Going back to work but without support in the holidays and if kids are ill

(19 Posts)
peppajay Fri 08-Nov-13 11:52:35

Both my kids are now at school so it would help our finances if I could get a job however the only option to me is a term time job as I have no family close by so have nobody to look after children in the 13 weeks of holidays. Holiday clubs or c minders are not an option because the amount of money I would have to pay out for 2 children say 3 days a week would cut too much into my money as I would only be looking for a basic job as I would like a stress free job just for some extra pennies. I am fussy I know but my children come first. Between the two of them they do an activity every night but a Tuesday and I don't want this to stop because I am at work. The other dilemma I have is what do you when your child is off sick?? This term has been a nightmare for sickness and my two have had a total of 10 days off between them so far!! Last year my DS had one and my DD none!!! Anyway if I was at work I wouldn't be able to work because I have no one to look after a sick child??

All my friends have family that can help them out but I do not have this option and wonder if it is worth the hassle of going back to work as I have no back up when things go wrong?? Just wondered what everyone else does in this situation. I would love to go back to work but at the work it just seems so stressful. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks x

redskyatnight Fri 08-Nov-13 13:07:50

The only way to accomodate full time working is for both you and DH to work as a team i.e. it shouldn't always be falling on your shoulders.

It sounds like you've been unlucky this year, but if generally speaking your DC are pretty healthy, you just have to alternate covering sick days betewen you and it's really not a big bother. I admit we are fortunate that DH's employer is good about him working at home on these occasions - would that be an option for you?

You will both have annual leave that you can split to cover some of the school holidays. Consider any holiday childcare you have to pay for as spread across the year, not just a big hit in August. You may be able to use childcare vouchers, which effectively bring the cost down. Or can you "child swap" with your children's friends?

In terms of after school clubs - if they are the evening can one of you start early so they are back in time to accommodate them? Or can they be rearranged to weekends? If they are at school and you use after school childcare, you may find the provider will pick up from the after school clubs. DH and I both work full time but both 3 DC do 3 after school clubs each in the week (not the same days!) and although it does take some juggling, we do fit it in.

Remember that part of the reason that it seems stressful is just the unknown - once in a routine a lot of things slot into place.

ElizabethJonesMartin Fri 08-Nov-13 13:16:33

Most couples do it fairly so not necessarily mothers and can be fathers taking time off.
Secondly you could hire someone to do school collection and holidays and sick days.

Holiday clubs might be more feasible than you think.

If you and dh could cover 5 weeks of the holidays between you, that leaves you 8 to find childcare for. Round here holiday clubs are around £20/child/day. So if you're working 3 days/week: 20*2*3*8=£960/year which is £90/month.

Good luck.

givemeaclue Fri 08-Nov-13 13:30:13

Most after school clubs don't run in holidays.

We don't have any family to help. We use holiday clubs and pay with I childcare vouchers. If kids are ill we take holiday, work from home or unpaid leave. You are entitled to unpaid time off for an emergency, that is a statutory right.

Most people don't have family to help, don't let that stop you going back to work. i think only schools give term time only contracts so worth consideringschool based roles although competitio

peppajay Fri 08-Nov-13 14:13:39

Thanks for your comments. I wasn't aware that childcare vouchers could be used to pay for childcare for over 5's, I thought they were only eligible to be used in nurseries, that would make the childcare element in the holidays a lot more affordable. All my friends are so lucky as all of them (except one) have family that help them out. My DH' s employers will not let him have time off at a moments notice which is what happens if a child is sick. Does anyone know if you are employed and you have to say phone up and say you cant work because your child is sick do they have a legal obligation to let you have the time off?? When I worked between my 2 children and my DD got chicken pox and the childminder couldn't have her I wasn't allowed the time off as there was not enough staff in the office so my DH phoned up his work and pretended he was sick and had flu for 4 days as it was the only way round it!!! I went sick on day 5 altho they knew she had chickenpox and had tried my best at covering the rest of the week!

If he rings up to say his child is sick they should look at options to manage that, which may involve unpaid leave.
If they feel he's having too much time off or abusing this then they should deal with it as a disciplinary issue, but presumably it would never get to this.
Unless he's a heart surgeon or prime minister I struggle to imagine what job cant accommodate emergencies.

ElizabethJonesMartin Fri 08-Nov-13 16:09:08

A lot of parents have to use emergency child care - you can ring in the morning and hire childcare for the day from quite a few agencies or line up some neighbours or local elderly who would come to your house or get a babysitter at weekends who is free in the week who could help too.

givemeaclue Fri 08-Nov-13 16:33:47

Yes you are legally entitled to unpaid emergency leave if child is ill. You cannot legally be refused this but obviously you lose money

givemeaclue Fri 08-Nov-13 16:35:19

I think challenge is not childcare, its finding. A 3 day a week job, they are thin on the ground

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 08-Nov-13 23:31:01

I agree ^ think the challenge will be finding a term time, school hours, 3 day a week job...

How do you know re DH's job not enabling him to take leave for sick cover? Based on when you did work?

I mention as there is an interesting guest blog on MN at the mo about fathers not wanting to share the childcare. Not saying that is the case with your DH.

I believe he has the right to deal with the emergency but after that it is up to the company how generously or not they deal with it.

Have you thought about freelancing if your skills and experience translate? You could be in charge of hours then and probably work from home etc.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 08-Nov-13 23:37:17

Sorry just re-read yr OP again re your experience of taking time off due to sick kids.

A lot of orgs I know either offer unpaid leave after the first day (the first day being seen as dealing with the emergency) or some will let you work from home/make the time back.

scottishmummy Fri 08-Nov-13 23:51:09

Holiday clubs, share al with partner,you divvy up sick time
Both parents take time off for appts,sick
It's not a maternal burden,it's a paternal share if 2 of you

Sootikins Sat 09-Nov-13 00:00:27

'A lot of parents have to use emergency child care - you can ring in the morning and hire childcare for the day from quite a few agencies' - not if they are vomiting though - not sure about not vomiting but the agencies I spoke to didn't want to know.

BooCanary Sat 09-Nov-13 00:08:42

Both parents need to share holiday cover.

We manage to cover 4 weeks in the summer, and Easter and Xmas from our leave. Majority of half terms and the remainder of summer hols are managed using holiday club.

Sickness cover is shared alternatively or depending on who is able to take time off ( e.g. person with least meetings that day).

Tbh, working does focus the mind more re sickness. I have sahm friends who would keep their dcs home for being 'a bit under the weather'. My dcs go to school unless they have a limb hanging off they have are very ill ( sickness, flu).

Its all doable providing you work as as team. There is no perfect solution to bring a wohm. Compromise, and scaling back any idea of 'having it all' is the way forward.

scottishmummy Sat 09-Nov-13 00:13:15

Look no one has it all.work is a compromise you get money for not seeing dc
But thems is the rubs. You work to fill the fridge you make compromises
Notably mother ain't the one who needs take the hit

ElizabethJonesMartin Sat 09-Nov-13 11:06:55

Agree with Boo. Ours struggle in unless virtually dead and wow it has made brilliant hardworking leaning in children of them - win win all round.

TheDoctrineOfWho Sat 09-Nov-13 11:10:14

If you are working a 3 day week then you have cover for sickness on those days, the others you divide up if required and use annual leave if you need to do so.

holidaysarenice Sat 09-Nov-13 11:16:44

You do sound like an employers nightmare with your list of wants.

I would say ur biggest challenge is getting a three day a week-term time, days only job where you are still home for after school activities. Good luck.

Also someone mentionned childcare vouchers upthread. I may have picked up your response wrong but I took the comment you said about finances that you think these are the same as 15 hours for 3 year old free. The childcare vouchers are a work based scheme that allows you to pay from your salary without taxing you on them. Not all employers do them. Most big organisations do tho.

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