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I have been taking a day off or two almost every week since I went back to work.

(63 Posts)
yukes Tue 12-Feb-13 10:32:54

In last November, I went back to work from my maternity leave. As I have a baby (Now 10-month old) in a nursery, he so often gets something from there. You name it, conjunctivitis, temperature, runny nose/bottom etc. They have a rule for each symptom that a baby is banned to come back. Now, the older one got ill (he rarely gets ill nowadays) and have to take time off to stay with him at home. I am feeling so guilty and started to feel worried that my boss one day will say to me that I'm no longer needed there. I know there is nothing to do, but I just wanted to speak to anyone who might have a similar situation...

Booyhoo Tue 12-Feb-13 15:24:11

is your husband in the NHS, like a nurse/paramedic or a care assistant or something? that would be the only sort of jobs i wouldn't expect him to take off work for unless absoloutely necessary.

otherwise then yes, he absoloutely should be sharing the responsibility for childcare and that means splitting illness leave with you so your career isn't being unfairly compromised while his remains intact. his penis doesn't give him more entitlement to work than you.

Blu Tue 12-Feb-13 15:24:36

I am both and employer and a working mother.

As an emlployer of women it makes me wild if it is assumed that it is the mother will always cover child sick days. Why should MY business suffer absence while the employer of the father of the child does not? And it perpetuatues prejudice against women in the workplace. And how will YOU ever get to be a manager, like your DH, if he makes you do all the childcare? See how sexism works?

As a working mother I rely on DP to do his actual fair share of sick days and holidays. Actual fair share being 50%. We do help each other by being flexible and working around who ever has the most pressing deadline or meeting on any one day, but ensure that it levels out over the year.

Your DH needs to realise that he doesn't have a sahp at home to offer back up. And that when both parents work, both need to take equal responsibility for the child care that enables them to work. Fair enough, on his days that might mean that he gets his mother to cover - but then it's his job to make the call and arrange it. Not yours.

SocietyClowns Tue 12-Feb-13 15:25:09

We've done half days each to cover and dh would never hesitate to take time off if one of ours is sick. Whenever it happens we discuss as equals what we have on at work (meetings etc) and which of us thinks can take time off easier. There is no way I would be the one covering all the time, and I'm part time while dh is full time and very senior. As far as I am concerned it's part of being a parent.

Numberlock Tue 12-Feb-13 15:25:29

... I've realised why I assumed you didn't have a partner - you don't make any mention of him at all in your post as someone who should be sharing this load with you...

yukes Tue 12-Feb-13 15:25:34

Oh wow.... I have nothing to say. Really gobsmacked.
I think I have to sit down and talk to my hubby more seriously, of course mentioning everyone's comments here... Wow again.

ledkr Tue 12-Feb-13 15:25:40

Your dh has the right to time off as well as you. I insist mine does as my job is equally as important. He is a copper and they are actually very good if he needs time off.

CailinDana Tue 12-Feb-13 15:26:48

You and your DH should be alternating days. There is no way on earth you should be jeopardising your job and ending up totally stressed out while he just carries on as though he has no children! Totally unfair and utterly ridiculous.

I'm a SAHM and on a couple of occasions DH has had to take the day off work because I've been too ill to look after DS. He's a parent and it's his duty to take care of his child if there's no one else to do it.

PurpleStorm Tue 12-Feb-13 15:31:56

I take more days off than DH when DS is too ill for nursery, but DH still manages to take some days off so that it's not just me missing work. And to be fair to DH, it's harder for him to take time off without notice than it is for me because of the nature of his job.

Most of the fathers in my office have also taken time off when their DC's are ill. No one I work with seems to regard that as unusual.

Numberlock Tue 12-Feb-13 15:39:26

Really gobsmacked

Why are you so surprised, yukes? Did you think it was 'normal' for the woman to have to do everything? What is the situation with your friends/family etc?

goinnowhere Tue 12-Feb-13 15:43:26

DH takes more time than me as his work/annual leave is more flexible. It is right and normal.

Mutley77 Tue 12-Feb-13 15:43:48

I am surprised you have been able to sustain this as long as you have. Have you used all your holiday taking these days off? You have been very lucky with your boss.

I work p/t so tbh if the kids are ill on one of my working days DH usually takes it off as I have less time to play with. He has less critical meetings than I do generally - and can often do them on the phone from home, so he doesn't usually have to lose annual leave.

I think you will need to sort things out so your DH covers sometimes and/or find better childcare and/or decrease to part time working as I don't think you can possibly sustain your current situation. How are you managing your workload - do you not have to work later on other days to catch up?

choceyes Tue 12-Feb-13 15:48:56

My DH takes time off work for sick kids yes. He is a teacher, so it's not easy, but he gets 3 days of paid leave for being with ill family, so when kids get ill he takes the time off first, as I have to dig into my annual leave if I was going to take the time off. ALthough last year it was a different policy at my workplace and I had a similar deal, 3 days of paid leave for sick family, but the new manager scrapped that, so last year it was me who took the time off work.
But if DH has something really really important at work, and also if it's DD who is ill, the smaller DC and is still BF, I take a day off instead.

So it depends on the financial impact of it and if either of us have important days at work and also depending on the DC, although now DD is 2.5yrs either parent will do.

Your partner has to do his share OP.

thonah Tue 12-Feb-13 15:50:52

I really think you need to look at your childcare arrangements - a nursery that won't take a child with a runny nose????? it must be empty in winter!

ihearsounds Tue 12-Feb-13 15:51:04

Doesn't matter what his role is within his job, the point is legally he can take time off because he has dependents. A dependent doesn't just include the dc's it also includes you or anyone else that might depend on him. As a manager it is shameful really that he isn't aware of this, so I would pull him up on that.

He really needs to pull his finger out of his arse and start taking time off with his children. It is irrelevant that your work have now organised remote log in. The point is, as a parent he has a duty of care. This includes dealing with ill children..

If he is a decent manager, his team will cope fine without him being there, because they will know what to do.

I have always shared days off for illness, inset etc, even when I ran my own business and it meant I made no money, I took time off. Even though dp is the head chef of a very busy kitchen, his team manages fine without him there. There are millions of bosses, managers etc out there that at times suck it up and take time off. How the hell does he suppose manageresses deal with this, or his is head so stuck in the 1950's that he doesn't believe females can have executive positions?

SPBInDisguise Tue 12-Feb-13 15:54:26

Not read whole thread and apols if I'm repeating but guidance changed recently and nurseries tend to take children now with conjunctivitis - if its being treated. Just thought I'd mention in case you didn't know

choceyes Tue 12-Feb-13 15:59:00

Yes our nursery takes DCs with conjuctivitis provided it's being treated.

bigkidsdidit Tue 12-Feb-13 15:59:35

My DH takes 50% too. The first day off is taken by whoever is least busy and the next by the other etc.

My CM takes my DS with all my sickness / diarrhoea though sonwe haven't had a day off in a while

bigkidsdidit Tue 12-Feb-13 16:00:09

Oh and she takes children with conjunctivitis too

BobbiFleckmann Tue 12-Feb-13 16:01:46

Your employer is being a saint and your husband is taking the mickey. He needs to step up and it's his turn to take as many as you do, and you've built up quite a credit it seems.

You should also register with a local nanny agency who provide emergency cover and sometimes you'll just have to bite the bullet and hire last minute home care - it's expensive but it's cheaper than getting the sack.

yukes Tue 12-Feb-13 16:05:34

I didn't think that women had to do everything. I do think opposite actually. That is what I said to my DH (this means husband, right?)
I am actually from a different country and this thing still goes on big time back in my country. I thought UK would be much more advanced than my country in terms of this kind of "sharing responsibility for children" matter, but I started thinking that it might've been still the same here as my country.
According to everyone who commented here, it is proven that I am wrong and I was right that UK IS much more advanced in terms of sharing responsibilities.

BobbiFleckmann Tue 12-Feb-13 16:07:37

out of interest, do nurseries reimburse some of their fee for days they won't accept your child for minor illnesses? I know they're still keeping the place open, but is there a token amount reimbursed for food / nappies etc not used?

yukes Tue 12-Feb-13 16:09:34

Also, I might've written or sounded slightly wrongly.. Our nursery takes children/babies after 24 hours since the eye drop treatment started for conjunctivitis.
They take children/babies with runny nose of course. I meant that my baby gets it from there. The nursery has different rules and days that children are not allowed to come in. For example, Diarreha 48 days, conjunctivitis 24 hours etc etc.

mimolette Tue 12-Feb-13 16:10:57

We are sharing the sick child days but I still worry about all the time off. Those of you who have said that it gets better - when? At what age or after how long at nursery did your kids stop getting ill regularly? At the moment we seem to be averaging once a month sad

PacificDogwood Tue 12-Feb-13 16:12:18

It is difficult when both of you work, no doubt about.

Like everybody else said, the responsibility for looking after unwell children should be shared between you and your DH. We have 4 boys - that's a lot of chickenpox... grin
My DH and I both work in professional jobs in which if either one of us does not turn up lets a lot of other people down (we are both drs - hospital and GP). I have no idea who of us has taken more time off for unwell kids as we have always made the decision based on what was going on in our respective days at the time. We don't keep a spreadsheet, but it is quite clear that childcare is not just MY issue or problem.

Wrt to illness though, this is why we had a childminder for the first 8 years of having children and now have a nanny. Could you try and look for a nanny share? We also at one point had an older neighbour who was happy to 'babysit' at short notice should the need arise - it was a great relief to have had that offer even though we only needed her once, I think. We had no family to back us up - is that an option for you?

PacificDogwood Tue 12-Feb-13 16:13:38

In my personal and professional opinion it gets better once they are around school age...

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