When Do I Get Time Off?

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Yesterday, I was ill with a really debilitating tummy bug.

When I told Him Indoors when he woke up, he said half-heartedly, “Do you need me to take the day off work?”

I was amazed that he even offered. He is one of those fellas who is obsessed with his work. Like many in the helping professions including myself in my time, he does not stick to firm boundaries. If a client needs help, he is there.

I asked whether he would be able to work from home now that he has a work laptop at home. “Well not really”, he says as he slipperily tried to get out of looking after me for the day.

My concern was that if my elderly father who lives with us was ill too and the children went to school, who would be able to pick them up if they were ill? We live about 4 miles from the school with no public transport provision and I don’t drive. My youngest was ill on Sunday and Monday so it did appear that the bug was starting to work its way through the family.

In the end, my lovely husband stayed. To be fair, he did manage to make me a few coffees during the day and lob some tablets my way. Apart from that, he spent most of the day on his laptop attending to work emails.

No cuddles, not much in the way of kind words, a manner very much like a caged animal desperate to escape to the world outside.

I was actually relieved when the call came from school to say my daughter needed to come home as she had vomited as this proved that we did actually need him to stay at home.

It is strike day today and guess who is at home looking after the children? That would be me then. Despite having far better qualifications than my husband and despite having once held senior positions out in the real world, I am the stay at home Mum cos life seems to work like that which I still think is grossly unfair.

I am sick of being told that I am lucky because my husband does some houswework and cooks. Why shouldn’t he? I know that I am fortunate that he is in a secure job with a liveable wage. I still am that uppity cow who thinks I should have a job and a wage too without childcare costs being so high as to make work seem like a silly and self-defeating option. That is before you factor in inflexible, family-unfriendly employers.

I want a life of my own out there in the world. I feel like a caged animal too but, unlike you, dearest, I don’t get to return to the world the next day.

Gizza job?

Gizza business?

Gizza life?

Maybe, I should do what people keep telling me to and get that novel written. Family-friendly hours, no childcare costs and my name in lights. That sounds really good if a pipedream at the minute.

Oh and while I am at it, I will put in an order for a bloke with a good bedside manner.

If you leave a comment, why not tell me what else you think should be on my wishlist. I am very open to new ideas.

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7 Comments


  1. Be careful what you wish for. I missed working etc and harbored dreams of a nice part time role then suddenly I found myself working full time and him indoors staying home with the kids.

    And everyone always asks me how he copes? No one ever asked me!

    Humph

    Jane x

    Reply

    1. Yes, funny that isn’t it (wry smile). I know someone who is a widower with twins. Hard work, but no one would have made as much fuss if my friend had been a single mum.

      Reply

  2. I’m not going to be much use to you here. Getting back out into the real world is the last thing I want to do at the moment. I do have a suggestion though. Learn to drive. We live in the middle of nowhere too and if I couldn’t drive I would be shrieking like a banshee and climbing the walls. I know this to be true because my little man was nearly 2 before I got my own car and there were shades of the banshee about me immediately before that happy purchase. The ability to drive would bring you much more freedom to get out into the world, even if the ability to work in it is still a little too far out of reach. Write the novel too, but learn to drive first. Polly x

    Reply
  3. okifolki

    I agree with PollyBurns2. I’d go stir-crazy if I didn’t have a car. Also, have you thought about working from home? I set up business one month ago and I can highly recommend it. It’s bloody hard work, don’t get me wrong, but it’s very satisfying. Even if it’s just a hobby-business, it’ll give you something that’s YOURS and separate from the mother/housewife stuff.

    I can empathise with the husband thing. When I had swine flu, my husband (who was then my fiance) ran away to his flat. He stopped by to drop off my prescription and some cup-a-soups and that was the extent of his bedside manner. He wouldn’t even kiss me in case he caught it. I got more cuddles off the dog.

    (((hugs)))

    Reply

  4. You sound like my twin ditto on every point! What career did you have before children could you freelance or work for yourself. Moving may help we lived in the back end of beyond and moved nearer to civilisation made a real difference.
    Cat x

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  5. The Rambling Pages

    Is there anything you can do as a freelancer, there are loads of proofing and editing sites out there, some might require a proofing qualification but you can do these over the internet. I went freelance this time last year and I have never looked back, it was one of the best decisions I made, some months I am so busy I don;t have time to sleep some nights and have to pull alnighters, other months things are slower but it all balances out plus I do my work around school hours so childcare is minimal. There are times I use the afterschool club or my mum and dad when things are hectic but compared to when I was working full time, life is very different. until I did it, I never thought I could do anything that would allow me to work for myself, but I was wrong. Email if you want the names of some of the sites I have come across, I now have regular clients but they may get you started x

    Reply
  6. HJ

    I just wanted to know how you managed to see into my world. I had a tummy bug not that long ago and after a night up being sick asked hubby if he could stay at home. Yes was the reply but he would need to work – so about as much use as a chocolate teapot to me as I have 2 children not yet school age. Thankfully my mum was about and able to step in. I often have the same feelings as you – I have a lot to be grateful for and I am, but I want to find that buzz again, the mental stiumulation and recognition which I had before kids. I only wish I had your way with words – start that novel!!!

    Oh and if it helps – I failed 3 driving tests before I finally passed. I tried learning as a teenager but was rubbish. learning as an adult may mean things take a bit longer to sink in but I think you concentrate more, you apply yourself better and once you pass it makes life so much better.

    Reply

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