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HELP! what do you all do when your kids are ill????

(20 Posts)
OverflowingMum Thu 21-Oct-10 15:21:49

I have recently gone back to work after 5 years as a SAHM
We are all finding it hard adjusting, but were sort of coping....
Then illness struck! I have 6 kids, DH works full time in a dmenading job. I work 60% which is currently worked as Mon,Tue,Thur 9.15 to 2.30 and Weds 9-5

5 kids are at school (reception,Y2,Y4,Y6 and Y8) and the littlest (2 1/2) has started at a private nursery.

But for the last 2 weeks the littlest has been poorly on and off a LOT. Then Tuesday all 4 girls went down with a tummy bug...
Now I do think we have fairly healthy kids, they're not ill or off school often, but I am really struggling to know what to do when they are ill. So far DH has taken time off because I am still trying to make a good impression in my job as it is currently a temp contract that I amhoping will be made permenant! We have NO family nearby,and NO friends in a position to help. There really is absolutely no-one we could ask to help out in these situations. Obviously we can't keep taking days off when the kids are ill, but I just dont know what to do.
We have looked into the idea of a nanny instead, but think it will cost too much....
Today I am off because I also have stomach bug now, but I am just feeling overwhelemd and fed up!

So what do you all do when your kids are to ill for school/nursery/childminder???

ragged Thu 21-Oct-10 19:12:47

Oh dear, this is why I don't have a job (and I only have 4 kids to get ill on me).

HeadFairy Thu 21-Oct-10 19:16:04

I've seen your other thread and to be honest, we have a nanny so shouldnt' have too much of a problem with illness, unless of course the nanny is ill! I do think that the £37k a year for a nanny you were quoted on there is the upper end really. There are ways of making it cheaper, you can tell your nanny that you don't have a massive budget for lots of activities, as your youngest is toddler age I'd say go for someone with a bit less experience so you will have to pay less etc.

It's not cheap particularly, but the more children you have the cheaper it gets as the cost per child goes down. And of course you don't have to worry about illness or school holidays etc.

PortoFangO Thu 21-Oct-10 19:17:56

Well I generally work from home, but I am lucky in that I only have one dc and a flexible employer.....In your case, not sure what to advise. Is an au pair a possibility? Working on the premise that most childhood illnesses are mild, and that all 6 aren't always ill at the same time.....

pintyblud Thu 21-Oct-10 19:22:57

It is a nightmare if the kids are ill. And you have 6 so you are likely to have many more sick days to cope with in a year.

I've always juggled it between me and dh. Dh keeps back a number of his annual leave days. Are either of you able to keep some holidays in reserve?

scurryfunge Thu 21-Oct-10 19:26:30

We are able to take unpaid leave for children's illness. Is that an option. Other than that an au pair would be good....much cheaper than a nanny but not suitable for pre schoolers.

SleepingLion Thu 21-Oct-10 19:26:59

You will have to take it as unpaid leave or holiday, I think. I just spent a lot of time hoping that DS won't pick up whatever bug is going round...

OverflowingMum Thu 21-Oct-10 20:10:45

yeah...don't think there is an ideal solution is there!

headfairy I might investigate the nanny idea a bit more...I know there is the problem if the nanny is ill, but I'm sort of figuring this would be less often than one of 6 kids being ill!

DH is an assisstnat head, so has to take holidays during school holiday time, I work as a Child Pyschiatrist, and can book holiday , but cant do so at short notice as I always have appointments etc booked in...
Would love an aupair, but have no spare rooms (not surprisingly with 6 kids LOL)
Will have to investigate further to see what unpaid leave we may be entitled to, but it not ideal....but may be the only solution...

Have just ordered some antibacterial hand gel LOLgrin

castleonthehill Fri 22-Oct-10 08:39:59

You could get a term time only nanny. I worked term time only and I guess you may still need her for some time in the holidays so you dh could do some work and with six child the ability to do some special stuff with one or two children may be nice. Just taking two shoes shopping may be nicer than taking 6

MrsCMAW Fri 22-Oct-10 09:25:32

I also think you might well find that the illness gets less as time goes on. My DS started at nursery in September a year ago and the first term up until Christmas he had bug after bug, but since about last Christmas he's hardly had any sick days - I think they start to build up a tolerance to the bugs.

Hope you all get better soon!

castleonthehill Fri 22-Oct-10 09:40:32

You could get a term time only nanny. I worked term time only and I guess you may still need her for some time in the holidays so you dh could do some work and with six child the ability to do some special stuff with one or two children may be nice. Just taking two shoes shopping may be nicer than taking 6

TheFallenMadonna Fri 22-Oct-10 09:45:58

My two DC had chicken pox over a total of two weeks earlier in the year. I took one and a half day off, DH worked from home for 4 days, and then DD went to stay with my mum (who doesn't live locally!) for a week.

frgr Fri 22-Oct-10 12:54:14

I work Mon, Tues, Wed and my husband works Wed, Thur, Friday (so we get more than 1 wage and we both share childcare/career progression) so that just leaves Wednesdays where we're really struck if something happens, although our two go to their grandma's on Wednesdays for childcare (one week mine, one week his, my mum is getting a bit too old to do it every single week so this 50/50 thing with my MIL started last month). There has been one or two occasions where the Wednesday thing has fallen down, BUT we either take turns to have time off work (that way we don't p!ss off either employer too much) or we also have a very good neighbour, an older lady whose grandkids we sometimes babysit for and involve in activities - our kids are really becoming friends now even though there's a three year age gap, it's lovely. I also help out if she needs a lift into town which helps her immensely (poor bus service here and she doesn't drive).

So to summarise - we juggle between grandparents, taking time off work (unpaid or made up on another day), and "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" for emergency babysitting. Unless of course it's a REAL emergency or accident in which case my H or I would leave work immediately.

frgr Fri 22-Oct-10 12:56:59

p.s. H and I also have the option of working from home if really, really needed - but neither employer is too happy about doing this so we have managed to avoid so far (it's hard to be part time AND working from home managing a team!!). but that's always an option too, if we're really desperate. i think as long as you don't take the p!ss yourself then employers are usualyl pretty reasonable - for example, if they ever caused me any problems, although i like working there, i would stop going in at 8.30am and just go in at the normal 9am... it's give and take... they get more out of me by being flexible... so if they did a "work to rule" thing then i would be forced to do the same back!

Sozzafrog Tue 26-Oct-10 14:31:54

Is there no agency that provides a babysitting service? It would be cheaper than getting a nanny.

jaabaar Tue 16-Nov-10 17:33:30

You are allowed I think unpaid leave of a certain amount of weeks by law to deal with days when kids are ill.

Menagerie Tue 16-Nov-10 19:04:21

How about a childminder? Round here there are some really lovely ones who treat the children as if they were their own, and have them in their homes, however poorly they are. If you get one who looks after your kids exclusively, which with 6 shouldn't be a problem, then she won't worry about her other charges getting ill from yours.

Childminders are like a home from home if they are nice, good ones, but a fraction of the price of a nanny as you only pay them the hours they work, not a full time salary.

hairytriangle Wed 17-Nov-10 23:09:19

Our policy at work is to offer 3 days per year for covering childcare emergencies and find alternative childcare.

flexiblenanniescouk Fri 19-Nov-10 02:14:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

SPANIEL Tue 30-Nov-10 11:11:25

I had a nightmare with my first child who never gets a cold without a temperature so was constantly sent home from nursery. My 2nd child is much more robust perhaps due to being exposed to more germs due to his sister bringing them home from school and my childminder is like family and extremely sensible and only sends him home if she absolutely has to. This has made the world of difference and so i would strongly recommend finding a childminder who is willing to use their common sense and has the knowledge and experience to tell if your child really needs to go home

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