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Feeling very stressed about childcare options. It goes like this: my LO will be 8 months in January when I go back to work. I am waiting for my flexible working request, but I have asked for 3.5 days which my boss has provisionally agreed to (although its not his final decision).
Since 4 months, I have had a mothers help who is great with LO. Ideally I'd like to keep her on for the sake of continuity, but she can only do the two current days that she comes to me. When I got her she did have another free day but the other family that she works for have snagged that now.
MIL always said she wanted to do a day to help out, but now she is saying that she only has one full day free, and that is one of the days that the other lady is available. She has offered another half day which could possibly help. I can always take neither option but that will no doubt cause friction.
My own mother could probably do half a day but to be honest I don't think that she has the energy for regular childcare, and she has already once resorted to putting LO in front of the tv which I don't especially want for a 5 month old.
Either way, I am going to need more help. MIL is adamant that he is too young for a nursery at 8 months (and so DH by proxy is against it). I don't necessarily agree. I think that at least with a nursery they will always have staff, unlike one person who gets caught with a late bus/food poisoning/other problems that make her late or cancel as I have already experienced in the last 2 months. So nursery is an option if I tell them to go stuff themselves.
Another choice is finding someone else to go alongside, but is having two different nannies for LO ridiculous? Or should I bite the bullet with the current mothers help that I have and get another one?
I know that I haven't considered childminders, I feel like its a needle in a haystack finding one round where I live.
So basically you can either have curent mh for 2 days and find chikdcare 1.5days elsewhere - which will Prob cost 2 days as unless another nanny both cm and nursery will charge whole day
Or find a new 3.5 chikdcare option - whether a new nanny - cm or nursery
8mths isnt too young to go to nursery tho tbh a baby will get more attention via a nanny or cm
Tbh comes down to cost. And what type of chikdcare you want
Do you have to work 3.5 days? Could you step it down to 2 and keep hold of your mothers help? 3.5 days felt like full-time to me when I had to look after children as well. I was happier and much less stressed when I dropped to 2. (Even more now an SAHM).
I completely sympathise if it's for financial reasons though, naturally.
UG: unfortunately with my job it wont work taking it down to 2.
I say that for for lots of reasons, but primarily because im a product of the 90's recession and i still remember in primary school not wanting to ask my parents to buy me a recorder (flute type) for school because i was stressed about asking them for money when we didnt have any. i just cannot do that to my LO.
BHMF: do you think its not going to work having another MH/nanny for 2 days a week? Local nursery won't budge on their policy of a minimum of days per week so I think I'm ruling that out for the moment.
To be honest it seems like a lot of hassle swapping days relying on a few people to keep to their days etc. If I was you and you can afford a nanny I personally In your situation would find a nanny for all the days you need.
I would get a nanny too if I were you. 8 months is still very young so a good time to change childcare - easier than if child was 2 years and then changing nanny!
Also with a nanny you may have a bit more flexibility with if you need to swap a day for a work event, need a babysitter etc if she only works for you.
Tbh having 2 nannies and two sets of holidays and tax's etc sounds hassle
Think far better to have just one nanny
Plus with your mh. She may be good with you about but do you think she can cope sole charge?
I'd find a good nursery and stick with it until dc goes to school that way they get continuity. Or a nanny if you can afford it but then you have to deal with swapping childcare providers again at some point.
Forget about using grandparental care they sound flakey. Best leave them for optional babysitting on odd evenings and weekends.
Can you not go back to work a bit later? Will a couple of months more be unaffordable? I've used nursery from 1yo which was great. My friends who had dc in from younger ages also did brilliantly. Nothing to worry about providing you like the place and the carers.
My experience: first baby my mum looked after two days a week. Then had second baby 19 months later, she agreed to have both two days a week, then started getting stressed and I upped my hours to 3 days. We have ended up with: nanny on Mondays who drops off / collects DS1 at preschool whilst looking after DS2, childminder Thursday who does the same and my mum has both on Wednesdays.
At times I feel guilty that they are being passed around a bit. But mainly I think it works well; they are usually all happy to cover if each other are sick / away (have had nightmares with mum being poorly when she was the only one who looked after them). They absolutely LOVE going to my mum, and it is different having someone who genuinely loves them look after them; saying that she doesn't take them out much and they get much more social opportunities with the others. I can feel how stressed you are as I had complete nightmares trying to tessellate my days. But the boys are happy and everyone else seems fine too! So I would definitely take up MIL's offer and work the rest out as best you can.
No one loves your child like a grandparent. You just wont get that from a nursery.
Otherwise a nanny. One to one is good at this age.
My Lo was ready for nursery at about 18 months.
I would avoid grandparent care and keep it up your sleeve for if nanny/cm is ill or if baby is sick and cannot go to nursery. I have always used a cm but found a really good one who only looks after my kids and her own most of the time and is very flexible so it kind of depends on finding somebody you like who can do the days you need.
Personally I wouldn't use grandparents - you infer there is already an issue beciase DH agrees with your mil re nursery. Magnify that by 1000 around issues like Food naps bottles etc etc. Sometimes grandparents provide great support and care - and sometimes it's the road to stress and broken relationships.
Personally I'd find a nursury that can do the 3.5 days - and if no good option then hire a nanny for that time
Swapping between two or three types of care would do my head in
I too say just one childcare provision if you can. It will make things easier in the long run. If you have a nanny, you could always use the grandparents as a backup should the nanny be off sick.
If you plan on having more children a nanny will be able to stay while you're on maternity leave and then take over again once you go back to work
A childminder will be able to offer home from home childcare. A nursery would always be my last choice of childcare as the staff turnover can be high and there are lots more children to carer
My dd started nursery at 5 months, and has been going for over two years now, 3 and a half days a week. In all that time we've never had any issue with the level of care she has received, and staff have been very loving and affectionate towards her (and she has always been happy to go). There has been some staff turnover, but good staff leaving have always been replaced by good staff coming in.
In fact, in some ways I like the fact that she's bonded with a number of adults rather than just one very intense bond, as you might get with a nanny or cm, as realistically that person won't be in the child's life forever - I imagine it could be quite traumatic when in comes time for a loved nanny to move on!
Anyway, obviously this is all subjective, but I just wanted to post for balance, as many pp's were ruling out nursery as unsuitable for babies, but personally I found it ideal.
I think you need to get a feel for the different options in your area. I'm sure certain nurseries, nannies and childminders will provide 3.5 (or 1.5) days a week as they all vary.
Start off looking online. You should be able to find some local childminders profiles through netmums and nurserys will have their own websites. Is there a local facebook mummys group in your area? They will be able to give you feedback on whats good near you.
Visit nurseries and childminders etc and go with your gut. You dont need to decide anything straight away.
I know this will sound harsh, but what is your DH doing to help with this conundrum? It's all very well him saying that he doesn't like nursery, but then he needs to understand that good alternatives are tricky to find and not without complications. And be part of the solution - either by helping source childcare or providing some himself. Has he explored compressed hours or similar to allow him to look after his child for the day that's causing problems?
And as for the pp suggesting the answer is to reduce your working days .....
I agree with lovely in that nursery can work well. My current charge went to nursery from when she was a small baby until I started, and she is so sociable as a 2 year old now. And yes you can find bad nurseries, but you can also find bad nannies!
But as you are used to having a MH, I think a nanny would be the most similar form of childcare and the easiest switch for both you and your LO.
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