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Single parent. Sick child. How do you manage with this scenario.

(19 Posts)
EdwiniasRevenge Tue 10-Feb-15 06:43:42

I'm a single parent.
I have a child that was vomiting all evening.
I started my first teaching post YESTERDAY.
I have no local support. My DP is 150miles aeay on an army barracks - no support there.
My xp lives 90mins away which is not a great commute for a sick child.
My family are also 90 mins away and have their own jobs.
My local friends and neighbours all work.

'Fortunately' my sick child is 13 so will stay home alone - shes not happy about it and neither am I but I see no other option. What do I do if the 8yo gets it? Or if I get a call from schools to ask me to collect them during the day?

Sometimes being a single parent is shit. My kids are rarely ill - why now?

oh and I have hideously swollen glands...sore throat. I think I have been baptised as an NQT (I have just done 2 weeks supply....)

TheSolitaryWanderer Tue 10-Feb-15 07:05:07

There is no option, teaching isn't a family-friendly job.
You might get an unpaid couple of days off if your HT is a very reasonable person, but it won't be a regular thing, more of a one-off until you make arrangements. Or you lie and say that it's you that's sick.
What did you plan on doing if this happened? Or did you just trust to luck?

Haggisfish Tue 10-Feb-15 07:13:37

Oh for goodness sake. That's right-single parents, don't try and get employment!! hmmMy head is very understanding in situations like this. You are entitled to five weeks unpaid carers leave before your child is 18. I would use my unpaid leave for the worst day or days and make every effort to go in where I could. If I had an unsympathetic head I would lie and say I was ill.

Maria33 Tue 10-Feb-15 07:14:33

Take time off and stay home till your child is better. At my school they're very reasonable and this would not be a problem. I would probably leave a 13 year old at home though and leave school as soon as I stop teaching and work from home.
Lots of people combine teaching and family. It's not ideal but nor is any job. Hope you feel better soon - don't get too stressed - these things happen. smile

Maria33 Tue 10-Feb-15 07:15:17

I would also lie if the school was arsey.

BlinkingHeck Tue 10-Feb-15 07:16:49

You just take the time off to look after your child. What else can you do?

verbeier Tue 10-Feb-15 07:18:27

Apparently the unpaid carer's leave requires weeks notice so not appropriate for ill children. Not that I agree with it - I have so many problems with sick children and there is my DH to help out. Hope she feels better soon!

Shockers Tue 10-Feb-15 07:20:44

I think perhaps the OP wasn't expecting this on her second day in the job.

When you've established yourself, it won't be quite as awkward, but I agree with what you're doing this time (although it's crap for you and your child and this isn't how someone who works with children should have to feel!). Just phone at break and lunch and ask her father to check in by phone also. She'll probably sleep most of the day anyway.

TheSolitaryWanderer Tue 10-Feb-15 07:21:08

'That's right-single parents, don't try and get employment!!'

That's not what I said, but go ahead and leap to conclusions.
I didn't ask her to plan ahead for a zombie apocalypse, having a sick child is a common occurence and one I've never found the HT particularly accommodating about.
Let's hope that she's got a reasonable one.

Haggisfish Tue 10-Feb-15 07:24:29

It wasn't exactly an encouraging post, though, was it? Fortunately more ht seem to be becoming reasonable and realise most teachers do their best and would only take time off if needed.

meditrina Tue 10-Feb-15 07:26:12

"You are entitled to five weeks unpaid carers leave before your child is 18. I would use my unpaid leave for the worst day or days"

if you mean what I think you mean, this has to be prebooked in blocks of at least a week.

If you mean emergency parental leave, then that can be taken at any time (and in theory for as many times as required), but is expected to last only a few hours or one day, whilst you sort out emergency childcare.

op: you'll need to find family/friend who will cover, or use an emergency nanny. Yes, expensive, but worth it perhaps to develop your career.

Killasandra Tue 10-Feb-15 07:29:27

I found I had to make new friends - ones who don't work smile

I have literally spent all evening asking all the neighbours if they could help.

But today it's fine to leave a sick 13 year old at home.

If you lived with a partner there's no guarantee they'd be able to take the day off either.

Make new friends!

Haggisfish Tue 10-Feb-15 07:41:58

What do the dc do before and after school? And if it's a longer illness I would be asking exp to come and do their bit. And I would seriously reconsider living so far away from any support! What will you do for parents evenings?

Georgethesecond Tue 10-Feb-15 07:45:56

The ex has to step up. 90 mins isn't impossible.

Georgethesecond Tue 10-Feb-15 07:46:23

In fact -he looks after her at your house. That's what's best for her, isn't it.

rollonthesummer Tue 10-Feb-15 08:31:02

Make new friends!

Mumsnet is full of people moaning about neighbours and mums at school befriending them for childcare-I can't see that going down well!

EdwiniasRevenge Tue 10-Feb-15 18:01:37

Thanks guys - I've only just got back to this.

To answer a few questions:
My children aren't generally ill so I expect it to be an infrequent occurance and as has been pointed out I wasn't expecting to have to deal with it on my second day. When I started my training xp was living around the corner and would hace been largely available to have dc on sick days. Until a week ago my very gpod neighbour was only working and would have been available 2 days a week but inconveniently shes just started working 5 days a week. My DP only has a year left to serve in the army so that will open up other options. I guess I just didn't want to be dealing with this this week (although I'm doing ppa not teaching I still wasn't prepared to take time off this early in my post).

before and after school are covered by onsite breakfast and after school club so not suitable for a sick child. They would also cover inset days.

parents evenings and twilight inset are covered by older dc and neighbour babysitting the younger dc.

all seems to have been fine today. It has made me think about what to do but I still don't think its a question I can ask this early in my posting.

girliefriend Tue 10-Feb-15 18:09:35

I think it is tricky, I would leave a sensible child at home in their own once they are over 12yo and ring them and pop in if poss.

My dd is 9yo and if she has stomach bug there is no one that will want to have her!! I would either try and swap my shifts about (I'm a nurse and work p/t) or take annual leave. Unfortunately neither if those are really options for you!!

guilianna Tue 10-Feb-15 18:43:24

I am in the same boat, OP and I get it. I've left ds at home before, just left after class and brought work home. It's not great, but if there is no one, there's no one. My school is generally understanding. Good luck for a clear run from now on! Yes, it's predictable that children get sick, but so do adults - being single shouldn't hold you back! I've had less time off than most of my colleagues I think. Had to go suddenly mid pm for dd once, that's about it. It's my third year and I love teaching (not so much the crp that goes with it, but ..)

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