Childminder & dinner, how do I sort this?(10 Posts)
(Not in UK by the way, so various rules etc won't apply)
We have found a fantastic childminder for DCs from September. She lives locally, is willing to do the morning shift (about an hour, getting DC organised and sorted for school, then walking them there), and have time for herself in the morning, then picking them up from school.
She is also happy to walk them back to our house in time for us to come home. Last time we met up, she said she was happy/willing to "get the dinner started" for us, as well as sorting out the DC, getting them changed etc.
I suppose she will be like a cross between a nanny and a childminder.
But how do I sort out the dinner thjng? Ignore the offer completely and eat late/reheat? Leave a note? Have a weekly plan? Just leave something out for the DC?
I'm utterly confused as to how I can make this work.
(I do believe it's a genuine "I'd like to help make your life easier" offer from her. She's lovely.)
Depending on the time, I'd just leave easy snacks for the kids like toast, cheese and crackers, fruit etc. And the give them dinner when you get home. If they went to after school club or nursery that's what would happen.
Do you mean, what instructions should you give her? Such as, could you chop an onion and garlic and knock up a chicken casserole / get the fishfingers under the grill?
Only you and she can sort that one out.
I think it might be an idea to talk to any friends locally who have a similar sort of arrangement and see what they do, just so that you don't put her on the spot by asking for something that she wasn't thinking of, but really you need to talk to her. I would say that on the face of it 'getting the dinner started' would imply that she would be starting off a family meal, and if this is the case I would absolutely jump at the chance. Yes, it would involve meal planning and getting food in in advance, but equally I'm sure that on days when this isn't in place it won't do them any harm to have a quick sandwich & fruit tea before you come in and start cooking.
The think is cruikshank, nobody I know has a similar arrangement, which is why I'm stumped by it. In fact almost all of my friends with children have a SAHP or someone who works part time (I did for 3 years, DH has been doing it for 8 months, but his job is now going back to full time). The others use crèches.
MrsLH asked what I'd like her to do - the thing is, I don't know... I've never had anyone involved in cooking for my family other than me or DH.
Timing wise, I'll get in at 6:30 (not sure what DH's hours will be yet, probably similar). Youngest DC used to go to bed at 7, but we've been stretching it over the holidays, so will probably be about 7:45. Older goes to bed at about 8:30. So we'll really need to eat straight away once I come in.
Do you eat together as a family? How long has Childminder got? And realistically, would she be better helping the children with homework or chopping/cooking or doing the baths? I would personally get Childminder to feed and bathe children, and then you and hubby eat when children are in bed. X
At the moment DH eats with the DC around 6 and I eat either at 6:30 when I come in, or after DC are in bed. But DH has been waiting until I come home sometimes recently, which seems to work ok unless DD2 is very tired.
I've just been thinking back over the past few years to figure out how we did it when we both worked full time. (Not since before DD2 was born). DD1 either ate at childminder, and DH and I had main meal at work, or she had full dinner at lunch time (we were in Belgium, and they do a full 3 course meal at lunch time!) so she just had a light snack while we ate dinner. Where we are now means packed lunches only, so they will need a proper dinner.
I don't really want to get into the habit of fish fingers/beans for kids and "proper dinner" for adults (I've no objection to fish fingers and beans, they get them regularly, but I've spent a lot of time perfecting "family meals" that work for everyone, including DD2's allergies, that I'd like for everyone to keep eating them same for the most part).
I'm probably over thinking this, and I can clarify it with her as we get closer to the time. I'm just very keen for it all to go smoothly and wanted to start off well.
I meal plan, shop and prepare dinner for my bosses, my charge and I eat the same thing at lunch time so while I'm preparing for us, I do enough for them too.
Could you batch cook a load of bolognese, curry, chilli, chicken and sauce, fish in white/cheese sauce etc for the freezer? That way, you get a portion out in the morning and ask her to cook some rice, pasta, potato, quinoa, cous cous, and some veg and reheat the sauce.
My meal plan for last week was -
Monday - Harissa prawns and carroty cous cous (takes 15 mins to cook)
Tuesday - chilli (from the freezer) and rice.
Wednesday - jacket potatoes (I popped them in the oven at 6 so they were cooked for 7:30) they added their toppings
Thursday - sea bass, rice and tomato and pepper salsa (I prepped the bass and made the salsa first thing boss popped it in the oven and turned on rice when she got in and then came up to take over bed and story time. Dad boss got home 10 minutes later and finished everything off)
Friday - take away. I don't usually work Fridays but if I do I'll plan something but I was feeling rubbish with the flu so couldn't be bothered so they got a take away!)
I meant to add, if you sort the protein then you don't feel like you are asking too much or taking her away from the children for too long. My charge sleeps 2-3 hours at lunch time which is when I do my batch cooking.
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