Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two kid school logistics & marital chores - how do you do it?


this little frog makes me smile - bought at Bed Bath and Beyond in Concord for $10 - best? no one can steal it :)
I've had two semi-sick kids over the last 4 days.

D was also sick so on Friday it was (relatively) easy because I took Kendra to school on the way to work (yes, I had to get up and going early!) and D took Connor to the doc and to get meds from the pharmacy.

Nanny S then went to collect K at 12:30 to bring her back home. D and Connor were able to rest here.

With this very slight maneuvering, we realised there may be a problem in future :) 

new business cards - I love them so much I may just start using them as gift tags :) also, new pillows in the background

Then yesterday I didn't feel Kendra was well enough to go to school. Granted, she was actually fine but her voice was so croaky and I wanted her 100%.

D decided to take a half day's family responsibility leave so he dropped Connor at school, went to get a new script for Kendra, got her meds, shopped and fetched Connor again.

I would have done the pick-up yesterday since Nanny S had to stay behind with K especially since my work is very good about treating us like adults (we come and go but we have to get our work done and not abuse the system) BUT we had an important golf day and I had to do some of my thing - schmoozing a bit.

D and I were thinking a lot about what people do when both parents work full-time and don't have another person to fetch and carry a kid. We can't very well ask MIL to drive 40 mins one way to fetch a kid and drive that kid 2 mins to get home, and then 40 mins again.

I also read a blog yesterday where the mother is a SAHM, her hubby was travelling and she had 3 kids, one sick. She said the sick kid had to be put in the car in pjs to take the other kid to an appt and fetch another kid. So it felt like that a bit for us too.

my new photo printer printing pics for my Ballito mini scrapbook - see my favourite washi tape on the flash drive?


So today D went to work, I went to work and the kids both stayed with Nanny S. One was well enough for school but we couldn't make the logistics work so they both had to stay home.

It feels a bit silly but what can you do? I may have been able to leave work and do the fetching but because I was only in the office for two hours yesterday I couldn't afford the time out.

Actually, I have to log on now and finish up some work.

But what do you do when one kid is sick and the other needs to carry on with life?
Do you both fetch and carry, or is it always the one parent (and why? how did you work that out?)?

I love taking pics like this from hotels (!) and realised the other day I'd never done in our own bedroom. Here you go.

Do you want to know what D and I do?

Basically we take turns. My job is not more important than his, and his is not more important than mine. So we do this parenting thing together. (I'm not judging you if you split chores differently - I feel a need to disclaim in case people get offended...)

When we've needed to take time off for kid things, we either each do half a day if one day is needed, or one day D takes a day's leave, and the next time I do it.

If there's a going into the office late because of an early morning doctor appt, I generally do it because it's easier with my job and boss than with his. He would rather take an official half day or full day than go in an hour - hour and a half late. I have no such qualms.

So what do you do?

27 comments:

  1. What makes ours a bit more complicated is that H works in Midrand, so in no way is it logical for him to come back, do things and return. So I do most of it, also,as I work basically for myself. If needed his work is ok with him coming late or going early for doctors etc. My mom helps put from time to time but she is limited in what she can do, although willing and relatively close ( about 12 minutes away). Of course without Lucy it would be impossible

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    1. definitely makes no sense to come all the way from Midrand!

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  2. We've had very little experience to date, but when we had The Sickness a couple of weeks ago, there was one day where A was well enough for school, but B felt really bad. I loaded B up and sat outside the school, waiting for another mom to help me. I asked her (after she took her kid inside) to stand with my car while I walked A in, and B waited in the car. It would have to be a pretty extreme situation for me to keep both kids home, if only one was sick. If someone is that sick, I feel like they can use the undivided attention with Sister at school.

    I will say from an employer standpoint, it could be frustrating when I had women on my team, and they were taking all the sick days with their kids. (No leave of absence required [unless it was very extreme]...you were just trusted to do the best you could.) It was really unfair to expect one company to foot the bill, so to speak, for the entire absence, while the husband's company didn't suffer any consequences.

    I hope once I start back to work that DH will share in the responsibilities!!!

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    Replies
    1. In SA, people generally get between 3 - 5 days' family responsibility leave per annum (calendar year). So for a gazillion years I used nothing and now I have to use most of it!

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  3. Is an hour and a half of her day too much to spare for her grand babies? LOL! Things aren't split here, I handle most everything, a side effect of being home. I get livid knowing the hubs has years of accumulated leave, and flexibility in his schedule that he doesn't use when I need him to. Things will be terribly interesting if the ladies go to public school and either I go back to work or we choose to keep one car!

    Quite honestly, if faced with the same situation I would say life goes on. One free day won't kill a child!

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    1. Terribly interesting indeed! :)

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  4. Unfortunately Mr OL works in Uitenhage, 40km from PE so I do all the fetching and carrying. I suppose it is easier with just one child, but last year I used up all my family responsibility leave as well as my annual leave. We had a bad year with sick kid and a sick nanny - they seemed to pass it to each other all the time. This year (touch wood) we have not had a sick day (nanny or kid).

    I am very fortunate that my company is flexible when it comes to stuff like doctors appointments and fetching and carrying, and last year they let me work from home a couple of times as well.

    I am also fortunate that Granny can help if required but it is also quite a trip for her and she has a very busy social life so I don't like to call on her too often.

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    1. I love how your mom has this hectic social life :)

      Yep, 40 km is far....

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  5. Luckily we have Granny and Grandpa a few metres away, so if one child is sick, the other still goes to school as usual and the sick child stays with Granny! Both of our work days are normal. I am very grateful for Granny & Grandpa!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Caren, you know you are the luckiest girl in SA! Not only for the proximity but the willingness to help :)

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  6. Funny that, both kids have just starting coughing like smokers, with runny noses and watery eyes. I haven't had to deal with who stays and who goes because Hannah just started school last month. I think Hannah would flip her lid - sick or not - if we had to make her stay home with the nanny and Liam got to go to school. Luckily, they have a trend of getting sick at the same time, but not sure how I would deal with it if one got to stay, and one got to go! Not from a logistics point of view, from a screaming-tantrum-throwing-i-don't-wanna-stay-home point of view :) Logistically, I always make the call and stick with it before we even leave for work and school because school isn't exactly up the road, it's quite a distance from home so if I can tell that they are under the weather, I'd rather keep them home than have to deal with who will pick them up later in the day. Hubby and I take turns, I do have more flexibility in my job, but we do try to balance it out as much as possible so as not to piss our bosses off! But I don't know what I would do without my nanny, which is why even though both kids are now at school and her role has changed from caregiver to housekeeper (kids only get home at 5h30pm), I can't not have her living in - because at least on sick days, we don't have to worry about taking time off work and I know she cares lovingly for them as I would if I was there.

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  7. oh my word, that was an essay.. SORRY!

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  8. Just adding, we were dicussing something similar at work the other day and have realised that you almost need 3 options. School, full time nanny (or nanny on call) and another option like a Granny to ensure that you don't need to take a day off due to sick child.

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    1. exactly! and it's that 3rd option that's the crazy logistical nightmare :)

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  9. Hope your babies are both feeling better now? M, you are luckier than many women I know when it comes to support from hubby. I know a certain person, who's hubby hardly ever lifts a hand to anything not even change a light switch, much less help with kid. All he wants to do is play with the kid, the minute he feels it's too tedious, he hands her back to her mum :(

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    1. oooh, F, I need to dispel the myth that I'm lucky! I set up my life like this - but that is a topic for another post.

      I do know what you mean though and so sorry for that certain person!!! :)

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  10. It’s always me.
    Doesn’t make me happy but that’s the way it is. Have learned to have low expectations about it because it really is better for my sanity. Unfortunately for my DH, he is missing which is probably better for my sanity. I used to work in an environment like the one you describe, one where I was treated like an adult, one where I could come and go as I needed to as long as I was producing the desired output. However since NBL has come into my life things are very different. I now have to fill in a leave form if I need to leave the office to fetch a sick child. Having said all that, I seldom take time off for sick kids. MIL is happy to watch them at times like that.

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    Replies
    1. it's true. low expectations = high sanity :) you are blessed with a mil available and close to you.

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  11. we take turns, too. we both have different schedules, so usually it's easier for one or the other of us to deal with the issue at hand. if we both have something happening at the same time, we will take turns with whoever has to change their schedule/call off work/take the kids in/whatever. it works for us. :)

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  12. Well, you know that when it comes to us it's just me that has to take a day or a couple of hours off whenever the need arises, but then again I only have the pink terrorist - so at least I don't have to juggle the needs of more than one little person.

    On the odd occasion where I really just can't do it by myself I call on my folks or my brother to pitch in, and because it's a rare thing they always make a plan and back me up when I need it.

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    1. I love your independence even though you do have available support :)

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  13. Generally it is me, although D is very good at helping out. I am the SAHM, so it is 'my job' so to speak. My eldest has had a run of illnesses, and I was the one fetching, carrying, doctoring etc etc, but D does step in and help if he's around. he's the one out farming every day, so I can't really expect him to when i'm here already. Having said that, I feel very blessed to not have the stresses that you blog about - being a single working mum for 5 years I had enough of that to deal with. NOw that i'm home, and only really working Thurs/Fri, i feel so blessed to be able to be here for sick kids/husbands.

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  14. PS where did you get your printer from? Are you enjoying it? Have been considering it for some time. What are the cartridge costs vs a regular printer - do you find it more economical?

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    1. D bought it at Kodak for me for Christmas. It was on special for R900.

      The cartridges plus 108 sheets of photo paper cost R500!!!

      I don't have a normal printer - I really run mostly paper-free - so I'm not sure how that compares.

      So far I've printed about 24 pics and yes, very happy with the quality and it's dead easy to use which is very important to me.

      Another fancy photographer recommended it to me = he was doing a project for us at work (iwasshotinjhb - it seems awful in light of yesterday.... but it's a cool thing they do)

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  15. I have a similar situation to Shayne. D works a min of 40 minutes away so it is also not practical for him to do it but like Shayne's D he will help if need - like he fetches Cameron at 18h00 from cricket on a Monday and has done the late fetch a few times for me if I can't get there for some reason.

    Fortunately my older 2 are not sick kids so the times they have actually had to stay home have been minimal but when I was working and my folks were in Montagu - we felt it because I had to leave work and care for them. It was actually more for things like cricket matches, galas etc - I have a thing about one of us being there.

    I must say it is an advantage of having a full time domestic - you can leave the sick kid at home and the other one can still carry on (I am speaking from our situation where they are in primary school and can't just miss a day :))

    ReplyDelete

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