Yes I agree the friends of DC's can be helpful, but of course that only helps with the elder one, old enough to sleep over etc.. which is what she did when I was in hospital myself, and sometimes while I had to stay in hospital with my youngest. So yes, some of them have been a great help. But with pre-school children it's very different. You can't bring them into work and you can't leave them anywhere else. I just can't understand why this chap would be so shocked about the fact that we have nobody who could just 'step-in'! He was angry that I had called dh on the last night of a weeks work jolly when my youngest was taken into hospital in a blue light, because he was expected to 'entertain'....and he was certainly doing that, because he had no alternative but to sleep it off before he took to the motorway back home!
But that's another matter...I just think men are sometimes afraid to confront the topic of 'family'...almost as if it is a weakness to admit that it might just occasionally have to take priority. When I was working, I managed my own time very well, worked throughout my new born's first weeks at home, and juggled time around my parents terminal illnesses. And in managing a team of people, I always made allowances for things like this, because as you say, you usually know when it is genuine. So it makes me angry that for someone who is a highly paid professional with a large organisation, with all the modern facilities for working anytime and anywhere, (which believe me he does!)..the old boys brigade still think a man's place is always in the office and never at home, no matter come what may! Interestingly...almost their entire HR function...not surprisingly..work from home