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How do I stop using our CM?

(25 Posts)
Ithinkwerealonenow Tue 11-Mar-14 16:15:19

Background: my two dcs (6 and 4) go to a fantastic cm 3 days a week, and have done since they were around 9 months old. They are both at school now. They love her, and she loves them, she's like a beloved aunt, and we were so lucky to have found her.

But... I'm considering stopping work to be a SAHM, DH works long hours and family life would be calmer all round. But one of the reasons stopping me is that the dcs would have to stop going to the CM. I've gently mentioned it to dc1, and they said in no uncertain terms that she definitely wants the status quo to remain (unsurprisingly for a 6 year old).

Does anyone have any experience or tips for how to gently start disentangling the relationship? Or is a swift decision best? I feel awful for how upset the CM will be to lose them as well.

pussycatdoll Tue 11-Mar-14 16:17:30

I'd be wary of giving up work completely
It can be very hard to get back into
Could you reduce your hours maybe?

Ithinkwerealonenow Tue 11-Mar-14 16:23:42

That's not what I need advice on, thanks!

ChildrenAtHeart Tue 11-Mar-14 17:21:31

I think it could be potentially damaging to your children to cut the relationship cold. They will have developed strong attachments to this lady and to suddenly lose her presence in their lives would be like a bereavement. I would suggest that if you stop work and can afford it still send your children to the cm but for reduced hours, even once a week (if your cm can accommodate this of course) or you could talk to your cm and explain your plans but see if you can factor in staying in touch somehow. I have become friendly with ex-parents so they may come with their children for a catch up drink and playdate, or I have the children ad hoc when I have spaces, often in school holidays.

Ithinkwerealonenow Tue 11-Mar-14 18:36:07

Thank you childrenatheart, that's what I was initially thinking, but then wondered if I should be thinking about a clean break. I've got a lot of childcare vouchers stored up, so we can do a gradual phasing if the cm agrees. I'd love to keep in contact and for the dcs to see her ad hoc, but I also understand she's running a business, so it's very much up to her.

HSMMaCM Tue 11-Mar-14 18:37:47

I have a child who comes for a couple of days each holidays. Everyone will be upset, but if the relationship can continue until it naturally fizzles out, that seems to help.

IHeartKingThistle Tue 11-Mar-14 18:39:36

I did this. I told the childminder very early on that I was considering it - that way it wasn't so much of a shock and she knew my reasons and could plan ahead a bit.

She's been round for coffee a few times since and it's been lovely. We've had no problems with the transition.

Good luck!

DangoDays Tue 11-Mar-14 18:41:14

Having recently done this with my ds I would definitely go for phase out or continue for odd time here and there indefinitely. Especially if you feel you could use that time. I did it too quickly and massively regret imposing such a sudden change. I think a slower process would make the transition a lot easier and allow both you and your children time to adapt.

Ithinkwerealonenow Tue 11-Mar-14 18:55:45

I didn't mention, I have a 3 month notice period at work anyway, so would have this period to talk about it and give cm plenty of notice, then could phase down for a good couple of months after that. Do you think that's long enough, or would longer be better?

It's so good to hear from other people who have done this, just thinking about is making me feel so anxious, let alone doing it. Ridiculous to carry on in a job I hate just so the dcs can carry on going to the cm though.

minderjinx Tue 11-Mar-14 19:01:45

You might perhaps have a chat with her about how best to handle it - if she has been minding a while she may well have had similar situations before, and of course she knows them very well. You do at least have some scope for considering options for making it easier - often when children leave it is a wrench because the family has to move quickly and has no choice.

Do the DC attend term time only, or all year round? I would perhaps leave it until the summer to make the change, to give your CM plenty of notice and your children time to get used to the idea, and to make it more of a natural break- whether you decide to withdraw them completely, or to let them remain for, say, one day a week.

Your CM is presumably going to have to look to replace your DC, and the start of the new school year is often the best time to find new children. Finish with the CM at the end of term, go on a nice holiday, then start the new regime after that, whether that is a clean break or a new arrangement. The excitement of the holidays and then the return to school will help to distract the children.

Ithinkwerealonenow Tue 11-Mar-14 19:25:07

I definitely will be getting her advice as well, I just wanted to have an idea myself before I spoke with her.

Using the summer holidays as a natural break is a good idea, thank you minderjinx, I hadn't thought of the beginning of the school year being a good time from the cm perspective as well. If I give notice say by the end of this month, then I won't be leaving until end June anyway, so could easily phase down over the holidays (they do normally go to her in the holidays as well). We will be away for 2 weeks of the holiday, and the cm will be away for 1 week on top (we're overlapping), so that could be a good end point maybe.

Thank you all, that gives me a plan of sorts. Talking to my boss is the easier part of the change!

Marylou62 Wed 12-Mar-14 08:43:11

As an x minder and now a nanny, I would say that even tho the children left or I did, I still have a relationship with nearly all of them. I still did odd days or babysat them. They do get over it. I have been v lucky and always had long term jobs, mostly 3-5 years. Not one of my charges has been damaged by not being looked after by me anymore. Their Mum is the constant. I have gone to visit x charges with new charges and we've had great days out. I have even been to the wedding of one and my DD was her bridesmaid. See.... even 25 years later I am part of her life! I have reassured them that I still love them and will always remember what lovely times we had. I have also given them a little album of photos of our time together. There is no need to cut off all ties and your lovely CM will remain a part of your DCs life. Hope this helps and try not to worry.

Marylou62 Wed 12-Mar-14 08:45:32

Just saw you can now put photos here!! What fun. Anyway, here I am with old charges AND new family.

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 10:00:08

marylou - thank you for the reassurance, you sound like a lovely CM!

Marylou62 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:43:09

Thankyou Ithink. Its lovely being appreciated and tho a few tears have been shed at the end of a 'contract'....I still love all my x charges. Can't find a job now getting worried...anyone need a nanny in Cornwall, Truro area?

Bettercallsaul1 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:14:49

OP, as well as the phase-out over the summer holidays, which is a natural time for endings and new beginnings, I would also plan to make the most of the positive benefits of this change, which are considerable!

From the sound of it, it seems that your six-year-old is making the most objection but she may actually benefit greatly from the fact that she is not tied into going to her childminder's house three times a week after school. The new, free time can be used for nice activities like having a friend home for tea or attending a new club or activity. As she gets older, there will be more and more activities to get involved in and some will begin shortly after school. At six, my daughter went to Rainbows after school one afternoon and drama on another, both of which she loved and had the added benefit of expanding her friendship groups. Your younger daughter will also benefit from the activities you can do with her throughout the day - swimming and music groups perhaps. She will also love having more "Mummy time" for reading together etc.

My advice is to see this change as a completely positive one for you all - because it is, and your daughters will eventually see this. It is wonderful that your girls have had this lovely relationship with their carer - it will actually be of long-term benefit to them to have had a relationship of affection and trust with an adult outside their immediate family. And there is no need for final goodbyes - you can all continue to see her on a more occasional, informal basis. But life is full of changes, and for you, it is time to move on. Face the future with confidence and your daughters will follow your lead!

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 14:01:21

Good pep talk bettercallsaul1!

You are right of course, and this is one of the reasons we are making the change. Life is hectic and I'm struggling to keep up as it is, let alone when there is more homework etc to monitor.

I have tried gently suggesting that if I'm at home more, then she can do violin lessons (which she has been going on about for two years), and more playdates, but she has a little think and then says 'no thanks, I like my time at cms'. Obviously its only been the gentlest of gentle chats, as nothing is set in stone yet, so I haven't gone into full-on persuasion mode!

Bettercallsaul1 Wed 12-Mar-14 15:43:25

OP - I've just noticed that your younger child is at school too. If life is hectic for you at the moment, while you are working, this would be a lovely time for you to be a SAHM - you have some time to yourself during the day and are then able to supervise the children or organise activities for them after school. Your older one, in particular, is just coming to the age where life is opening up for her in terms of new activities and experiences and it is so much easier to arrange (and enjoy) when you are free to pick her up and take her places. I was a SAHM for my two children and my favourite time was when they were both at primary school. Enjoy your time with them - you, and they, will have many happy memories of this stage of their life!

TheScience Wed 12-Mar-14 15:49:09

If you can afford it, it might be nice to continue sending them one afternoon a week for a while - or even send each child on different afternoons or an afternoon on alternate weeks so you can do a 1:1 activity with each child?

Marylou62 Wed 12-Mar-14 17:05:37

Without wanting to sound at all judgemental or 'knowing it all' I think you should just present it as fact. Don't keep asking her. Say 'This is what's happening' and why..'Mum will be home now and we don't need CM'. Explain that you only went to CM because Mummy worked...and now Mummy will look after you. Stress that you have had a good time and we WILL always keep in touch and see her. She will always love you and remember you. Don't keep bringing it up...just state facts. Some children don't like change and sometimes need to do things they don't want to and we have to do whats best for us as a family. Forgive me if I have talked out of turn, but after 30+ years in childcare, asking her if its ok will only confuse her when you finally become a SAHM..

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 22:12:23

Thanks marylou, you don't sound 'know it all' at all, you sound very wise! I wouldn't ask for her permission when it comes to down it, but I can see how it sounds like I might. I've just been trying to sound out how keen she might be to change the status quo. But of course a 6 year old cant really conceive of a different routine, so it was probably a bit silly to try to get her thoughts.

Bettercallsaul1 - thanks again, you paint a very rosy picture! I'm 90% sure it's the right thing to do (actually after today's crap day at work you could make that 98%!), although I do worry slightly about what I'll fill my time with as the children get older, and how people might judge me (just see any threads on this on MN). But for the next 10 years or so, we will all benefit from a slower pace I think.

And yes, thescience, I'd love to keep sending them a day a week (for ow at least), but I'm not sure that would be commercially viable for the CM. I'll have to see what she says. It's a couple of weeks until some other financial stuff is more certain, so I'm not going to be making a final decision until then, then I will sound her out.

Ithinkwerealonenow Wed 12-Mar-14 22:13:44


Marylou62 Thu 13-Mar-14 09:01:21

IThink....I have only been a mumsnetter for a short time and find it quite addictive. I am between jobs at the moment so a bit bored....My 3 DCs all grown so no mad rushes anymore...I have Empty Nest syndrome in a big way. Am actually quite sad.... But I have had my eyes opened by the opinion of others!!! Is it because it is anonomous that people feel they can say such hurtful things? Or maybe because in RL we would not choose to be friends with some of these people, so would never hear their opinion. I can honestly say that MN has made me a bit sad as I was very naive and cant for the life of me believe some of the posters and the vile things they say...from Controlled crying to smacking, BF to SAHM. Why would any of these bitchy negative opinions mean any thing to you? We decided that I would be a SAHM but have always worked (CM for years, cleaning in the evening etc) It was the best choice for us as a family and I am proud of how my 3 turned out. We never had any money tho so old cars and no foreign holidays. I have now stopped reading some of the posts and do not get involved with any issues that get nasty. But MN can be such fun!!! As to what you would do....I was never bored when they were at school...I even sat down and read sometimes....But holidays were great....I was never stressed, never planned....we had great days on beach, woods etc (as no money!) I also looked after other children whos mums were working. (watch out for this and only say yes if you don't mind.) Just enjoy being with your DCs as I'm telling goes so fast. And don't give a hoot about any ones opinion of SAHM. I think lots of them are a bit jealous.

Marylou62 Thu 13-Mar-14 09:04:25

Phew...Sorry....don't I go on!!!! Told you I was bored with nothing to do.

Marylou62 Thu 13-Mar-14 09:19:38

And guess what I am doing this afternoon?...I am picking up old charge from nursery, and having him for a while...cant wait to see his little face when he sees me.

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