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CM CLUB - need to chat and decide what to do for the future

(25 Posts)
sadandconfusedchildminder Thu 11-Sep-08 11:45:47

Hi all

I'm using another name for this as my profile has too much info and I definitely want to keep my identity hidden for this. I'm expecting my MN childminder mates to guess who I am though

I'm near the end of my 2nd week back childminding after 12 weeks maternity leave. I've had 1 or 2 really great days and right now I'm feeling good again as I now have 3 babies all napping BUT.....it's been SOOOO hard being back with 3 under 18 months (of course there's my older ds too but he's at school during the day). All these children are lovely and I had them before I went on leave. The families are fab and well, I just love them all so much and it couldn't be more perfect from that pov. HOWEVER......I suppose it's the 1 mindee in particular who's making it really hard for me (obviously not on purpose and she is gorgeous etc, just the way she is now is making it very hard).

This mindee is 8 months old and started with me at 8 weeks. She's come back and is fine with regards to being left again after being away from a childminder for 12 weeks from around 6 months old. The problem I have is she's VERY VERY clingy with me. She's not actually very well atm so I'm hoping it's just down to that but I'm confused as her mum said she's fine at home (i.e. not well but not clingy iyswim) but she's extremely clingy with ME. Maybe it's because at home there is just her so she knows when she needs something, she will get dealt with straight away whereas I have 3 little ones so maybe she wants to make sure she gets me before anyone else does????? I just don't know. If I don't face her she cries, if I walk out of the room she cries. It's not just a cry, it's a piercing scream that goes right through you like a whistle is being blown very hard in your ear!! Others have commented on how much noise such a little one can make.

Anyway, as I've said, love her to bits but it's extremely difficult right now and it's upsetting me to feel like I don't know what to do right now. My own baby is only 11 weeks today and is generally fine (except when tired) but when she screams he cries so badly like he's in pain and I think it's just the high pitched scream of hers he can't cope with. They end up setting each other off and the only way I can deal with them is by splitting them up so they can't hear each other and then one at a time deal with them. Unfortunately for my ds2, it's him that gets left to start with as I feel I should always put mindees first.

Things that have gone through my mind just recently:

- I love having all these little ones
- I can't carry on with all these little ones
- I'm going to look into getting a 'proper' job
- I don't really want to do anything but childmind, it's just hard atm but I'll get through it
- my own kids are getting hardly any time with me, I feel like a crap mum
- if I work instead, my kids will get even less time with me
- but then the time they do get with me will be less rushed etc

<confused>

Sorry, I've really gone off on one haven't I. I suppose this is just as useful for myself to note this down and see how I feel in a week or 2. I'm just finding it very tough and have major guilt going on with regards to my own children and how 5 yr old ds1 never gets to go to any groups or anything due to me working and ds2 is not getting any quality time with me either.

I've just got to decide whether to ride this out as it can only get better, if it doesn't improve do I give notice to the mindee who's making it hard? Or do I forget childminding all together and see if I can get a job being employed?

If you've got to the bottom of this, you deserve a medal!!! grin

Off now as one of the mindees just woken up.

Thanks for letting me air my concerns

fairibell Thu 11-Sep-08 11:59:20

No great advice (wish I had a magic answer for you!) - I am due to start a job looking after my DD (4months) and another LO (almost 8 months) and am worried about dealing with just the two of them so I take my hat off to you (would look at CMing but house isn't suitable so registering with ofsted as a nanny - although find it hard to see myself coming under that title, not sure why!)

Am wondering if I might have seen (not really met) you at a local baby/toddler group on Monday (was with the mum and baby who will be looking after and we hadn't been before! Could be totally wrong though! lol)

Having just come out of a 'proper job'due to having my daughter (and the fact that after childcare would only be bringing home £400 a month - which can't afford to live on!) - I would say it is early days and to give it a bit longer!

Sorry wish I could help more, I am sure someone with much better/more experience advice will be in soon!

BabyBaby123 Thu 11-Sep-08 12:00:00

hi,i don't 'know' you and don't know anything really about your situation but from your post - you sound like a really excellent,caring childminder BUT you do sound like you are really pushing yourself very hard after giving birth so recently. Of course, if it's only your 2nd week back you may find things improve over time - but my thoughts are this - this time with YOUR baby will come once and once only. We all need to earn money and childminding is great from that point of view. I have 2 dc and have always minded, I'm now in early pg again and plan to carry on after baby BUT I will only care for one other child and only part time.

Hard as it is, I think you may have to cut down your hours and your mindees. I don't know how financially viable this is for you but there is help, WFTC etc if your income drops. I really don't think it is worth working yourself into the ground at this stage with your own baby so little, can you think about maybe working 3 or even 4 days a week?

I think you sound wonderful btw but take it easy on yourself.

nannynick Thu 11-Sep-08 12:07:23

Babies do get clingy at that age. Being unwell... or teething... doesn't help that. With luck it is just a phrase.

Are you getting out and about, getting to chat with adults? It can be isolating at times being a childcarer. Being a mum with a young baby is isolating as well (so my sisters both say). So you are combining both... thus all the more reason to make sure you get some time each day to chat with another adult. Is there a local childminder you can meet up with?

nannynick Thu 11-Sep-08 12:21:52

Is this 8 month old, full time, or are they only doing a few days each week? If the latter, could you cope through those days by telling yourself that on x day baby won't be there and it will be far more relaxing?

SammyK Thu 11-Sep-08 12:28:15

Hi there (I know who you are but won't out you!) grin

I think you have an awful lot on at the moment, and I'm not surprised you are feeling this way.

Baby mindee who is crying may nt be clingy at home because she has no need to be, I had a mindee just like this, and the reason midee was differetn at home was parents gave him, consant, 100% attention - no wonder! hmm

Why don't you give it two weeks and see how you are feeling then? What is your notice period?

Also it may be mindee mindee is jealous of your baby - I often have mindees get jealous when a smaller little one comes along.

I think you should try and make things as easy for yourself as possible.

I don't have a baby but often feel guilty ds allways comes last/ can't have friends fo rtea/ can't do clubs due to my work commitments. So you have my sympathy there too.

LoveMyGirls Thu 11-Sep-08 12:30:57

This is a challenging time for all of you, I don't think the answer is to give up cm-ing because you really love what you do.

For now I think you need to make things as easy as possible the things I would start with are..

seeing if i can cut down on numbers
get an assistant
get more help/ support from dh
get a cleaner
get a slow cooker
ask parents to provide lunch boxes for the time being
plan nothing for weekends apart from chilling out and spending time as a family
shop online
look at the routine to see if you can pre emt what they little ones will need and when so it can be prepared in advance.

You will get through this and it will get easier as you get on with all the famillies and the children are all lovely and you have bonded it would be a shame to give up now. Just concentrate on getting through each day.

mumlove Thu 11-Sep-08 13:28:26

Lots of {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}} for you.

Mindee is at that funny stage and it doesn't help when they feel poorly, then have to share you aswell!

It will get better but as to how long it will take who knows.

Try and get out as much as possible (when dry even a slow long walk around the block uses up time) or have friends come to visit.
Don't worry if all you do is play with the toys for now and don't do any craft etc. that time will come later. Also try to relax as much as possible smile.

Give yourself a time limit on how much longer you want to give it a go for then decide if you want to cut down on how many mindees you want during the day with your baby. EG. your baby and only 1 mindee or baby and older mindees.

But rememeber whatever you decide we are all here to listen anytime you need to talk smile.

Lazycow Thu 11-Sep-08 13:43:29

You have too many small children. Three children under 18 months is a lot to deal with.
The baby needs a childminder who has fewer small children to care for her. At the moment you are looking after three babies (under 18 months) - it is like having triplets

It really is OK to say that it is too much for you. The fact is that some babies need more attention than others. The baby who is causing the issue just needs more attention than you can give her right now. I think you could give it a while to see if it settles down but if it doesn't you need to speak to the parents.

If I were you I would explain to her parents as gently as possible that now you have your own small baby, you have realised you can't manage three small infants. Unfortunately their baby seems to be the one who is most unhappy with you so you need to give them notice. Try and work with them to help find an appropriate substitute and try and keep things on a friendly note.

sadandconfusedchildminder Thu 11-Sep-08 14:51:10

Thanks for all the replies, I've calmed down a lot actually as ds2 ended up napping for 2 hours this morning and he obviously needs it as he's been PERFECT since, just a bf at the time he's due and that's it, I could eat him he's so yummy grin (meant in nice way as he's made mummy very happy). Screaming baby was great after lunch and had no problem with clinging to me etc - very strange, same thing happened yesterday afternoon where all of a sudden she was fine!! I'm hoping it's mainly down to her having this bug that's making her upset.

fairibell - good luck with it all. As for you seeing me.....how scary but it could be true as I was at the local toddler group on Monday. I had my baby boy (he was chilled out thank god), baby mindee who cried most of the time (and another childminder took her for 5 mins whilst I BF my baby) and my 18 month old mindee who was happily playing in a car a lot of the time wink. So, was it me? If so, apologies for the noise and blush as it did get loud!! I won't say where the group was on here as I don't want to 'out' myself but you'll know from what I just said if it was me. As for me giving it longer, yes, I'm going to. I've been doing this for 3 years now and always have little ones and love it, it's just taken some adjusting adding my own new baby I suppose.

BabyBaby123 - thanks for your kind comments and the bit about time with my baby made me tearful as you're so right. I'm going to see how things go and make a decision once I see how things are when mindee is not poorly. Unfortunately I can't afford to drop days plus I'd feel awful as it would affect all parents and they all waited the 12 weeks I was off and didn't get another childminder so I owe them really! Plus, tbh I find the days I have my baby, 17 month and 18 month old easy, it's just when it's the 8 month and 18 month old so if anything it would be dropping that one mindee but I really don't want to.

Nick - thanks for your email, won't get time to reply til later but just wanted to say thanks. Yes, I usually go to groups every day but Fridays however the childminder drop in is off this month so it's 3 days but obviously with baby not being well, I didn't go after Monday. And the 8 month old is 3 days a week so possible to tell myself it's just a few days (2 days on, 2 days off then 1 day on) but this week and next I've got her all week as another mindee is on hols so helping mum out. Said this when she was fine last week lol.

SammyK - agree I'll give it longer. I don't think mum does give constant attention btw as she said 'oh no, don't want a clingy baby' so she's with me on how to work through this but i said I'll wait til she's better first as we're not sure if it's down to illness. There does seem to be a bit of jealousy too but suppose that's to be expected as she was always my little baby mindee.

LMGs - thanks mate, I'm going to give it longer but from what you said:

get an assistant - can't afford
get more help/ support from dh - he's better now wink
get a cleaner - can't afford
get a slow cooker - got one and use a lot
ask parents to provide lunch boxes for the time being - baby mindee is spoon fed and other 2 doesn't take me long to make them a cold lunch, it's dinner that's harder
plan nothing for weekends apart from chilling out and spending time as a family - going to try!
shop online - I do
look at the routine - have been but looking at it again with the changes and reviewing

mumlove - totally agree and have been trying. 4 of us had a lovely walk on Friday. I had the double buggy and my baby in a sling and ds2 on the side (like at school runs) and it was lovely. Just having a bad time atm but hoping it's down to illness.

Lazycow - agree although the days little mindee isn't here is fine so i think it's down to age and the child. As i said, i'll see how it goes and then decide. And if I decide I can't have baby then I'll definitely use the approach you said

So, I've decided to give it a bit longer and see how it goes. It doesn't help that I now have period pains so I reckon I'm a bit hormonal (sorry for TMI Nick wink). The problem I have is guilt. All parents were given the option to have another childminder and for some reason ALL of the families decided they couldn't possibly use another childminder and they all found a way round the 12 weeks off without getting a stand in. So as flattering as that is, it's very hard to even think about possibly giving notice when I know how they feel and on top of that, they got through the 12 weeks, went on about how relieved they are I'm back and if I give them a months notice, I'd feel terrible. But, if the mindee stays this bad then obviously it's in HER interest to be somewhere else and that's how I'll put it to the parents.

Right, best go as school run in 10 mins and babies need getting up, nappy changes and loading into the car ready to pick the other 2 up.

Thanks again everyone x

fairibell Thu 11-Sep-08 15:12:25

Yep yep think was you!! I was amazed at how well you could sort so many chn! (No idea if you have any idea who I was, but my daughter was sat on the other cushion thingy and think we talked about how much you son weighed?)Don't officially start until mid October sometime (although doing some odd days before hand I think) but think LO I will be looking after is a similar age to your clingy baby and wondered if you would be interested in getting together at all? I am more than happy to do a seperate activity with the 2 of them (and any others you have that want to play!) for an hour or so? As my LO is a bit too little at the moment to join in much! let me know waht you think (certainly won't be offended if you don't want to, as youhave loads on your plate!)

MrsFluffleHasAWuffle Thu 11-Sep-08 15:16:31

if the 8mo is fine after lunch I would say it is more to do with her re-settling back in with you again, 12 weeks is a long time, basically like starting from scratch again with a new one.

Lazycow Thu 11-Sep-08 15:43:58

Also whoever said about the jealousy may have a point. The 8 month old will definitely be very attached to you (as she has been with you from 8 weeks old) and is probably feeling the effects of having another younger baby on the scene.

8/9 months is classic seperation anxiety time really so that along with having a new baby (your ds) on the scene probably affect the baby mindee more then the toddlers IYSWIM.

Most people don't have a smaller baby around when they have an 8 month old as well - nature sees to that (unless they are childminders of course) so it is an unusual age gap.

Mostly if we look after two babies (under 1 year old) they are twins which is a different scenario as they are used to each other from birth.

You will probably find that as the mindee baby gets older things will get better but the main thing is whether you are happy to deal with it until then.

sadandconfusedchildminder Thu 11-Sep-08 16:45:29

VERY quick message whilst all playing nicely and dinner cooking..........I'm VERY calm and happy now. Got 5 kiddies (11 wks, 8 months, 17 months, 4 yrs & 5 yrs) and it's all going like clockwork so feeling MUCH better. Will post back later but just wanted to say what a difference it makes when she's not clingy - she's very happy and not bothered right now

SammyK Thu 11-Sep-08 18:27:43

That's great, I'm sure you will soon get the clockwork running all day again.

I do think if you are fond of the mindees and parents it's worth trying to get through it. smile

sadandconfusedchildminder Thu 11-Sep-08 20:00:08

Did have a lot I was going to say but I'm zonked now and can't think. I hope you're right Sammy. I've been here before when my 18 month old mindee was only tiny (also started at 8 weeks) and although we had a big problem with her when she was a bit older (always rocked to sleep etc at home) and the advice was to give notice, I stuck with it as was very fond of the whole family and now she's amazing and such a dream to have. After the 12 weeks of not coming she came back with no problem and mum said she even cheers when she arrives So, obviously I'm very pleased I gave it a chance and now I'm telling myself I've got to do the same again (obviously not as easy as I have my own baby etc. but I'm determined )

Right, dh has just gone out and I've got control of the tv tonight so off to indulge in lots of rubbish on the box.

Thanks for all your support

fairibell Fri 12-Sep-08 11:15:57

Glad all is going better!! Hope you enjoyed your night in control of the remote!!

sadandconfusedchildminder Mon 15-Sep-08 10:02:35

fairibell - just read back through the messages and missed your other one. How funny that people all round the world use Mumsnet and yet you were at the same little group in the same village and worked out who I was lol. As for getting together, that would be LOVELY I'm pretty tied to routines but sure we can work something out. I'm hoping to go to group today after baby mindee has woken from her nap (we're working on routines atm as I do go to groups in the morning but she gets in a state without a nap). If you're there, let me know so I know who you are!

Best get on before she wakes up, got my own baby getting in a state today, he seems to be having a bad tummy atm

Thanks again for all the support everyone.

eleanorsmum Mon 15-Sep-08 10:20:29

hi you!
sorry you've been feeling so low but glad to hear your doing better. it must be very hard with so many little ones.
text me and we'll sort out meeting up this week. we can come to you again if thats easier? maybe thurs pm as i'll only have one mindee. or next monday pm?

sadandconfusedchildminder Tue 16-Sep-08 08:32:08

Hiya

Sorry I didn't get your text til after group yesterday. That went well as my baby was good again plus I had people who'd take him if needed (in fact, were fighting over him lol) and he didn't need feeding as did before we went BUT......afternoon with my own was hell, think he's got a dicky tummy bless him. Anyway, not helping that my back is agony at the moment, not sure what's caused it but sure the sling doesn't help.

Anyway, just mine and the young mindee so fingers crossed it'll be ok. Ds1 has playdate after school so expecting madness later at least grin

I'm free Thurs afternoon if you still are EllieM?

eleanorsmum Tue 16-Sep-08 09:22:48

hi not free this thurs pm as i'm having my new car delivered.
sorry didn't get your text till too late to pop over yesterday. I can do fri pm this week if you're at home? elliem xox

sadandconfusedchildminder Tue 16-Sep-08 13:57:14

Sorry mate, can't do Friday as I've got HV round for 3 month check then my sis-in-law is coming over to stay. I saw about your new car, how fab!! grin Are you free at all next week?

Today has been pretty mad again but mainly because apart from 25 min nap this morning and lunchtime, baby mindee screamed the whole time whenever I didn't hold her. Emailed her mum and found out it's probably linked to daddy going away again as she started to cling to mummy before coming round. Anyway, she's napping atm and I survived the morning by my own baby sleeping from 10.30-12.30 (big relief! lol). Actually, he's just fallen asleep on the playgym so he clearly needs more than the naps he's been having each day. Just need to make sure I get proper ones in (somehow) as e often only has 45 mins a couple of times a day and is shattered by the end of the day which doesn't help things with the others at all!!

Anyway, off to eat my lunch whilst I'm actually on my own for a change!

fairibell Tue 16-Sep-08 14:06:43

hello! wondered if u wanted to drop me an email? use this address then can give you 'real' (mostly spam free) address! fairihell@hotmail.com

sadandconfusedchildminder Tue 16-Sep-08 14:08:22

Have emailed you

looneytune Wed 15-Oct-08 10:34:02

Update (and can't be bothered to hide any more)........

Things are MUCH MUCH better. I managed to turn all the problems around and now the only problem I have is she's clingy at some groups, that's all. A lot is down to being tired at the time we go as usually has a nap but we're working on that (mum wants her to go to group and I agree it's good for her).

Anyway, I'm knackered every day and feel like I've done a work out by the end of most days, especially on the school runs! wink But all in all it's good and I'm feeling much happier about everything. My baby loves all the little ones, it's so cute

So thanks to everyone for your support, I just needed to be reassured it was a phase and I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The really great thing about them all being similar in age is that as long as they all stay, in time they will be much more independent and things will get easier and we can do lots of fun things that they should all enjoy as similar ages and it will mean not having a baby for a change as for as long as I can remember, I've had a baby to look after.

Right, rushing off to group, will text you in a most fairibell

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