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CM Club - Upset this morning, feeling really guilty but totally out of my control......!!!

(42 Posts)
looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 10:43:49

Some of you know from the staffroom that ds suddenly came out in a few spots on Friday late afternoon. I texted mum of baby to warn her he may have chickenpox and when they collected, I said I'd email the next day to confirm. I sensed she wasn't happy from her text responses plus when I called she didn't answer and then straight away after, her dh called me.

Anyway, did an email yesterday confirming he DOES have chickenpox, apologised and said it's out of my control etc. Well just got this reply......

"Oh dear. I AM a bit worried about this as we are going on holiday on Saturday ;( and not sure what rules and regulations are about travelling when one of your party has a contagious disease...I will have a look on the web. As far as her coming to you, I am happy about that as it's just her you have so if she DOES need special care, then you are on hand to do it (plus I have meetings on both days that in light of us going away + xyz, I am going to struggle to postpone/cancel). How is he? x"

I feel just terrible. I've already apologised, there's nothing I could have to to prevent it and I straight away informed them, what more could I do??!! It ISN'T just her baby I have but it is from 9ish-12.45 but then I have ds and then at 2.30 we do the other school run to get 3 yr old mindee. I will make sure she understands this so doens't get it in her head it's pure 1:1 care her baby will get BUT my main upset is the thing about her holiday. She's just made me feel much worse than I already did. I know she's not having a go as such but how should I respond to that bit???!!! hmm Sounds to me like she's just letting me know she's not happy - that makes me feel a WHOLE lot better, thanks!!!

I shouldn't moan, they are a lovely family and she's obviously upset about the timing and venting off a bit but it upset me as I've already made it clear I feel really bad (I burst into tears on friday night after the dad collected as I knew they weren't happy). I hate this side of the job. I should just be worried about making sure my little boy is ok (tearful at times as got a cluster right on the edge of his eye so hurts to blink plus very very itchy).

Moan over, just got really upset and wanting to get some advice on how to respond.


FabulousKbear Sun 23-Sep-07 10:49:14

Don't feel terrible, chicken pox is out of our control and there's nothing you can do to prevent it or her child getting it. It's the luck of the draw. My childen got it when it was convenient, other children get it the day before a holiday of a lifetime or the day they go to Brownie camp or something. She shouldn't be moaning at you about it IMO.

FabulousKbear Sun 23-Sep-07 10:50:53

She is surely not going to bring her to you if she gets chicken pox and is ill though? (just read your OP again). Some kids aren't ill with it but some are and it's a bit much for your to look after your sick child as well as hers isn't it? Or do I have this wrong?

lololola Sun 23-Sep-07 10:54:59

omg looneytune so sorry to hear this. look, just remember your a c/m not GOD you cant stop everything happening! our job means we are constantly out and about with the chlidren, playgroups etc, and bound to pick things up! yes your right, you should be more worried about your child, dont mean to sound uncaring about mindee but it is only chicken pox! unfortunate about their holiday, but thats life sometimes. chill out smile

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 11:10:49

Sorry, just burst into tears as I told dh blush. I just feel so responsible all the time as mum is VERY protective of her little girl. Sometimes I really think she should get a nanny as I worry if the kids make noise when baby is dropped off as mum worries she's tired etc. I worry when my cat pops in (very very rare) as she doesn't like cats and all I could tell her when we met was the truth, that the cat hardly ever comes in when I have kids in the house but sometimes pops in to get food etc. I'm always worried about silly little things and all this texting if I don't reply to an email within an hr etc. is doing my head in. I'm busy looking after the children so don't always see the email straight away or have the time to respond.

Part of me is thinking it's time to have a chat???? I don't want to loose them as I think they are a really nice family but I just can't do with such over protective parents, if you choose a childminder or nursery then you are likely to have your child catch something at times, I personally can't help this!!! I could fill all the spaces this baby takes up so from that point of view I don't have a problem.


Kbear - the thing about her baby being ill also worried me. I have in my policies that if a child needs 1:1 care then they have to go home. Well, this mum seems to think that because she'd paying double then she's getting 1:1 care and it's not the case. If she wants 1:1 care then she needs to pay me for 5 spaces and not 2!!! I have a feeling she thinks I should do one to one care due to my ds giving her the illness (if this happens) but it doesn't work that way does it?! Her baby gave my family bad tummies but I didn't even tell her as didn't want her to feel bad (and by the time we had mindee again we were clear).

lololola - hello

lololola Sun 23-Sep-07 11:29:35

lt, calm dowm. i know how difficult this job can be, its a hugh responsibility, and one that we do on our own with no back up. i dont know you lt, but you sound so caring, kind, & considerate i would love to have you as my c/m! you have done nothing wrong. one of my mindees gave my ds chicken pox and he missed his first week of school. this just happens. i think you do need to have a chat with the parents about your contractual obligation to them, but yes, if they want 1-2-1 care then they have to pay for however many children you are registered for. smile x x

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 11:38:46

Thank you for your kind message lololola I just hate letting people down

I do feel like something needs to be said to these parents as I remember once I was worried about baby and said she may have to go home and they were worried as both out of the area and no-one to look after baby if I sent home. Well....I'm afraid like with nurseries, this is the parents problem, they need to have someone they can use as backup, I can't go against my policies just because they are stuck, otherwise it's not fair on the others!

Do you agree I need to say something? They couldn't pay me all those spaces even if they wanted to as I have another mindee in the afternoon. I'm happy to have baby if she's a little upset, I just can't have her screaming her head off all day with others needing me too. Is that wrong for me to feel that way?

I love my job but sometimes I hate it iykwim!

lololola Sun 23-Sep-07 11:53:25

yep, know what you mean, its a great job but simetimes does get a little bit much. i think its because we work from home. ive had parents call me at 8.00 pm to talk about something, and i think " hang on a minute, couldnt this wait till the morning, im bathing my son!" sad i do think you should talk to parents, ( if you feel its time for a chat) but stop apologising. keep a professional approach. would a class teacher be non stop apologetic if a child picked up chicken pox at school. you cant keep the child wrapped in cotton wool. your doing a great job, and they should be grateful ! smile x

hennipenni Sun 23-Sep-07 12:37:06

Looney, please don't feel guilty for something that is so obviously out of your control. I think that you're right, it is time to have a chat. I know she's paying you double for a space but it's starting to sound like she thinks that you are running your business entirely aroun her. As for the CP and her holiday, well sh** happens and anyway baby may not develope it anywauy.

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 12:38:57

You are right, thanks. I think I need to do something about them not having someone else as back up. At the end of the day, if baby catches this (I hope she doesn't) and ends up so ill that no one else gets a look in then I'll have to send home to be in line with my policies - would you agree? Please say if not!

It's actually quite funny how different parents can be - the mum of the 2 sisters I have wants them to get it out of the way so on Friday I sent an 'Invitation to Chicken Pox Party' grin I happy to take all these children if they get chickenpox but if they get so poorly they need their parents then I just have to send home, end of!

Thanks for letting me vent.

Still after any feedback on all this so as many opinions as possible please

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 12:39:42

henni - that's how I feel, it's all about that baby 2 days a week, I'm finding it a bit draining tbh!

ThePrisoner Sun 23-Sep-07 13:37:52

I wouldn't encourage parents of the 2 sisters to send their children to you to "make" them get chickenpox. Chickenpox can have some serious complications, people seem to forget that.

And if your ds is still contagious, why would the baby's mum still want to send her baby if she doesn't want her to get chickenpox before their holiday? I know she's already been exposed to it, but that doesn't mean she has definitely caught it. Why risk it again this week?

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 13:44:53

I see your point TP, I just went with what advice I got last time round when we thought ds had chickenpox but didn't. Seemed like lots of people take the kids IF they want them to come from what I read. I'd be surprised if they haven't already caught it with the amount of cuddles ds gives them. As for double pay baby, they don't come back until Thursday which is over 5 days after onset of rash as per my policies. Isn't this standard?

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 13:46:57

BTW TP - I didn't ENCOURAGE the parents to send their kids to me, just want to make that VERY clear!! I was all set to close last time when we thought ds had them but the parents insisted they WANTED them to come still if he has them. Soooo, this email 'INVITING' them to a chickenpox party was a JOKE type email as I knew full well she'd want to send them. Am I making sense?

funnypeculiar Sun 23-Sep-07 14:00:48

OK, d/k if this is useful - but I'm c/m user, rather than a cm

Humm, tbh, I wonder if you're being a bit sensitive to her comments. It's annoying when your kids get exposed to an infectious disease just before you go on hols. That doesn't mean you're annoyed at the kid who exposed you to that disease, does it? If a mate texted me with this sort of info I might well think "bugger, just what I need just before hols/when i've got 101 things to sort for work before we go/really can't afford the time off'
And no, I probably wouldn't text back in such an unsympathetic way as this mum has, but I can understand her emotions a bit. Maybe she just isn't thinking about it from your pov.

OTOH< I would NOT send my dcs to the cm if either they or the cm were ill (cm had tonsillitus last week. Was a PITA, but kids just didn't go, end of.)

It sounds to me like you're being expected to take, & accepting responsibility for something that isn't your fault. Perhaps you need a chat about what happens when you/your dcs/their children are ill, so that she understands that she's asking beyond the call of duty. IF you decide to take unwell kids as a FAVOUR, that's your call, but surely she should know she can't expect that?

Why is she paying double for a space?

And MORE IMPORTANTLY ... how's your ds doing smile

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 14:17:41

funnypeculiar - thanks for your post, I think I am being a little sensitive yes, but I think the reason I'm like that is I'm so drained from all the things I've had to put up with since baby started at 8 weeks old (now 7 months). There has been a time when mum had a chat to all the kids asking them to whisper as her baby was tired (mindee looked upset as hadn't met her before), I pay for my ds to go to a lunch club those 2 days a week so that her baby gets more one to one time plus it fits in with her routine more, I've had bad reactions to ds having a sniffle etc. yet when the option is given for a refund if she stays off, she says she's got no-one to have baby, lots and lots of little things have just made me at the end of my teather tbh. I suppose the reason I was more upset with this on Friday is because she'd been emailing during the day (as usual) and I was supporting her as she's having a hard time emotionally and she'd been all happy and thanking me for listening etc and then I texted asap once I saw the spots and immediately I could 'feel' the tention in her replies plus her not answering the phone when I called. I really feel terrible about this and was just upset that she'd put that extra bit on the email to make me feel even worse I do understand it buggers things up for her but I just hate the 'responsibility' of this job sometimes!!!

Yes, I have kept children when ill for 'favours' (or because some parents just don't bother coming back to pick them up!! shock - that's another story! wink) and so I know it's my fault for being soft in the first place. Having said that, I haven't with this family. This will be the first time she's been ill (if she gets it) since I've had her. I did used to have her screaming her head off loads in the early days but that was because she was so young and couldn't get herself off to sleep and would therefore get over tired. What bothers me is the way that they say they are busy with meetings etc (as if others parents aren't) and therefore can't have her off sick. Well, I'm afraid when parents sign up they are agreeing to my t&c's which make it very clear about illness. It's not my problem (or it shouldn't be) that they don't have someone else to help out. My policies should be my policies end of. However......I'm far too bloomin soft!! blush

She pays me double as she wants to have as near to one to one care for her baby as possible. Thing is, although she knows I have another mindee and my ds, she still seems to have it in her head that baby gets special attention and one to one care but it's just not fair on the others to be like this. She's not paying for all spaces, just for the extra full day space.

Gosh, what a ramble - sorry blush

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 14:22:05

Has your ds had/got chicken pox? You can hide behind OFSTED rules in that no infectious children are allowed to go to childcare. It is something you can lose registration for.
I would explain how you understand it is inconvenient,but unfortunately you have to go by the rules laid down and apologise profusely. hmm

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 14:24:05

Well I don't mind having children if they aren't suffering too much i.e. like ds. It's if they need special care that I have a problem. It does say in my policies that if a child is not able to go along with the usual routine and/or needs extra one to one care then they are not well enough to be here.

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 14:24:31

p.s. it's ds who's got the pox atm

tori32 Sun 23-Sep-07 14:30:22

I see, so the baby hasn't yet? Just might?

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 14:33:35

No baby may not even get it, I'm just wondering how to respond to mum's email as she put..."As far as her coming to you, I am happy about that as it's just her you have so if she DOES need special care, then you are on hand to do it" in her email which suggests she'd expect me to give her one to one care IF needed, even though I'd still have ds and 3 yr old mindee here (for end of the day)

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 16:07:21

Gulp - I've just replied to email. She's not gonna be happy I don't think

nannynick Sun 23-Sep-07 16:09:52

Chickenpox - Info from HPA
Incubation period is 10-21 days.
Most infectious stage is 1-2 days PRIOR to the rash appearing, so baby may already have chickenpox, is your DS has come into contact with baby during the past few days.

Your DS is infectious for 5-6 days from the rash appearing, and should be isolated from other children. Can you isolate him and still childmind?

Chickenpox and Flying - NHS Direct - "If your child has chickenpox, they may not be allowed to fly during the infectious stage (two days before the rash appears until roughly five days after)."
If baby does not have a rash, she will be allowed to fly, but once rash appears the airline may refuse her. Important therefore for the babies parents to have holiday insurance.

Mother wrote: "I am happy about that as it's just her you have so if she DOES need special care, then you are on hand to do it"
Surely that isn't her choice... as a provider it is your choice if you take a ill child, or not. At this stage her child isn't even ill, though of course her child may already be carrying / infectious.

At present, I see the problem more being that your DS is infectious and remains infectious for the next few days, thus if babies mum wants to minimise the risk of her baby getting it, then she needs to not send baby to you. Her choice though, as long as you can isolate your DS and are prepared to care for minded child at the same time.

looneytune Sun 23-Sep-07 16:15:23

Cheers Nick, that baby isn't back until Thursday and the rash started on Friday so it's after the 5 days iyswim.

Yes, it's NOT her choice, if baby has Chickenpox, purely because all other families are in agreement, she can come but I've now emailed saying no, she's not the only mindee I have and therefore I can't have her if she's really poorly with it.

nannynick Sun 23-Sep-07 16:48:58

Quite right, well done for making the decision smile

Your DS having chickenpox is one thing.
A minded child having chickenpox is quite another. You are fully in your rights to refuse to care for her child, if she has chickenpox.

If come Thursday she does not have chickenpox, then there isn't a problem. But as soon as the rash appears, she goes home and stays there for a week.

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