To think we wont be able to recruit a replacement before christmas?

(15 Posts)
Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 21:12:26

Our current au pair is leaving at the end of the month, and our new one was die due to start. Contracts were sent, a start date agreed, and I was told flights booked. All sorted, so I thought.

I get a message last night saying she won't be coming. I'm gutted, and clueless as to what to do now. sad

Both dh and I work long and often unsocial hours in the public sector, for relatively low pay. We have relied on having an au pair to cover for the hours that childcare isn't usually available for.

I am stopping work for maternity leave around mid February. I think given the short notice, we would struggle to find anyone decent this side of Christmas. Then I would only have weeks left before finishing work.

I'm thinking we are going to have to manage somehow, but I'm at a loss as to how. Family are nearby, but are only willing/able to do so much.

Dd1 is 6 and dd2 is 1.

MyGiddyUncle Mon 14-Nov-16 21:16:07

How much annual leave do you and dh have? Can you use it all (at different times?). Request some family help as much as possible.

Could you ask for shift changes to 'normal' working hours - blame tiredness/pregnancy/night shifts affecting you and struggling to cope (lay it on thick). Then use 'standard' childcare and look for a nursery or cm until February.

Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 21:22:32

I have some annual leave, which I will definitely be using. We won't be able to cover it all with annual leave though.

Even with 'standard' hours, I am expected to do a lot of (unpaid) overtime. Given the nature of my job this isn't optional. I don't know how sympathetic they would be to me not doing on calls due to pregnancy, though I am already struggling with certain aspects.

Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 21:25:57

We already have a childminder, but rely on the au pair for wrap around care.

I'm going to check with the school RE breakfast and after-school club asap, but I worry we wouldn't make the collection time.

DrQuinzel Mon 14-Nov-16 21:27:30

Could you take maternity leave any earlier?

Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 21:32:44

I could, but it would mean taking leave from very early pregnancy, and then having little time with baby.

I don't particularly want to have 5 months at home without a baby, then have to put a very young baby in childcare.

Mid February is already pretty early.

MyGiddyUncle Mon 14-Nov-16 21:52:20

Go off sick? Do you get paid sick leave? Or does dh?

Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 22:00:16

I have paid sick leave, but given the nature of my job (doctor) I could not do that in good conscience.

We also have a dog who needs walking.

It's all a nightmare.

BunloafAndCrumpets Mon 14-Nov-16 22:05:55

Being a junior doctor is relentless and rubbish at times. Thank you for doing it! I used to be one and am married to one.

Can you afford a nanny for two months? If you use an agency you'll find short term cover ok. If you can split care between them and your family it might be affordable in the short term? Maybe be willing to be flexible about who you employ - e.g. I have friends whose nanny brings her own baby to work, part time hours suit her.

Rattusn Mon 14-Nov-16 22:56:45

Thank you bunloaf I'm not particularly enjoying it atm for various reasons, now this.

I have a friend who could possibly be a nwoc for some of the hours, but the anti social and ad hoc element of these hours means that an au pair was ideal. A nwoc would need to get home to put their own child to bed, and we only need wrap around care. I don't know if a nanny would be interested in that, as they would understandably want more full time hours to earn more I believe.

Moreisnnogedag Mon 14-Nov-16 23:06:47

Speak to your work about oncalls. I don't know what grade you are but my work was amazing (Ortho reg) at covering. Also look for childminders that do shift work cover - our first CM was a god send for that reason.

Also, stop staying late. I know I know but honestly hand over. What specialty are you?

Glamorousglitter Tue 15-Nov-16 07:07:36

We found childcare from putting notices up in local church groups / health centres and supermarket..... sounds incredibly colloquial. But for wrap around childcare it actually worked (we found a child minder with part time hours who wanted to supplement her income ) is there any euqivilant platform you could use ?

Rattusn Tue 15-Nov-16 21:58:48

more I'm o&g. The rota seems to be designed that we are expected to do at least 5 hours (often more) extra a week. If we got diary carded they would be in for a big fine. There's not much that I can do though.

glamorous that does indeed sound very retro. I guess the modern equivalent would be facebook groups, I'll investigate.

Drmum123 Tue 15-Nov-16 22:53:11

Hey, I am junior doctor (paeds) and am now part time, but did have two pre schoolers whilst full time and no wrap around care. Really depends on how you are feeling pregnancy wise. I had a great pregnancy with my third (and now fourth) and so was able to juggle childcare. I used to do things like swap onto weekend nights ( only works if husband off on weekend). That way you can childcare Friday (pre nights) grab some sleep sat and sun whilst partner looks after them. Then you only need someone for the Monday morning cross over. Then you get in take over and try to stay awake all day. Get six yr old into after school club and breakfast club if poss....gives you a bit more flexibility. I also have a flexible nursery for my youngest pre schooler, and a young mum I pay on an ad hoc basis to plug after school gaps. I used to swap alot of days for nights because you can do afternoon pick ups on nights but you can't do anything when on a long day.

Have you considered going part time?......my work life balance is so much better! I'm still progressing at ft rate as is competency based rather than time based.

Even so the juggling is bloody hard, I am one of the only one of my colleagues who doesn't have a nanny or at pair! Full time o and g rotas are brutal, but you might just be able to get by! Conversely if you feel crap go to Oh and get signed off shifts. But they may be difficult.... I tried to come off just nights (not even long Days) at 34 -35 weeks in one of my pregnancies and it was a nightmare. But if they make you supernumerary childcare will be alot easier ( can fit around nursery and after school club hours)

Obviously try to leave on time if you can, but is easier said than done. Obviously if you are knee deep in life or death situation ( for example, I would never leave if a 24 weeker was being delivered at handover) you can't. But you can line yourself up to leave on time by making sure you finish what you start and hand over anything non urgent. Some people always seem to stay an hour or two over no matter what, and some people almost always leave on time.... So it can be done!

How long can you even be on call for adults anyway? I thought you couldn't do chest compressions in the third trimester? I was always in neonates for last bit of my pregnancies so was never an issue ( two finger chest compressions), so surely you can't be on call then.... Or do they just assume your sho and nurses will do compressions?

Sorry don't think that was massively helpful! Good luck. It is really tough and I hope you find a solution! Some days I felt pulled in a million directions! Am on mat leave now...... Is so lovely!

Karoleann Tue 15-Nov-16 22:57:50

A few suggestions.
1. Beg your current au pair to stay until Christmas (maybe with a bit extra pocket money)
2. Advertise on your local gumtree or au pair Facebook page for someone, they'll be currently in the area already and will have (hopefully) police checks etc.
3. Ask your current au pair to see if any of her friends are leaving soon and may want to stay until Christmas.
Good luck.

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