It’s just a week into the new year, and Henry has been back to nursery for approximately two point five days when I get the call. The dreaded call. The call that all parents hate to see on their mobiles.
One missed call from nursery.
A call can only mean bad news. He’s ill or hurt. Neither is good, and generally means your working day is about to be cut short.
This time it’s conjunctivitis. Fabulous! That’s half my saved up flexi time used up leaving early to go collect him. Then a doctors trip. And then a week of eye drops four times a day which are probably the worst things ever to have to give to a toddler.
Oh and Henry is on a 48 hour ban from nursery on top of that, which means I’m now in minus figures with my flexible time. Great!
Of course, I knew having kids would put pressure on my working life. And that these things really can’t be helped. But it doesn’t stop the annoyance. Because despite knowing that realistically it isn’t fair to the other children to send Henry back too early, it’s all a financial and work-life pain in the butt. I lose working hours, which just makes my days harder when I am back in the office. And I lose out on money as I still have to pay nursery their fees despite him not being allowed back.
And the real irony… he more than likely picked up the conjunctivitis from nursery in the first place!
Because honestly, Henry has been more ill in the last six months of attending nursery three days a week, than he was the entire first year of his life. And that probably isn’t a coincidence.
I only need to look at my mama bloggers whatsapp chat to see the girls talking weekly about one or the others latest illness picked up from other children. And yes, unfortunately it is just one of the many things us parents just have to deal with.
But sometimes, I do think it would all sting a little bit less if it was totally punishing. Not only do we have a poorly kid, we lose time and money. Now, pretty much none of that can be helped, but perhaps a little extra subsidised childcare could really help with the financials.
Maybe if childcare wasn’t so so expensive, more parents would work, and bring more to the local economy.
And maybe if childcare wasn’t so expensive to parents, they would be less likely to send their ill kids to classes and allow it to spread to all the other kids. Because we’ve all been the parent who has had to weigh up just how ill your kid is versus whether or not they need to go to nursery, or if it is worth the risk.
Unfortunately I don’t think that’s on the cards for us Brits any time soon, but we can hope. And in the meantime, we have whatsapp groups to moan in, and wine/tea for the nights we’ve come home early to another poorly, or somewhat not poorly, child.
And of course I do love Henry’s nursery. They’re a brilliant bunch and he loves it there, so I can’t grumble too much, but I will just a little.
However, whilst he was “poorly” we did get some extra playtime in during daylight hours, so swings and roundabouts, I guess!