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What sort of help do I need?

(17 Posts)
creativevoid Sat 07-Jun-14 07:42:42

Apologies in advance - this May be long. It feels complicated but that may be because I haven't got my head around it all.

STBExH left the house (in a police car) in January and since then there has been an acrimonious struggle over the children which was decided yesterday. I am the sole breadwinner and support everyone including H (until we get divorced). I have a well paid but demanding job. They are flexible given the circumstances but the work still needs to get done. We have 2 DSs, aged 4and 6. We are in Scotland so my younger DS has another year of nursery and my older DS is in school but they have half days on Friday.

I have the boys all day Monday, do drop off on Tuesday, pick up on Wednesday, drop off on Thursday, and all day every other Friday (the Friday bit is new). Up until now I've handled it through nursery, kids club, working from home on Mondays and flexing my hours (working late on Tuesday to make up for coming in late). It is stressful and tiring.

I have really enjoyed doing drop off and pick up, being more involved in their lives. But I spend a lot of time driving around and the doing chores and housework late at night or when I'm with the boys. I also have no backup at all - no family or friends in case anything goes wrong. What I really want is someone to do housework, chores, but also be available as back up to help me in emergencies, babysit, maybe do pickup so that I can spend quality time with the boys. Do such people exist? How would I find one?

Victoria2002 Sat 07-Jun-14 08:56:25

Do you have a spare room? How much can you afford to spend? What about during school holidays? You may need an au pair or a nanny (depending how much you can afford)

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 07-Jun-14 10:31:56

It sounds like what you need is a mother's help or a housekeeper.A job that's mostly housework isn't a nanny job and it sounds too much for an au pair. You could combine a cleaner and an au pair maybe, cleaner does the majority of housework and the au pair does some chores/laundry, bit of childcare.

creativevoid Sat 07-Jun-14 11:13:31

I do have a spare room and have thought maybe an au pair would work, but am not sure about whether I want to share my living space, especially when the boys are only here half the time.

I think I can afford what I need. At the moment I am spending £665 per month on nursery, £80 per month on kids club, and £200 per month on a cleaner, but still running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and I'm thinking there must be a more efficient way to spend the money. I could afford more, it's more that I don't really know what to ask for.

I know I can't really ask an au pair to scrub the floors. I would rather spend my (limited) free time with the boys than tidying up and making beds. But I also need someone I can leave the boys with in emergencies, the random school day off, etc. I also would like help so the boys could go to summer camps based on their interests during the holidays rather than be booked into kids club all day, every day.

I need some family hmm but sadly this is not an option.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 07-Jun-14 11:45:35

Go with a housekeeper. It's more expensive, but will be so worth it. An au pair usually needs a fair bit of training up and then they only stay for a year and you need to start all over again. It sounds like your boys could do with one consistent person rather than a stream of people. You're almost certain to get at least one bad au pair and when they're living with you it can be more stressful than doing all the running around yourself.

nannynick Sat 07-Jun-14 12:44:44

You currently have a cleaner, have you spoken to them about it? Maybe they would fancy doing it. On the plus side you already know them.

creativevoid Sat 07-Jun-14 17:13:48

That's kind of my thinking, outraged. But I need a housekeeper that can take on some childcare duties as well. Do such people exist? When I was an expat this was a fairly normal job description but I have no idea how to find someone like this. My cleaner is lovely but her English is limited and I employ her through a company so she's not someone I'd hand over the running of my household or care of my kids to. Does anyone have any ideas or experience on how to find the right kind of person?

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 07-Jun-14 17:24:40

I think a lot of housekeepers have some childcare duties. Supervising the children is part of 'keeping the house' I guess! Nanny/housekeeper is a standard role, but that tends to be more childcare with some housekeeping or at least 50/50. It sounds like what you need is predominantly a housekeeper and just the occasional hand with the children? I'd maybe advertise for a housekeeper with some childcare duties or even just a housekeeper and then in the job details mention the childcare. Gumtree is a good place to advertise, advertise in local paper/noticeboards/job centre maybe. You could also do a search for agencies that provide housekeepers. I think greycoat lumleys might do, but I think they're only in London.

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 07-Jun-14 17:30:59

I just checked greycoat lumleys and they have an office in Edinburgh catering fir their Scottish customers so that could be a lead :-)

They provide housekeepers who will do childcare. They also provide Butlers should you need one!

I'm not sure what they charge, but I expect it will be pricey...

Artandco Sat 07-Jun-14 17:38:03

I would get an au pair and change cleaner to someone who actually does everything needed

So au pair - say £100 a week = £400 a month. They will have very little hours some weeks ie 10hrs, and more other week ie 30 hrs during school holidays. Many will be very happy with this. You can ask them to cook for kids and do kids laundry, as well as general toy tiding etc

Cleaner - 2 days a week, say tues and fri am.3hrs a time.£10 hr, £60 a week. £240 a month

£640 total

Artandco Sat 07-Jun-14 17:39:33

Oh and get cleaner to do one day actual cleaning bathroom/ floors deep clean etc. the other day quick wipe over and then beds changed/ washed and laundry mainly

PixieofCatan Sat 07-Jun-14 18:14:42

I'm suggest the same as Outraged and just mention in the advert that there are some childcare duties required.

PixieofCatan Sat 07-Jun-14 18:16:59

I'll also add that I don't think many APs would be able to manage a house, even older ones. It's something I know that I needed a lot of guidance on and have only properly started managing since getting a place of my own and having worked with minor housekeeping duties for a few years. Not many APs would be experienced with house management.

creativevoid Sat 07-Jun-14 21:16:55

Thanks outraged - I will try greycoat lumleys. I'm not sure my budget will stretch to a butler!

Artandco Sat 07-Jun-14 21:25:34

Bare in mind greycoat chart probably the highest fees of any agency. I think 20% of employees ie nannies annual salary. So for every nanny they place earning £30k a year, they will get £6k fee. Fairly steep

NannyLouise29 Sat 07-Jun-14 22:21:26

Whereabouts in Scotland are you OP?

creativevoid Sun 08-Jun-14 07:34:39

I'm in Edinburgh

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