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Recently widowed and pregnant, please help me with childcare options, nannies, mother's helps etc.

(55 Posts)
grobagsforever Thu 12-Jun-14 08:56:07

I am recently widowed and 8 months pregnant, with 3 year old DD. I'm coping by being practical so I'm looking at my chilcare options. DD currently in part time nursery, starts school in September. I think I will take six months maternity leave. Other relevant points:

1) I have a spare room (small double) on a separate floor but only one bathroom. I would refit this to make it as nice as possible.

2) Could not provide car but live in central Guildford near excellent transport, school is very walkable

3) I don't need nanny to do housework as I think I can manage to fund a cleaner for a while

4) I will probably return to work 4 days a week. I work 15 mins walk and can be flexible with hours, but will need someone to do early/late cover sometimes.

5) I will probably want a couple of evenings babysitting.

I am thinking I might as well employ someone full time once the baby arrives, thinking they can do days with baby and I do nights. I will be BF but will consider top ups so I can get a sleep in day. So it wouldn't be a sole charge role until six months. I might need a fair bit of flexibility in the first six months e.g Saturday morning overtime.

I guess I need a live in nanny for flexibility and also to reduce cost to me. Would the job appeal to anyone given the modest accommodation? What level of flexibility is reasonable to expect? Could I swap time off during day for babysitting in eve by mutual agreement each week? And what is the total cost to me likely to be? I've seen salaries of £350 gross for live in, is this about right?

All info and suggestions welcome.

grobagsforever Thu 12-Jun-14 09:00:50

I'd refit the bedroom, not the bathroom!

PacificDogwood Thu 12-Jun-14 09:07:40

grobags, I thought this might be you {hugs}

How long will your maternity leave be?

I think your set up sounds perfectly fine.
We have a nanny who is not live in (she lives in the next road to us), but has been a godsend in terms of flexibility and helping out when needed.
The single most important thing when choosing a nanny IMO is having a gut-feeling that she is right. Yes, references and all that, are important, but I'd take a less qualified person who is right over somebody with all the paperwork but with less good of a 'fit' to the family.

Cost will v much depend on where in the country you are - hopefully somebody who knows about Guildford will be along.

I think it is good that you are a being practical, but how you feel about things (having somebody in the house with you) may well change still with time.

I don't know what to say regarding your DH's death. It is truly beyond words, but fwiw you have been in my thoughts lots.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 12-Jun-14 10:03:10

Hello Grobags, I was also on your other thread.

I hope your dear husband's funeral went as well as it could have and that you are looking after yourself.

I was an au-pair years ago, and what you suggest sounds fine to me! (although I did it years ago, so things may have changed)

Good luck, and more flowers

nannynoss Thu 12-Jun-14 10:14:14

Hi grobags, so sorry to hear about your DH. I was also following your other thread. Well done for thinking practically even at a time like this.

I am a live in nanny and what you have proposed sounds perfectly fine and 'normal'. Nannies expect to be flexible, as long as we're kept in the loop, we will help as much as possible. And being live in does obviously mean that extra bit of flexibility. (Eg I don't mind babysitting late because I'm in my own home and can carry on as normal once children are asleep and go to bed myself if it's really late). Again, swapping time off in day for evening is easier with live in. A live out nanny might not want to go all the way home for a few hours then have to come back IYKWIM. But I quite like it when this happens to me as I can just pop upstairs and put gym clothes on and go for a run!

It is also very common for a nanny to start a job shared-care while mum is on maternity leave.

I would try advertising on Gumtree and first to get an idea of interest.

grobagsforever Thu 12-Jun-14 10:24:33

Thanks all for replies so far.

CrystalSkulls Thu 12-Jun-14 10:40:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EverythingIsAwesome Thu 12-Jun-14 11:20:54

I see your husband died just 5 days ago, how have you been managing childcare the last few weeks? Can that continue? Sorry for your recent loss sad

Biscuitsneeded Thu 12-Jun-14 11:33:13

First of all, I'm very sorry about your husband. I hope you and your DD are getting lots of support.

I think your domestic arrangements sound ideal for an au pair. So you could either pay a full nanny salary, or have an au pair for picking up DD from school, baby sitting etc, and top up with nursery sessions for the baby. Before the baby is old enough for nursery you could have a nanny/maternity nurse for six months to see you through. Also, do you know about Homestart? They are a charity that helps parents in difficult circumstances and may be able to help you.

Take care.

rm00054 Thu 12-Jun-14 12:52:32

I'm in Guildford smile
The job sounds great. Salary sounds fine too (maybe even a little generous? I'm live-out, 3 days a week and on 18k gross). In terms of extra cost to you don't forget to factor in the extra costs you will have (employers tax etc) when doing your budget - there's loads of threads on here about that.

I know a few nannies looking for work in the area and I can also give recommendations for good agencies in the area if you wanted to go down that route. (PM me if you want.)

Cindy34 Thu 12-Jun-14 12:53:05

Plenty of people looking for live-out nanny jobs in Guildford area, sl I would look at at option, as you then do not share your home with someone 24/7.

You need to have your own time as a family. Live out nannies can work quite long hours if you need that and will also babysit on occasional evenings. Rates in the area are £8-12 gross an hour, depending on experience, though think about cost as annual, not hourly.

Cindy34 Thu 12-Jun-14 12:54:52

350 gross for livein job with newborn/baby sounds low to me.

Have a look at job listings on sites like to see what other jobs are in the area.

grobagsforever Thu 12-Jun-14 14:37:40

My mum has been managing child care the last few weeks but at some point she needs to go home,she's not local, nor are my in-laws. Finances should be fine, we have life insurance, death in service, pension fund and I have claimed widows parents allowance. So I have funds for nanny but obviously want to keep as much as possible for the future. I do want to pay a fair salary of course. Can offer generous holidays too as family could pick up the slack. Live out just seemed a bit too expensive. On the other hand I could fund the gap with a housemate!

I hope no one thinks I am being cold looking at all this now, it's my way of coping. rm00054 I'd be grateful of your local knowledge/recommendation s if you could pm me.

Biscuitsneeded Thu 12-Jun-14 14:42:58

Grobags. ((((Hugs))). I am sure nobody thinks badly of you at all - personally my heart goes out to you and I applaud your bravery.

SallyMcgally Thu 12-Jun-14 15:00:58

Just wanted to let you know Im thinking of you grobags xx

notapizzaeater Thu 12-Jun-14 15:02:54

No one will think bad of you, you need yo be practical and strong now and in a few weeks time with a newborn it will be so much harder (((hugs))))

EverythingIsAwesome Thu 12-Jun-14 15:21:23

When is the funeral? Sending you all the strength to get through that xxx no wonder you want to keep busy.

ajandjjmum Thu 12-Jun-14 15:28:31

I'm full of admiration for you grobags - and totally understand the need to focus on the practical.

ExCinnamon Thu 12-Jun-14 15:40:17

Hello ((growbags))
I would carefully consider if a live in nanny is for you. It is quite full-on to have someone living in your house.
Same goes for housemate.
If you don't need the money desperately, I'd be careful who I let into my life at such a vulnerable time. Live out nanny is a bit less intrusive.

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 12-Jun-14 16:06:58

((Hugs)) grobags - I am amazed and impressed with your strength in such early days

Glad you have support - dh died just over 3yrs ago and I found way a great support. Widowed and young - sorry can't link as on phone - but contact them to find your local group

Also there is a £2k bereavement fund you should be intitled to

Childcare - my honest view is don't get a live in. Having someone 24/7 in your home is hard

Maybe a part time nanny for a few days to give you a break esp if bf and doing nights alone - or get a night nanny /mat nurse to cover 3 nights - even if bf - you can sleep and then they will bring baby to you for feeding and then they settle baby and you can sleep - I have done a few jobs like before

Once you are back at work it sounds a lovely position smile

Any help or advice regards childcare or your sad situation then please do message me xx

Soggysandpit Thu 12-Jun-14 18:41:21

I would consider live in nanny, but I think it might be more like £350 net so you need to get advice locally.

MrsMaturin Thu 12-Jun-14 19:00:16

I think a live in nanny would be a mistake in the circumstances of the story here. Would very well for a single parent yes, but not a recently bereaved one. I think a maternity nurse to provide some support with the new baby would be useful and then I would take as long a maternity leave as you can. Only towards the end of that would I be thinking about moving somebody else in to the house.

Is longer leave an option OP?

grobagsforever Thu 12-Jun-14 23:16:24

Longer leave is an option but I need work for company and sanity.

Blondeshavemorefun Fri 13-Jun-14 07:35:05

Totally understand the work for sanity thing. Not sure if you are working now or given up for ml but I went bck after 3 weeks as needed to occupy my mind or at least try to

Also don't make any rash decisions and how is dd coping?

grobagsforever Fri 13-Jun-14 07:47:24

DD is ok, bit young to really understand. I'm on mat leave now so have time to kill which is hard. Hence filling the day with research and practical tasks.

I'm torn re the live in issue. I guess I could advertise the position as both as see how I feel when I meet the candidates.

One other thought, could the hours be split over six days? Or even four week days and a Saturday? That way I'd get time off at weekends so see other adults who work during week.

Or would nannies hate this?

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