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childcare problems(14 Posts)
I am so stressed and feel so inadequate, as to what to do with childcare. I am a freelancer, which means I don't have regular income or regular working hours, and my husband earns just enough to pay rent and household bills, but not low enough to qualify for any help. Because I don't work enough hours, we can't qualify for working tax credits. But because we don't earn enough we can't afford to pay for proper childcare. Because I can't afford to pay for a proper childcare I can't take all the work I am offered. It seems like a vicious circle. Because I can't afford proper childcare when I do go to work, I resort to asking friends and other mums and nannies to babysit and pay (some of them) half the rate, which means that I cannot make demands (like being on time, or not to cancel at the last minute, etc). It works for some time, if we are lucky, but most of the times it is a disaster. Today was the pinnacle of the crisis, and I had a breakdown. I had a very important qualifying exam today, very important, very expensive, and a result of a one-year preparation course. So I asked the lady who looked after DS a couple of times before to look after the DS for a day today, for a certain rate. She agreed, but only till certain time. Then a mum/friend I know kindly agreed to have DS after that certain time. So this morning, after greeting her kindly in spite of her being late I give instructions and leave for the exam, and at my break time, when I am finally reunited with my phone, almost two hours after the time DS was supposed to be dropped off at my friend's, receive a text from the friend, reasonably asking where is my babysitter with DS. Then a second one, saying that after waiting in vain for them for almost two hours she is going out, and won't be home soon. I call my babysitter to find out what happened, and she says that she has decided to put DS to sleep, and is now waiting for him to wake up, but she has to leave in 15 minutes, as she has other plans.?!! Why?! The whole arrangement with the friend was because you (babysitter) said you had to go at that particular time! Why didn't you leave when you were supposed to leave? But why hijack all my carefully constructed arrangements? Why is it so difficult to just follow simple instructions? If we arrange on a plan to fit your plans why change it, especially if you cannot see the change through? Why stay for two hours longer, then say you need to leave in 15 minutes when I am in the middle of something important and in another end of the town?http://cdnmn.com/emo/te/6.gif
What do I do? I frantically call all my friends around, asking if anyone can step in, then have a meltdown when no one is available, call DH, (to whom, incidentally I was not talking for some time due to his lack of support re childcare plus exams). He leaves his job immediately even though he has previously arranged visit/meeting from his boss planned for the afternoon. It still takes him almost an hour to get home, by which time the bs is quite desperate.
Lessons learnt: 2. 1)never use her services again; 2)never use any babysitters' services again; 3)in fact, never leave the house again.
Nervous breakdowns: 4. Mine, hers, the friend's, and DH's.
Ruined relationships: 2. 1)With her; 2)with the other friend.
Damages caused: plenty. 1)loss of trust to humankind; 2)bungled exams (possibly failed, but not all her fault); 3)missed meeting - damaged reputation (DH's); 4)financial - full day pay (wouldn't have minded if I didn't have to spend half of the day trying to help her get on with her other plans; 5)loss of ability to experience expected feeling of joy and relief after finally finishing the exams and the course; 6) loss of joy at celebration/farewell to course-mates party.
Ruined prospects: 1. I don't want to work or study again if it is this hard to find a suitable arrangement for our beautiful son.
Oh God, I feel so guilty!
I know, as my husband says, it is all my fault! I am owning up!
It's not your fault. The childcare is equally your husband's responsibility and he needs to help you find a solution, not just wash his hands of it.
If your DH had just taken the day off when you got the date of the exam this would all have been avoided. His boss can reschedule. He isn't God. Presumably the whole family will benefit from your enhanced prospects so he has no call to be shirty with you. If you have further commitments in the diary, and your husband won't step up, I would book in with a professional babysitter at commercial rates and tell him it is coming from family money. If you have to cut back so be it, you can't manage like this.
Your DH should've taken the day off.
Have you tried to contact local childminders? Some may be willing to do ad hoc Childcare. I know I would.
Child care is not just your responsibility. On an important exam day you get priority and your dh takes day off. All of above could have been avoided. I am not sure you can expect friends/ baby sitter to be 100% reliable but you should be able to expect your dh to be!
I do ad hoc childcare and love it that way. Find a good child minder and explain your freelance situation. Big hugs x
you poor thing. your dh sounds useless - sorry! this is not all your responsibility....
you can not rely on a number of babysitters and friends, who sound a bit flaky and a bit put upon to be blunt.
get a list of local childminders from your fis and phone them all - asking if any offer ad hoc care. depends when you live but many are not full and will welcome the extra income. even if you have to pay a retainer, of maybe 1 day a week, I think it would be worth it for peace of mind.
Are you sure you are not entitled to any help with childcare costs? I know it sounds like stating the obvious but life would be a hell of a lot easier if you could work 16 or over hours a week (is it combined if there are two parents?) and then get WFTC and have reliable childcare.
Its crazy to be reliant on so many different carers and not great for your ds I am sorry to say.
Please phone a few childminders and ask if they'd be willing to do ad hoc Childcare.
I'd be more than happy to help, as I don't fill all my spaces as I prefer it that was.
Honestly, we don't bite!
You don't need all this stress and I'm sure it could be resolved by phoning a few childminders.
Where are you based?
The friends don't sound flaky, they sound fed up. Asking friends for regular childcare is never a good option. Neighbours used to do this to me until I had to start refusing, pretty much because of scenarios like the above ( plus sick kids etc). You need to get a childminder, for at least a couple of days a week and plan to do all your work on those days.
Thank you all for your kind messages and good advice! I feel much better after reading them all. Although I did call all childminders I knew in our area a while ago, and they were either full up, or had only specific times, and unfortunately I cannot choose the days I want to work. But yes, I will ring them up again and see if anything changed. Thank you!
Where are you based?
I know a few nannies that prefer to work on an ad-hoc basis as well. Just keep looking/advertising (childcare.co.uk is really good).
However, your DH needs to step up to the plate with this - he is also your DS's parent, this is not 'all your fault'.
I hope you have done well enough in your exam to pass it!! Good luck with the rest of your studies & your freelancing. Keep it up, don't let DH convince you it isn't worth it or that he doesn't have to share the responsiblity for DS.
Another childminder here that does Ad Hoc too,
Im another who doesnt need/want to fill all my spaces, that means I can offer this service.
I'm a cm and I do ad hoc.
is there anywhere that works shifts near you (think hospitals, emergency services etc)
Look to see who provides thier childcare ie used to working felxibly.
you might be able to use that childcare too
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