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Dropped DS off with the CM whilst I'm home ...

(88 Posts)
WhereToStartYetAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 11:53:15

... working, I might add! (Other than the occasional glance at MN)

CM lives a few doors down from me and has 2 charges, my DS and another child. The other child was off today as her sibling's school was closed and their mum had to stay home with them for the day.

DH and I are at home, working. I cleared our path and our elderly neighbours', dropped DS off at CM's this morning as usual, and DH and I decided to brave the snow to do some hoarding shopping for us and our elderly neighbours. Got back and I decided to clear the pavement in front of ours and our neighbours' houses (as elderly neighbours mentioned popping out later, I figured even a safe 3m stretch of pavement was better than nothing) and bumped into CM taking DS over to a fellow CM's for a playdate. Her child (13) is off school today and she seemed a little miffed at me. I asked her if she'd like me to clear the ice on the pavement in front of her house and she threw a backward glance at me saying "If you'd like." I suddenly felt guilty and made several assurances that I would try and pick DS up early.

However, now I'm thinking about it, I don't know how I'm in the wrong. Sure, she would love to have a snow day like a lot of other people, but DH and I still have to work, which is next to impossible to do if DS was home. And I don't see clearing the pavement of treacherous ice in front of our house as skiving. 'Twas a very odd encounter. Don't get me wrong - I love our CM to bits, and she's great CM and neighbour to us. Just wondering whether IWBU to drop DS off when it seemed obvious that CM would have loved a snow day in with her family?

rodformyownback Wed 01-Dec-10 12:11:27

I'm in two minds about this. In principle, YANBU. You have paid her to look after your DS, and as she's only a few doors down there is no reason he couldn't go to her today.
But tbh your claim that you and your DH "have to" work today doesn't really ring true to me, when in fact you have spent the morning snow clearing, shopping and mning! Surely if you can find time for all that stuff, one of you could have taken DS to his playdate?
Good childminders are like gold dust, especially ones with not too many charges. And with only 2 LOs to look after I'm sure she earns a lot less than you do. Thinking about it I think you could have been a bit more generous towards her. I'm not sure what you can do to make it up, but it sounds like she needs a bit of love!

pissedrightoff Wed 01-Dec-10 12:12:16

Clear something up for me, You would still have to pay your CM for today if you did not out DS to her?

If yes, actually even if no, YANBU.

She provides a service, you use the service and pay for it. End of. Don't you be feeling guilty about it.

I would broach the subject with her at pick up time, just to clear the air. But don't apologise as you've done nothing wrong.

sleepingsowell Wed 01-Dec-10 12:17:34

YANBU as this is a normal day for you and no reason your DS shouldn't go to the childminders as normal.
However, to the CM it will probably look as if you've dumped DS, gone shopping, done a bit of snow clearing and are spending the day at home with feet up and coffee - she probably thinks you could have been home with your son and chose not to be.
Basically it shouldn't matter because she CMs for you whether you work or not......but perhaps she is slightly judging you on what she perceives she's seen?

rodformyownback Wed 01-Dec-10 12:19:32

PRO, I don't think it's that simple. You're boiling the relationship down to just an economic one when it's much more than that.

Sky TV provides a service, end of. Or British Gas. The OP's CM is also a neighbour and presumably the closest person to DS outside of their family. She deserves some consideration, not to be treated as a faceless "service provider".

canyou Wed 01-Dec-10 12:22:13

Yanbu what you do with your time while DC is at the CM is up to you, you are paying her to mind them regardless of where you are or what you are doing.

fffreeezing Wed 01-Dec-10 12:23:53

YANBU, if she has your child for free then yes but not if you pay. If she had informed you that she didn't want to work today and you'd persuaded her to have him because you 'had' to get to work, thats different. Surely you are entitled to do what you like when your DS with CM?

SweetKate Wed 01-Dec-10 12:26:04

DD has gone to nursery even though DS is not at school today. I am a SAHM too - so I don't have a job to go to when she is at nursery. Why is that different to the original posters query? When DS was at nursery, we often used to take him to nursery if we had a days holiday ourselves (shopping, decorating etc). You pay for a service, so use it!!!

pinkdelight Wed 01-Dec-10 12:27:22

YANBU at all! But I would say that as I've always done likewise. Friendly neighbour or not, it's not your CM's business what you do in the time that she looks after your child. Even if you were out at work, you could be shopping, larking about, dozing at your desk. You're an adult and a paying customer and you're allowed to make your own judgements on what you do with your own time. If she thinks you should be minding your child, she can give you your money back.

SeaTrek Wed 01-Dec-10 12:27:56


You have paid your CM to look after your child.

It is completely irrevevant what you are doing during this time.

If this was a family member who kindly agreed to look after your child for free whilst your work then that would be a completely different matter!

canyou Wed 01-Dec-10 12:28:48

Rod she is providing a service, it may not be a nameless, faceless service but still a service for which she is paid, so long as the OP is not breaking the law what business of the childminders is it. My child goes to a child minder and I some times have a day off and go clean my house or at the moment I go Christmas shopping.

Niceguy2 Wed 01-Dec-10 12:28:52

You are working. YANBU

CM may want a snow day with her family. I'd love a snow day with mine too but I work from home so being snowed in is not a valid excuse.

It's just tough cheese really. As an adult we don't always get what we want.

diddl Wed 01-Dec-10 12:29:42

Of course you´re not in the wrong, OP.

You still had to work.

And if it was a problem for her then she could have asked you to keep your son at home.

qualitystreetrosescelebrations Wed 01-Dec-10 12:30:09

YANBU - if you wanted to go to get your haircut, important business meeting, shopping, blitz the house, watch loose women, have a siesta.

That is all your choice.

WhereToStartYetAgain Wed 01-Dec-10 12:42:59

Oh, of course she's getting paid for the day! If I'd kept DS at home, then contractually she wouldn't have been, although each time I've had DS home in the past (be it he was sick, or she or her son were sick), I've paid her for the day regardless - even though it may not seem like it this time, I find a little quid pro quo is always the best way to go!

The "playdate" isn't something I arranged. When I bumped into her in front of the house, she said she didn't want to be stuck in all day so was taking DS to a friend of her's who is also a childminder with charges for a playdate. And the shopping was necessary - I'd stupidly forgotten to do my usual grocery shopping online so we had 2 ready meals in the fridge, no milk and mouldy bread by last night.

Despite what sounds like a morning of "leisure" (if that's what you call going grocery shopping for someone who hates it with a passion and always does it online, snow/ice clearing and a total of 2 threads on MN fitted around reading and deciphering a 196-page contract, plus prep tasks consolidating corporation/inheritance/income/capital gains tax and company law), I have actually been and am still working. I'm a student and DH is a "techie", so all our work is done on computers.

But I do see what you mean rodformyownback - no point feeling guilty each time I take a 5/10 minute break, and I don't want CM to feel like I have no consideration for her at all (she really is a lovely person and I would hate to have any sort of resentment build up between us). I'll pick DS up early. Thanks also to everyone else who made me feel a bit less unreasonable smile

Littlepurpleprincess Wed 01-Dec-10 12:46:34

Im a childminder and don't see how you could possibly be in the wrong. You are paying her to look after your child. What you do in that time doesn't matter.

When I'm working I couldn't care less what the parent's are up to. I'm just grateful for the work at the moment tbh! Anyway, childminders don't specifically offer care for working parents, they just offer childcare, full stop.

rodformyownback Wed 01-Dec-10 12:52:47

I know she is providing a service canyou, and I'd be a massive hypocrite if I thought the OP couldn't choose how she spends her time when her DS is at his CM's (I've been on mat leave for 6 weeks and STILL not had the baby, and DS has carried on going to his CM 2 afternoons a week while I sit around on my arse getting fatter!).

I just felt that the OP could have given her CM a break. Her DS is the only child going to the CM today and without him she could have had a full day off.

My last CM (who stopped to have a baby, smile for her but sad for us!) had only 2 children to look after. It meant she was able to give DS so much more care and attention than he would have got elsewhere but she earned a relative pittance (we paid her slightly higher than the going rate but with only 2 her overall hourly rate was low iyswim) As she was self employed she didn't get paid for holiday, and only took a week off in the year she had DS. I was so grateful to her for the love she gave my DS, I tried to coincide our days off with her other charges' parents so that she could have a break. So that's why this thread struck a chord for me.

rodformyownback Wed 01-Dec-10 12:57:10

Sorry I x posted OP! I really don't think you're being terribly unreasonable! Probably just transferring some of my own guilt onto you!! grin

LadyLapsang Wed 01-Dec-10 12:57:37

It depends - I suppose she may feel a bit miffed if she thinks you and your DH are being paid by your employers not to work (because shopping and clearing paths does not sound like your employment although it is work); she may wish that you would extend your good fortune to her (pay her without expecting the work). If you have taken a days leave what you do in your own time is up to you. Must say I have never been in this situation because I have only ever used childcare to cover for employed work, not going shopping etc. although I know plently of people do.

BikeRunSki Wed 01-Dec-10 12:59:56

DS is at nursery 5 mins walk away. I am working at home as snowbound. If I was not working, then I would have to take a day off. No moral dilemma for me. Might pick him up a wee bit eralier though.

pink4ever Wed 01-Dec-10 13:00:40

I know 2 cms and they bitch about mums like you lol. So your a student but you really have to work today?[hmmm] changed days from when I was a student then!. If you had time to clear paths,go shopping and come on mn then think you could have looked after dc imo.

classydiva Wed 01-Dec-10 13:02:10

I think she thnks you are taking the piss, off home, doing shopping but cant be assed to look after your own son.

Now Im not saying I think that but I reckon she does.

Summerbird73 Wed 01-Dec-10 13:06:39

my friend took the day off work, dropped her DS at CM then came home to drink coffee do housework. Her CM didnt bat an eyelid.

If you would pay your CM if your DS was off sick etc then you would have had to pay her for today no? you are definitely NBU

SuePurblybiltByElves Wed 01-Dec-10 13:08:30

Why is it taking the piss? She pays the childminder, the childminder minds her child. Nobody's business if she chooses to spend that time working or lying in the bath.

Would those who think she is wrong prefer she kept her small child at home and let him watch her clear snow and shop for essentials? While the paid childminder does what exactly?

duchesse Wed 01-Dec-10 13:14:22

None of her bizboz what you do while your DC is with her. That's what she's there for. And as you are working, with a small spell of working out/ exercise clearing snow, there is absolutely no reason why she should have any opinion on your activities whatsoever. I work from home every day (freelance). Doesn't mean I don't need childcare. In fact I couldn't work without my wonderful au pair looking after DD3.

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