the stability of my salary, and are aware that there have been a lot of redundancies made in our sector over the last year.

this is probably a pfb type post, but i have nothing to compare it to. please help!

stainesmassif Wed 04-Nov-09 20:17:24

ps, i haven't made this clear - i'm basically worrying that i may not be able to go in for the rest of this week if ds doesn't rapidly improve tonight.

twolittlekings Wed 04-Nov-09 20:23:38

Hello, sorry to hear your lo is not well.

When I went back to work after DS1 was born (October - really bad time) DS1 got everything and within weeks I was taking time off to look after him. I also got flu and was signed off for 2 weeks!

DS1 was then diagnosed with asthma at around a year and there were times when I would get a call from the nursery to say I had to pick him up and I would literally have to drop everything and go.

My employer was AMAZING - I never had to take it as holiday and my boss just said "I don't care as long as you get your work done" which I always did.

I know that I have been really lucky as other friends have had to take holiday but you are entitled to parental leave to look after your kids (not a lawyer so not sure. I don't know the size of your company and your situation and your relationship with your boss but can you talk to him / her and explain? This is what I did and they were completely understanding. They also knew that before I had kids I had given my pound of flesh and did not take the piss so were willing to give me the flex I needed.

I would not worry - I am not an expert but I think most people especially if they have kids will understand. In goodwill what I did was stay later when I came back to make up for lost time etc - even though I did not need to.

Sorry - I am rambling now! blush

Im off this week with my 2 sick girls, nothing i can do about it. My kids come first and i will be here if they are sick. My work have to understand that, and they got the point when i laid inot them as they complained that i was off when dd1 was in hospital for a week with pnemonia. They know if they want to keep me, they have to accept it. Im good at my job, i work over time unpaid and will try my hardest, its give and take.
Dont worry yourself they would be hard pressed to fire you for a week off with a sick child.

stainesmassif Wed 04-Nov-09 20:38:35

I work for a massive company, 1000s of employees worldwide, and my boss has been very nice about it so far. her boss has a 2 year old and works 4 days a week (i don't know how she finds the time), so i expect the attitude to be fairly understanding. i hope. the scary thing is that i have just agreed targets with my immediate boss (childless, driven) to complete by christmas - which looked virtually impossible when i agreed them. of course, this pales into insignificance when i think about what's going to happen to ds if this virus doesn't pass.

sorry, rambling, worrying out loud.

twolittlekings Wed 04-Nov-09 20:42:49

Could you get granny / aunt / family member to come and look after your lo? When we knew that DS was on the mend and getting better but not well enough to be in nursery granny would come and look after him - we were lucky as she does not live near us either and has a social life to die for but it was a great help and she has been fabulous.

stainesmassif Wed 04-Nov-09 20:47:08

unfortunately mil is just in the process of moving (very selfishly) 150 miles away. sad.

twolittlekings Wed 04-Nov-09 20:58:10

bummer - is there a good train service? my MIL lives about half that distance and will come up by train. I then pick her up at the station.

stainesmassif Wed 04-Nov-09 21:29:52

i've just spoken to her. she was lovely. but at the wrong end of the country! dh's sis lives nearby, but i'm also uncomfortable leaving ds with anyone else at the mo - he doesn't even seem to want his dad, and spends 70% of the day crying when he's with me. oh i don't know. hopefully he'll be better tomorrow and i can stop being all pfb.

StillSquiffy Thu 05-Nov-09 08:48:46

stainedmassif, it is important that you try to stop worrying about things that cannot be changed. Your DS is ill, nothing you can do about that.

What you can do are the following:-

1) have a think about more flexible childcare - a nursery or childminder cannot look after an ill child, but a nanny or an au pair can.

2) When DS is better, thank your boss for being understanding and (if you feel up to it) offer to come in one a couple of your normal days off to catch up. He will appreciate that you are aware of your dual commitments to both family and firm.

3) Talk to your DH about splitting the childcare thing - even if he is paid more than you, if you take joint responsibility (and joint amounts of time off) then you will not feel all the time as if you are the one carrying all the guilt. Also your boss will appreciate this gesture as well (make sure you tell him when DH takes such time off)

4) Split out your concerns about your DS from your job concerns. When your child needs you, be there and worry about him. When your work needs you, be there and concentrate on them. When the two clash, try to be as accommodating/kind as you can to whichever (child or firm) loses out. and make up for it afterwards.

At the end of the day, your company will value you for who you are and what you bring to the table. If your contribution to the firm is good then they will be relaxed about the other commitments you have and take it as one of the 'costs' of employing you. It is only if your contribution is not highly valued anyway that they will get pissy about time off.

Try not to feel guilty - you are doing the best that you can. If it is any consolation it is usually only the first DC that picks up all the bugs going and it soon settles down. The next kids will get their immune systems boosted simply by being around the first DC and all his germs...

whooshspicemonster Thu 05-Nov-09 08:55:14

I had a really similar situation - my DS was taken into hospital 3 weeks after I went back to work after ML and I know how worrying it is.

Have you checked you don't have a parental leave policy? Where I work I can take up to 13 weeks unpaid leave per child until the age of 5 (ie 13 weeks in total over that period) which has been invaluable to me. This year my DS had chicken pox so I was at home with him for nearly a week then too.

Nothing you can do about it really if your child is sick and you don't have family who can help out because they can't go to nursery/CM.

Hope she gets better v soon

stainesmassif Fri 06-Nov-09 19:51:50

wow, thanks for advice and support. of course, the night i posted was ds's worst night, and have been able to return to work since thurs lunch time - big relief. i always work myself up unnecessarily....

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