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AIBU to be nervous about looking after friend's toddler plus my 2?

(15 Posts)
chummymummy7 Sun 05-May-13 19:15:47

A dear friend needs childcare for next week and her childminder can't guarantee her a place until the morning of the day it's needed.

It's a commitment she really can't get out of, and has been getting really worried about it. There's really nobody else who can help. So, I offered to step in and look after her toddling daughter if she's stuck on the day. Tbh I thought she would say thanks but don't worry (I know, a terrible basis for me to offer to help on, but it's true) - but she's now using me as a plan B and is really grateful.

The reason I'm worried is that I have a very active crawler and a 3 year old as well. Sometimes I find looking after the two of them SO difficult and feel like I need eyes in the back of my head. Vigilant as I am, the crawler has the odd little bump and fall now and then , as they do.

I'm panicking about how I'd cope with an extra toddler in the mix - esp as she may well be distressed about her mum not being there.

I've asked another friend round to help, but she wouldn't be able to get here until at least an hour or two after the extra kid would arrive. This all means I won't be able to take my own 3 yr old to nursery until help arrived.

AIBU to be worried about two hours of looking after 3 kids under 3 if I can get the extra help for rest of the day? (it's going to be a full working day)

And AIBU to think my good friend, the mum, should possibly be questioning how I'm going to get my own son to nursery that morning? (I usually take the double buggy for my 2 or take the car if lazy - but getting just my 2 into the car is tricky as I don't have driveway and need to shuttle run the kids from the house!)

I should add I'm not a trained childminder nor have any experience in looking after more than 2 tinies at once. I do want to help my lovely friend - but I'm nervous about the responsibility.

It's just way too late now to back out or start expressing my worries. Shall I just pray pray pray that her childminder has space on the day but be ready to pull it out the bag if not?!

MummyPig24 Sun 05-May-13 19:32:20

Surely your baby and the toddler can go in the double buggy and your 3yr old can walk?

It will be fine. It won't be as easy as your own 2 as you don't know exactly what the child wants/likes/needs. But you will cope and it will be fine.

I used to look after my friends son sometimes so I had a baby and two 2yr olds which was interesting at times!

chummymummy7 Sun 05-May-13 19:41:27

That's reassuring MummyPig, ta.

Unfortunately the walk to school is just too far and hilly for the 3 yr old, who's a dawdler at the best of times. I usually just about make it back home in time before my youngest starts screeeeaaaming for his bottle/cot.

TippiShagpile Sun 05-May-13 19:46:23

She's probably thinking you wouldn't have offered if you couldn't cope.

You can't get out of it now so just plan lots of stuff and accept your dc might not be going to nursery that day (he might not want to if there's a house full of children smile)

Molehillmountain Sun 05-May-13 19:51:27

I always get stressed having an extra child but its always fine, sometimes makes me raise my game and often the extra child changes the dynamic between my three in a positive way. It will be fine but hard work.

honeytea Sun 05-May-13 19:52:09

Do you have any friends with a sling for older kids? I have one but I live in Sweden so I doubt we are local.

Crawler in sling, toddlers in buggy, you bloody nackered but see it as a workout?

Good luck!

chummymummy7 Sun 05-May-13 20:03:15

Bless you ladies I thought I was in for some abuse about being pathetic and making offers I couldn't follow through on - but nice feedback here.

Good suggestion of sling honeytea - but crawler unfortunately would almost definitely not comply. Is the wriggliest, most mobile baby ever!

The other thing is that I'm on the weak/underweight side of things. Might eat a huge steak the night before for energy!

honeytea Sun 05-May-13 20:04:52

Insist mum of aditional toddler "pays" you in cake, you can eat it throughout the day to keep your energy up ;)

Lovethesea Sun 05-May-13 20:06:57

Cbeebies, carpet picnic, just aim low and keep them hale and hearty.

PorridgeBrain Sun 05-May-13 20:33:50

Worst case, put 2 youngest in the pushchair and walk the 3 yr old to the car and the same into nursery. May be a faff for v short distance but would keep them safe. Just allow some extra time.

At home, if you have to resort to tv all day to keep them safe, then do it. I'm sure the mum will just be thankful you've helped her out of a hole.

LaGuardia Sun 05-May-13 22:27:54

Just do yourself a favour and don't offer again.

SuedeEffectPochette Sun 05-May-13 22:35:28

I am sure it will be better than you expect. You are very kind for doing this! On the plus side, when you only have your two again it will seem very easy!!

NoSquirrels Sun 05-May-13 22:38:36

Would your friend do you a favour in return and take your 3 year old to nursery on the way to her appointment, or would the timings not work?

Any other nursery friend's mums who could help out with nursery run?

Do you have a buggy board? It is possible to get them on a P&T, for instance (although would be tough going. Is it downhill on the way there or back again?)

If I were you, I would plan some 'activities': teddy bear's picnic (plus snacks for kids) in garden if weather good, play-doh modelling (make cakes for the 'picnic'?), some sticker books or other not too intensive craft idea (making a card for mummy when she gets back?) so that you know you have a vague plan of how to entertain them. That's what they do in nursery, after all, just keep them busy with a bit of structure as well as free play.

Then I would plan in Cbeebies and vaguely treat-like snacks for difficult moments. If you have a friend coming over too then you should be able to stick them all in pushchairs (x 2, make sure friend drops her pushchair off too) and go for a walk in the afternoon so they sleep. If it's only an hour or 2 you just need to act jolly and Have A Plan, then you'll feel better about it.

You'll be fine!

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 05-May-13 23:14:05

I am a childminder and I promise you the build up is worse than doing it! I would recommend asking your friend a few things so you have a basis to work from...

Routine outline
Favourite foods and snacks
Tv programmes
Games she likes
Words she uses you may not understand but may be important to her
What she likes to play with
Songs she likes

These things will help her and you manage and you will have a few tricks up your sleeve

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 05-May-13 23:16:03

Oh and re nursery, what I do is strap the others into the buggy while I get them into the car one by one

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