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 Post subject: Child care contingency??
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am
Posts: 272
DH works for a large very male dominated, very 'family un-friendly' company, and his work rules the roost. Having worked for 7 years with my first child, I am no stranger the juggling act of work/home life balance, and being at home now, totally understand the focus that dh's work requires. However, having experienced a number of unprecedented illnesses for both myself and both children which have required hospital stays in the past few months, the question of back-up, which had never been an issue for us before, has suddenly been raised. Obviously when one child is in hospital, one has to stay, and the other child needs looking after, and when I myself was in hospital a few weeks ago, dh had to step in for a few days. Despite being very senior, with the ability to be present at all his meetings via conference call etc., his senior in command, was not happy. He needs back-up he was told...only we don't have any. And it is not as if you can plan for things like sudden illness! My parents passed away many years ago, and dh's family lives the other side of the world. And you can't exactly pawn young kids off on your lovely neighbours, no matter how lovely or accommodating they might be! So this comment has made me very angry, I know the rewards are very much well received, but at the same time, it takes your heart and soul sometimes. So how do other people cope in similar situations? His boss has both sets of grandparents living close by, and his kids are at university now anyway, but surely there must be many people out there like us with young children, who simply don't have that emergency childcare 'luxury'?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:20 pm
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mm23292 wrote:

And you can't exactly pawn young kids off on your lovely neighbours, no matter how lovely or accommodating they might be!




My neighbour does, it works very well for them, you should try it. :D Although since I got a job a couple of weeks ago they are panicking somewhat :shock:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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Very hard to manage. I always find it interesting how some people can be so inflexible about child / family care and then expect employees to give of their best. Interesting if they themselves get ill or need some help, they tend to bleat louder than anyone else.

I always prefer to just let people go and sort the crisis and come back when things are OK - you can usually tell when it is genuine and when they are having you on. Main requirement is that they keep in touch with what is happening. Sounds like your DH doing all he can re conference calls and TBH these days that ought to be enough.

I have worked in quite a few places where we just have kids watching DVDs or doing admin tasks for a few hours while things get sorted - no problem - kids love it and it does the adults good too.

Could the bosses grandparents help out?? <<<insert tongue in cheek emoticon here >>>>


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:03 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:32 pm
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The friends of the DCs can be a good resource as parents often don't mind having yours over since it keeps their DC happy too and when possible/ in advance even, you can return the favour. Most people IME like to help in a crisis really.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:57 am
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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 :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:56 pm
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I'm in a similar situation but chances are husband could be abroad and a long time away if disaster struck me and I was hospitalised. I think for an emergency it is unreasonable to expect you to have had "back up" instantly.

At the worst my kids would end up with Social Services until I could get them transported to a relative hundreds of miles from here. Hopefully friends would instead step in during the temporary hiatus. I would certainly take the younger sibling of a friend in this kind of situation.

For more planned or longer term stuff .... have to get a temporary nanny I guess.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:52 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:44 am
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Location: Reading
this sounds so familiar. I chose to put my career on a slower burn when we had DD - I work part time (recently moved from 3 to 4 days per week) and from home so that I am always here for her. DH's company expect him to travel usually at weekends with no TOIL, have asked him to cancel signed off holidays, whinge when he works from home on the occasional day that I need to visit clients.
Recently they moved office and it hasn't gone well. Comms problems with BT. The entire office has been asked to work from home for over a month now - it's fine when it is something they want you to do rather than your choice. Many of his colleagues have less than ideal home setups for getting any work done and can't wait to get back to the office whereas he is now judging each day on whether he needs to go in. All the people he works directly with are US, India, South Africa or Australia.

We have no local family and have had to use DD's school friends to help. Luckily she is old enough that a sleepover is no big deal now and she is no hassle to have round. I guess with pre-schoolers all you could do would be to register with one of the nanny agencies (not cheap) so that you could call on one on an adhoc basis but its less than ideal.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:51 pm
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I really appreciate this problem. Up until recently my partner worked in somewhere very similar where no allowances were made for any home problems and just getting leave together was a great problem. I work as well, but have a more understanding employer and so could cover most problems which arose, but on occasion had to beg DS's freinds parents to help out with collections, taking to places and just being around. things came to a head in the summer when we struggled to get a two week holiday together and my partner decided enough was enough and now has another more flexible job but with lower pay. Which although was not an easy choice now he is in the new job our lives are much more relaxed,he can take part in things and we are all happier.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 1:05 pm
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Location: Reading
Some years ago when DD was 2 I was taken into hospital. I was in for three days. Both sets of grandparents are a distance away, but could get here if necessary. DH was given compassionate leave for the three days I was in hospital. He could have called his parents but he didn't actually want to be at work when I was in hospital as at the time we didn't know what was wrong and how serious it was. They were fine with it.

On the rare occasions DD has been ill, we have taken turns to stay at home. I only work half days, so DH can go to work In the afternoon as well.

This is an engineering company, so male dominated in some respects.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Aah the age old one - work life balance. Have usually found that as long as it balances in favour of the employer they are fine about it :shock: :lol: :lol:

I could bore for England on this subject and most of it would be ranting but I so sympathise with you OP. Both of my in-laws died many years ago. When my dad was terminally ill in hospital at the beginning of the year I was so dependant on one friend it was embarassing, without her it would all have come crashing down. I was very lucky and I do try and help out anybody whenever I can. What does annoy me though is people that take advantage of this (my friend never would) and I do find that there are some people I only seem to hear from when they are in a pickle!!!


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