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To feel uncomfortable about this situation re: my childminder

(98 Posts)
Shizzy Sat 27-Apr-13 15:25:19

My first ever post but don't be gentle please - I need some honest opinions re: this situation as I think I'm just being petty. This is long and not a major, life shattering issue at all but it's bothering me and I respect the opinions (and honesty) of you fellow mumsnetters.

My DD is 20 months. She's been with her CM for about 9 months. The CM looks after her own DD and another little girl both aged approx 2.8 years old. I'll call the other little girl that my CM looks after 'Bella ' to make this easier to explain. Bella's parents are loaded. You know, talking about buying £1million yachts and £2million houses. We're not and neither is the CM but she's obviously impressed by this type of thing. CM and Bella's mum are very pally. I've no problem with that at all but I am slightly perplexed because Bella's mum tried to befriend me a while ago and then went completely cold towards me. I was always polite and relatively friendly with her but didn't jump at striking up a full on friendship with her as between work, my DD, other family and friends I just didn't have time. The three of us went out recently (me, CM and Bella's mum) and I have never felt so awkward in all my life - it was clear that Bella's mum felt I was intruding. It was the CM's idea to do this meet up and believe me, I won't be going to any others! Part of the reason I feel like this is that both the CM and Bella's mum are snotty re: clothes and stuff. Their kids are generally decked out in JoJo, Joules and designer stuff. My DD is in Primark, Matalan and Sainsburys most of the time, generally because I think spending a fortune on kids clothes is pointless when DD grows out of stuff in weeks and comes home covered in paint and food! When my DP and DD came to pick me up after the day out with the CM & Bella's mum, from what I saw, they both glanced at one another and then sneered at something my DD was wearing which yes, was a bit 'common'. They both made pointed comments about said item and I felt like the biggest scummy mummy in the world. Pathetic to be bothered, I know, but I was. I felt judged and more than that, I was upset that they were judging my DD. I'm probably being oversensitive but it bothered me. There have been other comments too in the past about my DD's cheap clothes.

Now, the issue I have is that 3 out of 5 days a week, the CM picks up my DD and takes her to Bella's mum's house to get Bella. BUT, the CM doesn't just pick up Bella and go, instead Bella's mum makes the CM a coffee and breakfast for the kids and they sit around having a chin wag for about an hour. I was never comfortable with this but I'm not one to make a fuss. Now though, I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable with this and want it to stop. Partly as I feel I'm paying the CM to look after me DD, not sit around with her friend having a chat, and partly as I know that Bella's mum doesn't like me.

AIBU and petty? I think I probably am but I can't shake the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I don't want my DD in the house of someone who clearly doesn't like me 3 mornings out of 5 a week. It just feels weird.

Hissy Sat 27-Apr-13 17:50:51

CM are paid to mind our children.

We employ their services.

If they are not good enough, we find others.

Good ones are ones to keep, the one described here, shouldn't be in business to be honest.

Saddayinspring2 Sat 27-Apr-13 17:59:21

They are self employed rather than employed by a nursery etc... Don't see what difference that makes to their professional standards.
Anyone who works freelance is self employed from cleaners to gardeners to tree surgeons.

MrBloomsBloomers Sat 27-Apr-13 18:03:24

Is it hard to become registered as a childminder? A lot of donuts seem to slip through the cracks. It makes me nervous.

Shizzy Sat 27-Apr-13 18:06:08

Thanks for all your comments. Keep them coming! I'm swaying from thinking I'm being oversensitive and silly to agreeing with those of you that are saying that they shouldn't be judging my child re: materialistic things. On the latter point, that's what's really bothering me deep down I think and why I wanted to ask for these coffee mornings to stop. I mean, are they saying anything behind my back in her earshot? Will she begin to feel inferior? I hate not being there to defend her. But I shouldn't have to should I? I should trust my CM implicitly not to be inappropriate around my child. Time to look into alternative child care I think. I'll reply to any unanswered questions when my DD is in bed as she's currently clamouring for my attention. Thanks again for all your comments.

aldiwhore Sat 27-Apr-13 18:08:26

My DH is self employed. Those he works for are his clients. He still works for THEM when they require his services and he has high standards because he's not a self righteous git who thinks that just because he has no 'boss' he can do what he likes. He is PROFESSIONAL.

Why a CM should be any different I don't know.

Actually, most if not all Cm's have a good business attitude.

It is lovely when you make a friend via your business, there's nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong with a client becoming best friend if clear lines are drawn.

Sounds to me, and this may be generalised and sweeping, that your CM is a wannabe neverbe, and the 'rich' lady is a twat. (Nothing to do with wealth at all, more attitude). If your only mate is your CM, well, it's not a lot to aspire to is it? Rich, poor or otherwise.

Can you imagine dropping your child off at school and having teachers 'tut tut' openly over choice of clothes etc.? No one would stand for that as it's utterly unprofessional, so don't put up with it outside school.

aldiwhore Sat 27-Apr-13 18:12:17

Shizzy Given what vyou've posted, I would say it's a pretty safe bet to assume that they're saying ALL SORTS OF shit behind your back!! smile

And you know, that's actually okay. I'm sure there are a few teachers who, over a pint, will bitch and giggle and roll their eyes at some of my choices. I don't care. The reason I don't care is because they are professionalo enough for me never to have even the slightest suspicion that it spills into the classroom. Because, whatever they may think of me, there's respect, and if nothing else, they are professional.

Hindsight is great though. I only recently realised how shit the first setting I placed my first born in was (he's nine now!!).

Saddayinspring2 Sat 27-Apr-13 18:14:32

Technically cams aren't self employed in the sense of they have to work for someone else.. ie parents.
If you have your own business and employ others then you are not reliant on others for your employment.
cm courses are just about six weeks long including some safety training, home assessment and hygiene etc.

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 27-Apr-13 18:21:57

OP - I don't think it matters a jot what your dd wears - ours wore George, Oxfam and Primarni to bed when they were little. One still doesn't give a hoot what she wears (15) but one is slightly more discerning (18). Both are grounded and indy. Personally I buy from Per Una, Next, maybe something much smarter for special occasions.

We are loaded as are most of the folk we mix with - and not meant as a stealth boast. Nobody gives a monkey's arse to be fair. I would have a problem with my dc mixing with those who did and have many a time done a rofl at the school gates with a title when coming across someone who does --more a stuupid wooman than a silly cah tbf blush. Be yourself; teach your dd to be herself and if a pair of parvenus don't like it stuff 'em. grin

CarpeVinum Sat 27-Apr-13 18:46:32

I wouldn't leave my son in that situation, even if he seemed happy and I didn't believe he was being actually neglected in some way. Money, epsecially lots of it, causes a power imbalance if somebody gets their head turned. Overtly or covertly over time your daughter's wants and needs may slip slightly down the ladder of priorities so Bella's mum is kept happy.

I need to know that anybody who is taking care of my child doesn't have a motivation to sub conciously or consiously pick sides in toddler fisticuffs, minimise somebody elses's not so acceptable behavir towards my own, and always decide in one kid's favour if there is a tussle over a single, but jointly prefered, biscuit.

All little things, not big scary stuff. But I wouldn't want my child over time maybe realising they are being treated slightly differently, even if they are not of an age where they can work out that wealth is at the root and learn to confuse a large bank balance with the value of a person.

I think the above would be much much more of a concern to me than say a few too many episodes of telly tubbies or a grandma sneaking a bit of extra choccie into grandchild.

If there were a lot more kids I think the effect would be diluted. But there is the child whose mum hold sway, the CM's kid, and yours. Which puts your girl at the bottom of a very small heap. And at some point she might notice a hierarchy. But even if she didn't I wouldn't be keen on paying for a situation that is primed to allow that to happen.

I do not think you are being over sensitive, I think your instincts that this is off and puts a question mark over how happy you are with your CM are on the money.

Flisspaps Sat 27-Apr-13 18:49:24

sadday that, frankly, is nonsense. Childminders are self employed. There's no 'technically' about it hmm
All self employed people 'work' for others - eg plumbers, electricians, tutors. CMs are NOT employed, if you don't like the service they offer you go elsewhere. You don't have the right to tell them to stay home, not visit people or to 'sack' them. You cam terminate a contract but sacking is what you do to an employee. If you want an employee you need a nanny, and you need to do the tax, NI, holiday pay, sick pay and whatever else that you don't need to do with a CM.

jersey there's no reason why childminders shouldn't socialise with clients, most of my clients were friends first and one was my sister. Business was separate from the friendship.

Others - no, the friends house won't need to be Ofsted approved. A CM should ensure that anywhere he/she takes minded children is safe, and risk assess as appropriate. Otherwise, all shops, zoos, libraries, playgrounds and so on would have to be Ofsted approved.

Saddayinspring2 Sat 27-Apr-13 18:56:16

Fair enough

morethanpotatoprints Sat 27-Apr-13 19:02:13

Hello OP

I would seriously look elsewhere for childcare and when found make sure you sack your present cm good and proper. Never have I heard of anything so unprofessional. You are her customer, she works for you. grin I am gob smacked and stunned at this and whilst not using childcare myself know that none of my family or friends would put up with this.
You are not a scummy mummy they are completely up themselves. I would also tell her that you will be telling everyone you meet to avoid her services and don't ever give her a reference, snobby cow.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 27-Apr-13 20:25:27

Utterly unprofessional and I think you are right to be worried. No reason to stick it put when you are not getting a professional standard of service. Find a new & better one, then dump the awful one and never think about her again!

BABaracus Sat 27-Apr-13 21:38:03

OP - I'm shocked by your CM's attitude. Please do look for alternative childcare, for your daughter's sake.

BurningBridges Sat 27-Apr-13 22:04:39

Shizzy, my eldest dd is 12 now, but from the age of 9 months she was left with a CM who appears to be the twin of yours. The situation developed exactly as you describe, even down to her disapproval of DD's clothes if too cheap, the wealthy friend etc. I was uncomfortable, but my DH was insistent it was convenient (suited him) etc and DD did seem to be very fond of her. I remember one day handing DD over and the CM making a few nasty comments and I stood there thinking I need to take DD and go home, and "D"H shouting COME ON I'M GOING TO BE LATE, I knew it was wrong but I left DD there and went to work.

After that her attitude got worse - she demanded paid time off, would often let me down - one day I had some errands to run so still let DD go there even though I had a day off, and she then said well if you can have days off when you feel like it so can I etc.

Can you see the way it was going? She even said we were not allowed to pick up DD early without giving her notice. We were never to knock on her door without telephoning her first to see if it was convenient - it was her most important rule.

Looking back it seems CM "chose" me because she thought I was vulnerable, no family, not very confident (she always used to say "oh I'm interviewing people tomorrow see if I like the look of them" re new families coming to see her). I think she looked for people she could manipulate.

I can't tell you how it ended, I mean it ended very badly, but I simply don't talk about it. I never forgave myself, it was a sliding doors moment for me, letting DD go there after that day when I thought I should take her home.

Get a new childminder. Give her notice on Monday.

rainbowfeet Sat 27-Apr-13 22:10:47

Bella's mum sounds like a typical bully!! Trying to make herself feel better by putting you down!! The way you describe her I reckon she is jealous of you & not particularly happy in her own life!!! Maybe she feels the need to buy her dd designer clothes because she feels guilty about not being so close to her!! Bet she'd rather be less uptight & more down on the floor type playing, singing songs, cake baking mum!!! I don't think you're being over sensitive at all, those things she has said would hurt me too!! I'd just hope one day I'd cut her down with a great come back line!!

kawliga Sun 28-Apr-13 00:07:03

Burning bridges thank you for sharing that. I have had a sliding doors moment like that too, where I sat in the car and cried after dropping dd off and thought I should go back and get her, but I had to go to work so in the end I drove off. Your post brought back some strong emotions.

OP, trust your instincts and don't be afraid that you're overreacting.

raisah Sun 28-Apr-13 05:04:53

Change your cm, you need to feel comfortable whilst at work that your dd is being cared for. Your cm will soon get a reality check (& a drop in income) once you changr your childcare arrangements. Completely unprofessional behaviour.

pigletmania Sun 28-Apr-13 09:38:23

I would most certainly look fr another CM she des not sound very professional. I am sure your dd will get used to a new own

differentnameforthis Sun 28-Apr-13 10:11:24

How can anyone have a childs best interests at heart when they make veiled judgements about what that child is wearing? She is very rude to even be discusssing ANYTHING regarding your dd with another mum, tbh. Id sack her judgemental arse. Don't forget she works for you!

publicserviceannouncement Sun 28-Apr-13 11:12:26

" I should trust my CM implicitly not to be inappropriate around my child. "

Absolutely, and I think it's clear you can't trust this one, sadly.

ll31 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:22:06

Would change cm . Don't underestimate how much your cd may be picking up. She may well begin picking up on fact that everyone at cm thinks her clothes and maybe her aren't as nice as others.

ll31 Sun 28-Apr-13 11:22:39

Your dd not cd!

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