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Both parents required for bedtime?


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#1 JoanFontaine

Posted 25 February 2020 - 07:59 PM

So as always, with some of our evening work functions, a number of fathers have Said they can’t attend because young children. Ie: bathing and putting to bed young children with their partners. I said to one, do you really need 2 parents every night, can one night a year be done by the mother? Apparently not. Fyi, we are teachers and this is a presentation night. Once a year.

#2 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:03 PM

sounds like an excuse to me. while both parents may want to do bedtime, and i’m sure the kids like it..it’s certainly able to be done with just one parent. or indeed, no parent, eg - by a babysitter. or a grandparent.

Edited by Lucrezia Bauble, 25 February 2020 - 08:03 PM.


#3 lozoodle

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:04 PM

Nah its an excuse. I've done bedtime alone with 3 kids for 11 years now, rarely is he home when it happens!

#4 PrincessPeach

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:10 PM

Nope - i've done bedtime solo more times than with assistance.

#5 Tokra

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:14 PM

Of course it can be done by 1 parent. But you don't know what goes on in people's relationships or lives or with their kids :shrug:

#6 SplashingRainbows

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:14 PM

Whilst both of us at home for bedtime was very helpful when we had two littlies, it is/ was possible for each of us to do it solo if needed. Sometimes for work it was needed.

Now they are both at school one parent is plenty.

#7 maryanneK

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:16 PM

Once a year, yeah that's an excuse. I try not to be out at kids bedtimes too much because it's really tough to do dinner, bed, baths, readers etc solo at their ages, so there's a lot of work for the parent left at home. Plus I work so bedtimes is when I get to see my kids.
Doesn't mean I wouldn't go out as an occasional thing. They are making excuses and looking for dadulation in the ops case

#8 rosie28

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:17 PM

Bedtime is easier with just me- DH hypes the kids up too much over bath time. The kids do like both of us there but even with a three month old baby we can both do it alone if needed. I’d say it’s an excuse.

#9 Freddie'sMum

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:19 PM

When the girls were very young (baby / toddler) I really appreciated if DH was home to help with the bedtime battle.  It got much better as they got older.

Of course one parent can do it by themselves, if there is the possibility that both parents can be there, it makes it so much easier to have another pair of hands to help.

#10 Crazyone26989

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:23 PM

I have a baby and my DH had to finish work early to pick him up last week so I could attend a work event (also a teacher). It’s 4-5 times a year that I need to and I’d rather not have my DH take annual leave so this can happen but I do it.

It’s probably an excuse but I can understand the impulse to want to stay home. I don’t like being at work till 8 or 9 at night!

#11 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:26 PM

Maybe it’s an excuse, maybe it’s not.

Unless you know what’s happening in their life then it’s probably best to give them the benefit of the doubt!

#12 Meepy

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:29 PM

It is an excuse but I understand the sentiment.  It may only be one presentation night but there are probably other extracurricular activities that are expected during the year.
For me I have open night, information evening, valedictory, production (multiple), camp, parent teacher, trial exams during term breaks, professional development in the evening and on weekends, awards night, excursions which go over work hours etc.

#13 Jersey Caramel

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:30 PM

 Tokra, on 25 February 2020 - 08:14 PM, said:

Of course it can be done by 1 parent. But you don't know what goes on in people's relationships or lives or with their kids :shrug:

Yeah, since having a friend with PND who found her mental state really deteriorated at sunset,  I've been more understanding that you just don't know what is happening.  She absolutely needed her partner to arrive home for dinner/bath/bed as she simply was too unwell to manage it alone.

Another friend has a child who due to ASD has a very difficult time getting to bed/ sleep calmly.  At certain times over the years (while trying to get doses of meds correct etc) her DH was literally the only person who had any chance of getting the child to bed before 2 or 3am, and not from lack of trying by her, the grandparents etc. So unless it was a really important or emergency situation,  they would have (and did) declined any evening function.

But yes, it's also possible that your colleagues are just making an excuse because they can't be bothered.

#14 JoanFontaine

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:31 PM

 Crazyone26989, on 25 February 2020 - 08:23 PM, said:

I have a baby and my DH had to finish work early to pick him up last week so I could attend a work event (also a teacher). It’s 4-5 times a year that I need to and I’d rather not have my DH take annual leave so this can happen but I do it.

It’s probably an excuse but I can understand the impulse to want to stay home. I don’t like being at work till 8 or 9 at night!

sure, but non parents also don’t like being at work till 8 or 9 either. We just don’t have a handy excuse.

 Meepy, on 25 February 2020 - 08:29 PM, said:

It is an excuse but I understand the sentiment.  It may only be one presentation night but there are probably other extracurricular activities that are expected during the year.
For me I have open night, information evening, valedictory, production (multiple), camp, parent teacher, trial exams during term breaks, professional development in the evening and on weekends, awards night, excursions which go over work hours etc.

no. State school, we don’t mandate anything out of hours.

#15 Meepy

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:34 PM

I am at a government state school-not mandated but expected.

#16 -Emissary-

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:35 PM

It’s hard to judge without understanding more about their situation.

If they have more than 2 young kids then I would understand completely why the partner might need help with bedtime.

Presentation might just be one night a year but how many other work commitments do they also have? Do they have to be there at presentation night?

#17 Silver Girl

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:38 PM

I agree with PPs that it could be either an excuse, or genuine.

Years ago I had a colleague who would take mornings off to accompany his wife (a SAHP) to their kids’ immunisations. Management were annoyed, but as far as I could tell, his wife had anxiety and needed the support.

#18 RynandStompy

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:40 PM

 JoanFontaine, on 25 February 2020 - 08:31 PM, said:



sure, but non parents also don’t like being at work till 8 or 9 either. We just don’t have a handy excuse.

I get that work events at these hours suit very few people. However it doesn't help people who're trying to juggle their actual work/life balances to hear their parenting commitments as 'a handy excuse' to get out of things.
Especially on a parenting site.

That's frankly a sucky description to put to whoever the parent is.
I manage a lot of staff who are parents (mainly women but not all) and would not accept someone saying snide expressions  about a colleague.
It brings down the team.

If it's a mandatory event then employers either enforce it or have it at more workable times. If it's optional, then it's optional.

Edited for autocorrect mistakes

Edited by RynandStompy, 25 February 2020 - 08:43 PM.


#19 Crazyone26989

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:43 PM

 JoanFontaine, on 25 February 2020 - 08:31 PM, said:



sure, but non parents also don’t like being at work till 8 or 9 either. We just don’t have a handy excuse.



no. State school, we don’t mandate anything out of hours.

You sound quite bitter about it to be honest. I don’t think it’s your problem if they have an “excuse” unless you are their supervisor and it’s mandated which it wouldn’t be in the public system.

#20 ytt

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:48 PM

I have got out of a lot of after hours work due to my DD. I used to use her as an excuse, now I don't GAS and just say no I'm not going - I've had work issues where I've done so much out of work time and was taken advantage of. Now I have the attitude  - I'm a full time government employee working in a school, I will put 100% into helping the kids - anything else **** that !

I've had a great start to the year and think I'm more efficient helping the kids :)

#21 Crazyone26989

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:48 PM

 RynandStompy, on 25 February 2020 - 08:40 PM, said:



I get that work events at these hours suit very few people. However it doesn't help people who're trying to juggle their actual work/life balances to hear their parenting commitments as 'a handy excuse' to get out of things.
Especially on a parenting site.

That's frankly a sucky description to put to whoever the parent is.
I manage a lot of staff who are parents (mainly women but not all) and would not accept someone saying snide expressions  about a colleague.
It brings down the team.

If it's a mandatory event then employers either enforce it or have it at more workable times. If it's optional, then it's optional.

Edited for autocorrect mistakes

Absolutely agree with this!

I’d be furious if I found out the a colleague was making comments about my child being “a handy excuse”. I put in the hours required to do my job and do my best to attend out of hours events but there will be times when I can’t because there won’t be anyone to look after him.

ETA I’ve had childless coworkers who only scheduled parent teacher interviews till 5.30 when the general rule was to run them till 7. I’ve got no idea why and I also don’t care because it had nothing to do with me.

Edited by Crazyone26989, 25 February 2020 - 08:52 PM.


#22 Paddlepop

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:54 PM

 JoanFontaine, on 25 February 2020 - 07:59 PM, said:

So as always, with some of our evening work functions, a number of fathers have Said they can’t attend because young children. Ie: bathing and putting to bed young children with their partners. I said to one, do you really need 2 parents every night, can one night a year be done by the mother? Apparently not. Fyi, we are teachers and this is a presentation night. Once a year.

Perhaps you need to change the time of the presentation night. Can it be held directly after school instead, so it's over and done with by the time the evening routine would be starting?

I think you're out of line telling the men how they should run their families and making assumptions that the mother should be capable of doing it on her own. Perhaps it's when the fathers have custody of the children and they can't swap the night's custody. Perhaps the partners are unwell and can't do or can't mentally/emotionally handle bedtime on their own.

Do they get paid for attending the night time work event or is it simply expected to be done for free?

#23 Crazyone26989

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:55 PM

Teachers in the public system don’t get overtime so it is unpaid.

#24 CallMeFeral

Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:00 PM

It's most likely an excuse, though it's also possible that it's not.

It's not really about whether it's 'one night' because lots of things are 'one night' but add up. It's about whether it's a higher priority to them than being with their family. It's not. Whether that is because their partner is struggling and hangs for them to come home each night, or because their kids have behavioural issues and are genuinely impossible to wrangle alone, or simply because they value family time a lot or hate presentation nights with a vengeance (I know I do) you can't tell, all you know is it's lower on the priority scale.

If there is a reason it should be higher (e.g. will the students be disappointed they aren't there, are they needed for help and others have to take on their load) then that's probably the thing to discuss with them - but on it's own it could just be taken as they are prioritising their family over non-essential impingements from work.

#25 TrixieBelden

Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:09 PM

I know some couples where one parent is at home where the ‘rules’ about what the other parent can do outside of work are really strict, just because the parent at home with multiple kids is counting down until the other parent comes home. It’s just for a few years but it’s how they’ve chosen to make a deal in a context where the working parent has a full on job and could find themselves at an additional work activity every second of every day if they chose to.




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