To expect DD to get ready for school with the au pair?

(36 Posts)
VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:22:35

Apologies to all - this is another au pair thread. However, disagreement (such as there is) not with au pair.

I have quite a demanding job, and on those days I can't work from home I have to leave early and/or get home late. Sometimes I have to be away overnight. Therefore have an au pair - DH has the same job. We are both self-employed.

I am 20 weeks pregnant and have a bad cold that is making me feel crappy.

Am I being unreasonable to expect my DD (nearly 5) to get ready for school with the au pair on days when I do not have to leave early just as she would when I am not there? This means I can have a lie in and tbh I need it.

When I am working from home I do need to be able to engage brain and if I don't get enough sleep this is harder.

Au pair is fine with this - it's her job and I suspect she prefers it when I am not there when she is working.

However, DD will put up a fight and would like me to be around when she is getting ready for school. Obviously she prefers to be with me that with the au pair, I am her Mum. Au pair is a bit quiet but otherwise lovely - she is very gentle with DD which I like but perhaps not massive exciting - however, don't need exciting before school. But surely DD can't have everything she wants in life...

I understand that it is hard for her to have to get up and get ready when I don't have to, but have explained that I am making a baby (plus have been to school already).

I don't mind her coming in to see me in the mornings - I'm not that unreasonable - I don't expect not to be woken up at all, just not to have to get up when I am paying someone else to do it.

I do make sure that I make time for DD - take her to the park after school etc if I can get my work done in time - and I make sure I do (not always on MN!). And we always have the weekends.

Question is - would I be needlessly self-sacrificing and spoiling DD to allow her to insist on being with me, or am I hugely selfish to want a lie-in at 20 weeks pregnant, working and with a cold?

redskyatnight Thu 03-Oct-13 12:28:24

I understand that you feel extra crappy at the moment because of your cold. So why not explain that to DD?

TBH (when you're not full of cold) I don't see what the problem is? You're happy for DD to come in and see you, and don't mind being woken up. So why can't DD just come and get dressed in your room, and chat to you while you lie in bed? Presumably at 5, she's actually getting herself dressed, she just might need a little extra help with a few things (e.g. hair brushing) - so she could get herself mostly dressed and you just send her out to the au pair for the odd things she can't manage?

harticus Thu 03-Oct-13 12:36:23

She is 4 years old. Cut her some slack.
You are a very busy woman - she doesn't understand that, she just wants to be with you because, y'know, she's 4 and you are her mum.
I hate the concept of "spoiling". What does it even mean? How is it spoiling a 4 year old child to spend a few minutes of your precious time helping them get ready for school?

HavantGuard Thu 03-Oct-13 12:42:38

If she knows you're in the house she'll want you.

Jenny70 Thu 03-Oct-13 12:42:59

I don't think its being unreasonable, can DD be encouraged into making the morning with au pair better/more fun? Can they leave 10mins earlier and walk to cafe for a hot choc before school?

I can see why DD wants you to do it all, but understand your side that you've put something in place to not be doing it all...

PoshPenny Thu 03-Oct-13 12:43:58

I suspect your daughter is just being a bit needy. new baby cooking away in mummy's tummy, and feeling that mummy might be pushing her away a bit. I'm not saying you ARE, but maybe that's how it feels to her. I would suggest you let her hang out with you and make out it's no big deal. Hopefully she'll be less needy and it will all be fine. stress that mummy's is feeling a bit poorly and see how it goes. some children are just more needy that others...

CaptainSweatPants Thu 03-Oct-13 12:44:00

I'd get up with her
She probably feels insecure with a baby on the way
& you need to get used to little sleep with a newborn
They're only little for a short time, in 10 years time she'll be sleeping in til noon & you'll be lucky to get a grunt before school

CoffeeTea103 Thu 03-Oct-13 12:44:03

You seem rather all about 'me'. You are 'ok' for her to come and see you in the morning but can't take a few minutes to get her ready? Why don't you have your lie in after she leaves to school. She is a small child and can't understand why her mum can't spend time with her. You sound very precious.

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:44:27

Redskyatnight - that is basically what I am doing. Have explained to her.

harticus - I don't really use the word spoiling in general but a lot of people on MN do so just putting the two polar opposite points of view.
There is a pov that one should just take a decision and stick to it and not let child tell you what to do.

If possible, I'd quite like reasoned answers that appreciate I am just asking the question, rather than a lecture on choice of words.

It may not be dilemma of the century, but very little on MN is.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Thu 03-Oct-13 12:44:55

What harticus said - spoiling really??

Kewcumber Thu 03-Oct-13 12:45:33

I assume she has barely started school so big changes already and a new sibling on its way too.

I'm afraid although understandable I wouldn't expect a 4 year old to be able to put you first and themselves second.

Stay in bed, get au pair to sort everything out and bring her stuff into your room to get ready or have breakfast in your bed with her.

She is only 4, however busy you are

CloverkissSparklecheeks Thu 03-Oct-13 12:46:42

YANBU when you are ill, if I had the option to have a lie in when I am ill then I would.

YABU on other occasions though, its life with DCs unfornatunately!

Kewcumber Thu 03-Oct-13 12:46:50

cross post sorry - if she is already getting ready in your room to be around you then I'm not sure that I see what the problem is - I think I have misundestood.

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Thu 03-Oct-13 12:46:54

X post.
She is 4, you are her mum, she will want to be with you if you are there.

Yes it is hard to be poorly, pregnant and tired, bloody hard.

But I think you are expecting a bit much from a four year old.

Fairylea Thu 03-Oct-13 12:46:58

Well it's up to you really isn't it to be honest... I am a sahm and when I was pregnant I still had to get up at 6am everyday to do school run even though I have lots of long term medical conditions and an underactive thyroid which makes me knackered. But I had to, as who else was going to do it? And I enjoy spending time with dd before she goes to school.

But if you have someone else to do it, why not? It's your choice smile

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:47:48

Thanks to to havantguard through to captainsweatpants for your answers - that is all as i suspected - useful to have different points of view.

coffeetea - the post is - Am I being unreasonable - that's why I'm asking about whether what i am doing is unreasonable.

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:48:59

And others that posted afterwards - thanks to you too.

Sorry didn't finish typing, and i meant 5 lol. However busy you are, she still needs you and she won't understand that you are busy and you need sleep.
Maybe you could be up with her most of the week but not every day. Maybe a compromise would help you both.

emuloc Thu 03-Oct-13 12:49:22

What CoffeeTea said. They are not small forever you know.

StickyProblem Thu 03-Oct-13 12:51:22

No advice particularly Vera but I sympathise. I am a FT WOHM and DP is a SAHD which means if I am desperate for extra sleep I need to have an early night before - the mornings are just not my own.

If I'm not off out the house at 6:15 I'm waking DD and getting her ready, and if DP is having a day off the school run (because he's exhausted because he's been on his own for 5 days while I've been travelling) I'm doing that as well.

Sometimes I would love to just stay in bed while things go on around me, seeing as they manage to go on fine when I'm not there.
I completely get what you are saying.

Good luck with everything and hope the cold lifts soon flowers

StickyProblem Thu 03-Oct-13 12:51:51

in summary : YANBU

Nanny0gg Thu 03-Oct-13 12:53:49

If you want a simple answer - YABU.

Will that do?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 12:58:20

I think you could put your foot down and tell her that she has to get ready with the AP and can come and kiss you good bye when she leaves. I am all for children doing as they're told - which isn't often always 'as they wish'.

But I wouldn't because I think she would be hurt to know that you are there, you aren't working and (as she sees it) you still don't want to be with her. That's a pretty hurtful thought for her isn't it?

'You are making a baby' - this is probably something you should stop saying because she will come to resent this little imposter before it even arrives!

I know you feel like crap, you are 20 weeks pregnant, are working and all you want to do is stay in bed when you have the opportunity as you are paying someone to do those jobs... but you can't pay someone to be her Mum and what she wants, before school, is to have her Mum when she is in the house - from a 4 yo, that's not really a very big ask is it?!

I'd exchange those mornings off with the AP if you can (babysitting, few jobs around the house etc) and really be there for and with your DD. In a very short amount of time she is going to have to share you pretty much all the time with a baby... make the most of just having her while you can.

I'm sorry - I know it's not what you were hoping to hear sad

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:58:31

I think the answer is that i am just feeling crap and all will be fine when feeling better. Do want to be with her but also want to feel better. Have got a lot of stresses not included in this post.

Sorry to have troubled you all really.

Thanks, Stickyproblem - that's much appreciated.

NannyOgg- didn't really want a simply answer with no reason behind but think I will leave it now.

Will go now as wasting my time on MN.

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 12:59:40

Thanks also chippingin that is good advice too.

HavantGuard Thu 03-Oct-13 13:10:30

It's always good to waste time on MN.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. If you are feeling really rough you could always close your bedroom door and be 'at work' for the next couple of mornings.

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 03-Oct-13 13:19:32

Whilst I wasn't pregnant I found that the first couple of years of school DD needed me to be with me whenever I was in the house. So I got the AP to do other jobs for me to free that time up.
Even though I had an AP and a husband at the time the first two years of school were the most physically draining DD need me so much.
Now she is 9, I am a single parent self employed working more hours than I was then with no AP she does not need me as much as she did then. Maybe my investment in giving myself to her is paying dividends?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 13:21:19

It's actually quite easy to 'hear' the stress behind your post (I think you'd have been better posting in relationships or chat).

I totally understand what you are saying, how you are feeling and don't think that what you 'wish' would happen is unreasonable from your POV.

It's just easy to see, from the outside, that your DD misses you, she wants you and will soon have to share you - also, they seem so much smaller, younger & vulnerable when they are someone else's - you see them for the tiny person they are, which you don't always when they are yours.

It is also easy to be more sympathetic to the child in the equation when it isn't you who is stressed, pregnant, worried, knackered & frustrated!

I hope the other stresses can be sorted out, the rest of your pregnancy goes well and you are feeling better soon flowers

Josie1974 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:24:12

I think I'd put this one down to, sometimes life as a parent is really blinking hard, but you just have to get on with it.
My ds2 is 4 and has just started school and this is a huge life change for him, I think he needs as much of me as possible before and after school. For your dd things will also change again radically when her sibling is born. I agree with PPs, make the most of time together while you're still "just" pg.

OTOH, if you genuinely feel you aren't coping and need this break, then YANBU, as your dd doesn't benefit if you fall apart.

Brokensoul Thu 03-Oct-13 13:47:14

Hi Vera. You are not U. You can speak to au pair about it and talk to you lovely Dd .
There is no point of having extra help if you don't get time to rest yourself.
Every pregnancy is different and maybe this time you need more rest.
Hope you find solution.
And no , you are not selfish at all.

PresidentServalan Thu 03-Oct-13 13:55:33

YANBU - you obviously work hard and she has to understand that she has to do some things with the au pair.

JackyJax Thu 03-Oct-13 13:56:41

Hello there. Oh poor you, that's quite a load managing pregnancy, a new school child and working too. I can understand those who say you've just got to get on with it, suck it up and rise and shine. I have 3 children one of whom is a baby waking in the night. For the last year I've never had a night's sleep; mostly I get 4 hours. However I am not pregnant and I am not stressed- both of these make an enormous difference in your ability to cope.

You are tired and it's important for you to manage that tiredness.

How about a compromise eg you say to your daughter Mondays and Fridays are mummy and daughter breakfasts. Lay the table nicely (night before if mornings are a rush), chop up some nice fruit, put on a Cd, etc. Think this way your daughter gets what she wants (mummy!) and you get what you need (some more rest!). I think children her age can understand when you offer them very clear cut boundaries.

And for what it's worth, you sound like a lovely person who's trying to do her best for all concerned. Compromise may just be the solution.

Best of luck.

Quangle Thu 03-Oct-13 14:05:08

I think YABU a bit. You sound stressed but that's your problem not hers (in the nicest possible way). I am a single parent with 2 DCs and work FT so I know what it is to be stretched to the limit but I find the DCs need me - especially in the morning, funnily enough. Somehow the DCs need me more in the mornings as they are dealing with getting up (which no one wants to do grin, facing school, sorting school bags etc). It's all a bit joyless and they need extra special attention and love then, I find.

I think lie-ins just don't happen any more - especially not when your DD needs you, has just started school (presumably?) and is aware of impending change in the form of the new baby.

VeraLockski Thu 03-Oct-13 14:15:01

Thanks everybody - too many to name!

Lots of good advice in there.

Deadhamsterssmell Thu 03-Oct-13 14:21:29


I really don't see the problem with expecting a 4 year old to get ready for school with the au pair every morning. Once she realises that week mornings are au pair mornings and weekends are family days she will be fine.

You will have to hold your ground though and be firm else it won't work.

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