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To use childcare when I don't really have to?

(53 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:47:55

I have a 7 month old DS, currently still on Maternity. My 'current' job is 9-5 but I have accepted a new job that means between Mon-Fri I will only have to work 2 days and my 3rd shift would be on a Sunday.

DH would obviously have DS whilst I work on Sunday and we have found a childminder to have DS for whatever two days I'm working in the week.

The shifts will be 13 hours and I will be out the house from 06.45am-21.15pm. It's a very long day which from experience is very tiring.

I was talking to my friend about it this morning and she suggested that as I was likely to be shattered it probably wouldn't be very nice to be out the house for 14.5 hours a day and then on my days off be looking after DS. She asked when is ever get a break or chance to relax. I told her that I wouldn't.

She then suggested that even though I only need childcare for 2 days why don't I send DS to the childminder for 3 days and that 3rd day can be for me to just relax at home,recuperate from the long shifts and to just have some "me time" amongst all the chaos of shift working and parenting.

I was a bit sceptical but sounds very tempting. I plan to discuss it with DH this evening and was wondering if anyone else does this??

Littlef00t Thu 06-Nov-14 15:53:16

A friend of mine does this, though only for a morning not a whole day. I would certainly encourage it but perhaps not for the full extra day.

skylark2 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:53:26

"it probably wouldn't be very nice to be out the house for 14.5 hours a day and then on my days off be looking after DS. She asked when is ever get a break or chance to relax. I told her that I wouldn't."

The vast majority of mums are looking after their kids all the time when they're not working. I mean, if you want to pay a childminder to give you a child free day there's nothing worng with it, but your friend is living in la la land if she thinks it's "not very nice" to only have childcare for when you're working. It's completely normal. It's very unusual to pay for childcare so you can be at home alone.

You get a break or a chance to relax on Saturdays (when you share care with your DH?) and whenever your DS naps / has gone to bed all the rest of the week.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 06-Nov-14 15:55:17

Yes of course why not.

Sounds very sensible op. Your ds will be happy and you can recharge your batteries.

LadyLuck10 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:56:39

Yanbu, that's an extremely long day. Why not try half a day? There's no point in being absolutely shattered and having no energy to spend on DS.

DiaDuit Thu 06-Nov-14 15:58:06

If you can afford it i see no reason not to. It would probably be good for ds to have that extra day at CMer as well for consisitency.

DoughnutSelfie Thu 06-Nov-14 15:59:18

Well it boils down to £££ really

If you can afford it then why not

A thought has occurred - if you CAN afford an extra day, would that £ be better spent on outsourcing domestic stuff say on a cleaner

Another thought - do you have a hobby/interest that you could return to or start - say Archeology, Choir, Scrabble, Gardening club - one or two evenings a week. To reclaim you as you, not wife or mama or potscrubber?

ghostvitruvius Thu 06-Nov-14 15:59:48

Of course it's nicer to have a break than not have a break.

I'd make the 3rd day a shorter day but why not if you can afford it?

EmbarrassedPossessed Thu 06-Nov-14 16:00:19

I think it's more common than skylark thinks. I know several people who do or have done similar.

I'm about to stop work (for various reasons) and I am going to reduce the number of days my DS is at nursery, but not stop them completely. That's because he loves going to nursery and seeing his friends, plus he does some amazing activities there that he really enjoys. I'm going to use my child free days to do housework and other organisational stuff, meaning on the (majority) of days my DS is with me I will be able to do more with him.

aprilanne Thu 06-Nov-14 16:03:46

sorry but it sounds like madness .i take it you won,t see you baby on your working days much .then to put him to a childminder when you are there is well a bit mean .if you have the money probably better to get a cleaner to leave you more time with baby .

Writerwannabe83 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:08:27

We could afford to, one of the reasons I took the job was because of the higher wage.

I was thinking that maybe on the 3rd day my DH could drop DS off at the CM and I could pick him up about 2pm ish. Gives me enough time to have a lie in, a hot bath and catch up on housework.

doughnut - I would love a cleaner but DH isn't keen as he says he doesn't like to think of 'other people' being in the house hmm I'm pretty sure I can talk him round though.

I can see my friend's logic but the concept of it just doesn't sit easy with me for some reason. I can't tell if it's selfish to send DS to his CM just because I want some time to myself to rejuvenate myself.

I haven't worked shifts like that for 3 years as I left that environment for my current job. The long shifts are exhausting and draining - it was bad enough doing them when I was child-free!!

I just don't want to burn out I guess.

rubyflipper Thu 06-Nov-14 16:09:43

I paid the Cm to have my son for half a day a week 'extra' so that I could do stuff like doctor, dentist, gym, hairdresser.

I don't think this is particularly unusual - several of my friends did the same.

rocketjam Thu 06-Nov-14 16:12:10

I'm a child-minder and this happens in my setting. I had a family with one parent (mum) working full time, and the dad on shifts of 12 hours, three days on, three days off. I had their daughter three days a week, and on one of those the dad would be at home, shopping, cleaning, doing DIY, with very little rest to be honest. It worked for them, and allowed the family to spend some quality time together at weekends.

I wouldn't be under the illusion that it will all be 'you' time though...

IShallCallYouSquishy Thu 06-Nov-14 16:17:00

YANBU. I still send DD to her childminder one day a week while I'm on mat leave with DS.

When I go back to work, the weeks where my day shift falls on a weekend, both DC will be going to the CM a day in the week still, and most likely will be the day after my 15 hour night shift. DH can drop them on the way to work, I'll come home at 9am and go to bed for a few hours, then have the rest of the day to myself.

BusyBusyBusy1 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:18:33

I think it is a great idea to have half a day to catch up on all the jobs that come with being a working parent - household admin, getting the car sorted, paying bills, going to the dentist, keeping on top of cupboards/storage, odd jobs relating to work, Otherwise you end up doing them instead of spending time with the little one. Someone really wise told me to schedule in an extra half day of childcare to cover all of this stuff, and I found it invaluable. Stupidly gave it up to take on extra work and found life much more stressful without that half day window to catch up.

LadyLuck10 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:20:31

Op you definitely don't want to burnout. That is a very long, tiring day. I suggest try half a day for a start, see if it makes a difference and then you can decide if you want it to be a permanent arrangement. I would do it if I were you.

JADS Thu 06-Nov-14 16:21:43

It boils down to money really. I have done this in the past on an ad hoc basis with the childminder. Fortunately she had the capacity to do this and would take ds for 1/2 a day. A bit of an indulgence - yes, but in some ways it was time saving. I could use that half day to dash round sorting boring chores rather than dragging a toddler about and then spend the afternoon doing fun stuff with ds.

I am on mat leave at the moment and ds (now 4) will continue to do 3 days at nursery for various reasons.

The only thing I would say is that it might be unfair to dh. I am making the assumption that he works 5 days a week plus one day of childcare. What do you plan to do Saturdays? Will dh get a full day off?

louryn Thu 06-Nov-14 16:22:31

I do similar shifts and have done since ds was 10 months (nearly 2 now) I don't send him to childminder on my days off and despite it being hard work and exhausting I wouldn't want too! I don't see him on the days I work so want to make the most of the days I do have with him! I take naps with him if I'm shattered and have learned to ease up on my expectations of house work etc! Maybe try it for a while first before you book a childminder for an extra day!

Hedgehogging Thu 06-Nov-14 16:37:57

YANBU but in my experience you might feel guilty about it when the time comes.

I work 4 mornings a week and once or twice so far I've had CM come in on the other morning for a few hours so I can go to town- have a nice coffee, do a massive supermarket shop that sort of thing. It was LOVELY, but I felt a bit uneasy through it all- as if DD would know I was skiving off instead of working. Same feeling as pulling a sickie actually.

But if you can get over that and afford it then yes I'd probably do it for a few hours.

frankbough Thu 06-Nov-14 16:43:43

We do this, it's invaluable, we don't have help from family, so the child minder has become like an extended family member.. Covering illness, appointments and rest days, anywhere from one day to a full week depending on our needs.. She also does overnights..

Mammanat222 Thu 06-Nov-14 16:48:06

I work FT so it's a moot point for me but if I were PT and if I could afford it I think a morning or afternoon to myself would be beneficial.

Although I must admit any time I have without DS now is spent either cleaning / waiting about for him. I am fine for an hour then I am hanging out the windows waiting for his return. He is 2.

I have forgotten what "me" time actually is??

fairylightsintheloft Thu 06-Nov-14 16:50:33

I have done this / do this DH and I are both teachers. We have to pay our CM in the holidays (perfectly reasonable, have no problem with that) so we use what we pay for. It works out that what we usually pay for 4 days wraparound care for DS works out at 2 days full time so he and DD go for two days a week in the school holidays (unless the CM or us are away, which is quite often actually). It gives DH and I invaluable time to get stuff done and have some couple time. We work VV hard - term times are crazy and those days give us a good balance so that we have the energy / inclination to play and do activities with the Dcs when we have them.

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 06-Nov-14 16:52:49

Oh And guilt arrives with the expulsion of the Placenta so whatever you do you will feel guilty. For ever. May as well get that in your head now.

DixieNormas Thu 06-Nov-14 16:54:26

Why not, im planning on putting ds4 into nursery a couple of mornings a week when he turns two and I dpnt even work!

Thebodynowchillingsothere Thu 06-Nov-14 17:04:14

Bloody hell dixie if your ds4 is not yet 2 you bloody deserve a rest/medal. smile

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