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New job and kids ill

(36 Posts)
Duey12 Thu 08-Nov-18 12:35:41

Hi all, so I’ve been a SAHM for 18 years...yes 18Years I have 3 beautiful boys 18, 14 & 10 and I have also lost 3 boys in this time. So it has been busy. I’ve now gone back to work, literally, this is my first week back. 3 days in and my youngest is now sick with a vomiting bug, nice.
Anyway when I had my interview I explained about being the sole carer for my boys ( my hubby works stupid hours and can not/will not take time out to look after sick kids. I made a rod for my own back years ago I know ) so when I phoned today and explained the situation I was shocked that my bosses attitude was not as understanding as I would have wanted. Nobody else in the office has children so the concept of having to take time out to look after them and stick to the schools 48 hour policy is lost on them.
He has made me feel guilty for taking time out to look after my youngest who can’t help being ill.
Having not been in an office environment for years I don’t know whether this is a normal reaction from a boss or whether he’s being unreasonable and May sack me???

OP’s posts: |
OllyBJolly Thu 08-Nov-18 13:06:28

It is pretty normal. It's expected that you would have back up childcare for sick children. There is a right to emergency time off for dependents but that would only allow you to arrange child care, not look after the children yourself. Tbh, it's a bit unreasonable for you not to have that in place before accepting a job. (and it would be very reasonable to expect the DCs father to take time off as this is your first week).

I would expect the employer would take a very dim view of the absence and this may well lead to you not being retained.

IHeartKingThistle Thu 08-Nov-18 13:08:18

Who's going to agree to look after a vomiting child though? Coughs and colds fine, but with vomiting what choice does the OP have?

PurpleDaisies Thu 08-Nov-18 13:13:37

Nobody else in the office has children so the concept of having to take time out to look after them and stick to the schools 48 hour policy is lost on them.

hmm. Of course, people without children are totally clueless. It couldn’t be that these particular set of people are arses?

Most people do have some sort of back up childcare and if you don’t, this needs sorting out. You can’t let your husband shirk his responsibility of taking time off in an emergency when you can’t find other childcare. One day off each would seem like a much better way of handling the situation.

Duey12 Thu 08-Nov-18 13:51:58

Obviously in an ideal world I’d have back up cover but I don’t. My family live miles (125 miles ) away. I’ve never used baby sitters or childcare and all of my friend would not take a vomiting child into there care for fear of it spreading to their own children. To enable me to be a SAHM for so long we had to make sacrifices. One of those was that my husband had to focus on his career and work the hours needed to get up to a position where financially I could stay at home and we could still live. He is now in a position where if he was out for even a day unscheduled it would noticed by all in his company. This man doesn’t even do sick days for himself let alone us. He attends all plays, assemblies and parents evenings, as these are always pre scheduled and can be built into his diary. My husband was very open with me when I said I wanted to go back to work about what he could and couldn’t do and so when I went for my interviews I explained to my employer exactly what this meant in terms of sick children and time off. My children are not sickly and only have time off school when they are physically unable to attend due to being contagious to others. So in the long term this would equate to maybe 5 days off (in total for all three of them ) in the year. They understood my position with regards to the children’s needs and they still gave me the job, so the reaction this morning was shocking to me. I don’t understand how this reaction to looking after your own children when they are contagious to others is so wrong and that it is now the norm to fob them of with others just because your employer expects it. Surely you would get more out of your workforce by being compassionate?
i Know I was a more understanding boss 18 years ago, so what’s happened to the world since then?

OP’s posts: |
OllyBJolly Thu 08-Nov-18 14:45:50

You're not looking at this from the employer's point of view. They need a resource so they hire someone. That person then has an absence in their first week (whether it's childcare, sickness, car not starting, can't be arsed - it's an absence). Wouldn't that set alarm bells ringing?

20 years ago, when I was a single parent with no family around (lived 150 miles away) there wasn't even emergency dependents leave. I had a whole ream of people I had to call on - and pay - if my childcare fell through. (Thankfully my childminder only looked after my DCs so was happy to have them when they were ill --and they preferred her as she was nicer to them--)

Duey12 Thu 08-Nov-18 16:01:03

I know a lot of childminders and not one would take a child who is contagious. So even if I had that option it would be useless. You obviously found an absolute gem there. She was obviously a very kind and generous person.
I could give you chapter and verse on how I saw it from my employers point of view and offered to work from home but I feel this would be lost in transit.
But the biggest thing I’m taking away from your post OllyBJolly, is sadness. Not for your situation as a single parent, I admire anyone who can juggle work and kids on their own and I’m sure you have done the best you could. But sadness that you felt your children preferred their childminder over their own mother when they are poorly. That must be a horrid feeling to have .

OP’s posts: |
Bobbybobbins Thu 08-Nov-18 16:09:49

It's unlucky timing but I do think long term you will struggle if you have to look after them every time they are ill. My husband and I share 50/50 as much as possible. For both of us it is also 'noticed' by our bosses or clients but tbh most people with kids have to take some time off for child illness?

flumpybear Thu 08-Nov-18 16:55:07

Typical isn't it with a new job, as an employer though I do expect my staff to share with their partners for the sickness cover - it's out or line that your husband says no, he's a parent too and why should your job pick up for his crap attitude

OllyBJolly Thu 08-Nov-18 18:41:17

sadness that you felt your children preferred their childminder over their own mother when they are poorly. That must be a horrid feeling to have

Your sadness is totally misplaced. I was happy my children were with someone with whom they felt totally cared for, allowing me to fulfil my obligations to my employer and focus on paying for the roof over their heads and the clothes they wore.

Your children have two parents. Childcare should be shared and you have to have some sort of contingency plan. I had a network of friends and babysitters who helped out with emergency childcare when I had early or late meetings, or childminder was on holiday etc.

Villanelle123 Thu 08-Nov-18 18:43:08

Never going to look good in week one

chickenchip Thu 08-Nov-18 18:50:35

It's your first week- I'd be disgusted with my husband if he refused to look after his own children and made me look unprofessional in my very first week back after giving my family 18 YEARS. I know you discussed it beforehand but really? Your first week?! That's not very nice of him.

pinkmagic1 Thu 08-Nov-18 18:53:50

Looks very poor in the first week. Your dh should really have taken the time off given the timing. Very poor form on his behalf and shows how little he values your job.

RebelWitchFace Thu 08-Nov-18 18:54:16

Is your 18 yo at home? Can he look after the youngest?

LadyLapsang Thu 08-Nov-18 23:34:35

I don't know why you expect your new employer to be more understanding and accommodating than your husband who is also the child's father. If you have been looking after them when they have been poorly for the past 18 years he can start doing his fair share now. It is usually easier to be flexible when you are senior. He can work from home, Skype into meetings etc. He should at least make an effort to cover some of the care.

FinallyHere Fri 09-Nov-18 10:52:23

* Having not been in an office environment for years I don’t know whether this is a normal reaction from a boss or whether he’s being unreasonable and May sack me???*

Goodness, if you have to ask you are really not aware of what an office environment is like. Think about it from their point of view: you have a contract with them to work certain hours. You have only just started and you are reneging on that contract and sort of expecting them to be happy about that.

* I explained to my employer exactly what this meant in terms of sick children and time off.*

How did they react when you explained this? Did they perhaps give you the job in-spite of this, expecting that you would have to make arrangements ?

Are you really expecting the employer to have temporary cover available for your absences? And offering to work from home when you are looking after children who are not well indicates that you do not really understand what working from home really means.

Can you find a role which would allow you to employ a nanny?

Momo27 Mon 12-Nov-18 19:40:27

Sorry but I think your mindset is completely wrong. If you want a job you need to start being less blinkered and learn to look at things from others’ perspectives. Your employer needs the job done. Your lack of back up/ emergency childcare is not her/his problem.
It’s also no one’s else’s responsibility that you haven’t worked for 18 years and have facilitated your dh in abdicating total responsibility for the kids, while he has facilitated you having almost two decades not working. That was a choice and you’re reaping the consequences now.
You also show a very blinkered mindset in assuming that you ought to feel sorry for those of us who’ve used childcare and had to make emergency arrangements for sick children. Honestly, save your sadness for deserving causes. Our children are fine thanks!

This may sound harsh but you just seem clueless about the world of work

peachypetite Mon 12-Nov-18 19:44:13

Your husband needs to step up. If you don't have any other support are you going to miss work every time one of your kids is sick?

m0therofdragons Sun 18-Nov-18 11:26:17

My employer is very understanding (3 primary aged dc) but appreciates I will bend over backwards other times and Dh and I share the responsibility as neither job is more important than the other so dc vomits, I do one day at home and Dh does one. If possible I work from home but sometimes that's not realistic.

Over the last year, Dh started a new job so had 6 months probation period. I explained to my boss that in the next 6 months all dc sickness would be down to me because of this but then it's back to normal. He completely understood.

You've A, not had time to prove yourself as being worth the hassle (and it is hassle for the employer) and B, got a Dh who isn't supporting your career

I'd go back in and be apologetic and hope that's the germs over for the winter. Maybe put contingency plans in place for the future so you can work a bit from home on these occasions? At least show willing.

I don't know if any childcare that would take a sick dc round here and my family are all over the world.

redsummershoes Sun 18-Nov-18 11:30:09

bad timing, but can't be helped.
but tbh, Iwoukd have discussed with dh that during probation period he needs to cover sicknesslike that.
or that you arrange that both of you do half days so that you disrupt your work as least as possible.
tbh, once dc is over the vom and in 'quarantine' phase, leaving him alone (with lots of phone calls) should be fine,

NoSquirrels Sun 18-Nov-18 11:41:58

I don't know why you expect your new employer to be more understanding and accommodating than your husband who is also the child's father.


What you’re effectively saying to your employer is that you consider your husband’s employment (and his employer’s company’s success) to be more important than their company’s success.

Your DH could take a day off. That he won’t EVEN IN YOUR FIRST WEEK OF WORK is really really shitty of him.

In the long term, your youngest is 10 - he’ll have to fend for himself more than his brothers have had to. More sick days home alone, frankly.

Don’t blame your employer. Blame your husband for wanting life to carry on just exactly as it suits him.

Fishcakey Sun 18-Nov-18 11:45:42

I only have back up cover now my mum has retired and my DS is 14! It's bollocks to say you should have back up cover. I didn't have any for 12 years. Don't employ people with kids if you can't cut them some slack. End of.

NoSquirrels Sun 18-Nov-18 11:48:44

Back up cover, when both parents are employed, is the other parent. Take it in turns.

Different and much harder if you’re a single parent but no excuses when you’re in a couple.

PatriciaHolm Sun 18-Nov-18 11:51:40

You are seriously shocked that your employer didn't welcome with joy the idea that you want 2 days off in your first week for a sick child?

Yes, a little give and take would be nice, but as far as your employer is concerned it's just take at the moment. Once you've proved you are a worthwhile, trusted employee, one would hope a good employer would be understanding, especially if you can work from home (my employers always have been) but 2 days in your first week?

The message you are giving is that your work is always going to be the thing that gives. And that's not going to go down well.

Hercules12 Sun 18-Nov-18 11:56:29

You're attitude is really odd. You expect your employers to be more understanding about your children than their father. Why would they?
Really bad form being off in your first week and it will be hard to pull this back as you're sending a clear message to them about how important you feel this job is.
I agree once over actual puking stage, your child will be fine at home alone.

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