Received Tuesday, April 13, 2010
OK, I need everyone's advice on something. I am a nanny for 2 wonderful families. We do a share and it is full-time (meaning I watch them at the same time, daily). I have been with family #1 since October 2008 and family #2 only since this past December. I love my job, the kids are wonderful and my bosses are all great. I work Mon-Fri from 9-6, get 2 weeks paid vacation (one week my choice, one week theirs), unlimited sick days and 2 personal days per year. Since September, I have taken two sick days when I was in the hospital, a few personal days when my dad was in the i.c.u and have used some vacation time. All in all, I rarely call in sick, I have never been late, I stay late often without a complaint and I am a great employee( imo:) ).
Here is what is going on: I have something called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which is a disease that affects my weight, hormones, fertility, etc. Since I have had it, I have gained a great deal of weight. When you have PCOS, you are really, really resistant to losing weight. My doctors have put me on all sorts of medicine, diet plans, etc. I exercise, follow a healthy diet and take my medicine. Basically - the PCOS will only get better if you lose weight and because PCOS makes you so resistant to weight loss its kind of like a catch 22. I have been seeing an endocrinologist who recommended that if I ever want to be able to have children/get to a healthy weight, then Lap Band Surgery, which is a type of weight loss surgery, is my only option at this point. I have been seeing a surgeon and he just scheduled me for surgery in the beginning of June. My surgeon said its about a two week recovery period. If I ever want to have children, this is something that has to be done to try to reverse the PCOS. I am already (almost) 31, so I don't have a TON of time left to have children and as my surgeon said "the sooner the better". I truly wouldn't get this surgery if it wasn't my last option. I cannot tell you how incredibly frustrating it is to be going through this and how helpless I feel. Although I am actually pretty healthy at the moment, I am at a really high risk for diabetes, heart disease , etc. if I do not get my weight under control. I just want to be healthy and be able to have children. Obviously, I am a nanny and I love children and I would be devastated if I was never able to have them b/c of this stupid disease.
I am really nervous to request time off for the surgery b/c I hate the idea of having to inconvenience both of my bosses. Neither family really has any family members in the area to help out with back up child care so I am pretty sure that they will have to find a temp nanny. As far as finding alternate child care for the 8 days, I would be more than willing to help them look on craigslist, sittercity, etc., post ads, ask around, and do anything to help them from having to do the bulk of the work. I truly feel bad that I have to request this time and I wouldn't ask if it wasn't necessary. My boyfriend tells me that I shouldn't feel bad, I am entitled to the time off and its surgery; not a vacation!!! I really cannot have the same attitude and I cannot help but feel guilty and like they are going to be mad at me for taking so much time. I guess here is my question: All of you nannies or bosses, have you ever had to take time off for surgery or had a nanny take time for surgery or a medical issue? How did you feel about it? How did you work things out? Also, another issue is that, technically - I am only entitled to one week paid vacation of my choosing so how do I go about asking about the extra 3 days. I cannot really afford to not be paid but I also don't want to be pushy about it. I mean, technically, they could also be chalked up to sick days. Any comments, suggestions, or feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!