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Ok, where next? My CM has just basically given me notice ...

(26 Posts)
crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:09:59

My lovely CM is at the end of her tether, and tonight I've been round to see her, and she's basically given me notive. We were both in tears sad

The problem is this: I went back to work on 1st September: dd was exactly 11 months old when I went back. DD has been hard work as a baby, lovely, and I wouldn't swap her for the world, but not an easy baby.

CM has 2 other under 5s in her care - 1 slightly older than DD (14 months to her 12 now), but who is a young baby and her own dd who is 3 and at nursery in the mornings.

My dd basically screams blue murder whenever they are in the house: she doesn't want to play, she just wants to be held or picked up. Whenever they're out of the house, she's absolutely fine - they go to soft play at the leisure centre, and the only time dd looks at CM is if she wants a scoot up onto the bouncy castle.

This has been going on for 5 weeks now: CM is exhausted, and it's having a negative effect on CM's health, and the 2 other little ones she has during the day. She sometimes calms down after school when my ds is there too, but not always.

CM and I have come to an agreement tonight that if things improve before half term holidays, then we'll persevere with her ... if not, then I have to find somewhere else for dd to go. sad

My giving up work is not an option - neither is my going part-time.

Where do I go from here? Should I be looking at day nurseries (which to my mind may make the problem worse as dd will get less atention than she does now), or a nanny (which we really can't afford, and which would have a negative impact on ds, who loves going to the CM as she's the mum of his best friend)?

Am really stuck. Help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

cmx2 Thu 02-Oct-08 21:18:33

would you be able to try another cm, maybe your dd is just not happy there. with a different cm she might be ok. do you have a cm that has an assistant, if there are 2 people the pressure of a screaming child is shared. without knowing your dd or cm or you its hard to know what youve tried etc. sometimes lo's just dont settle in one place but are fine in others
sorry its not much help

geraldinetheluckygoat Thu 02-Oct-08 21:19:36

Oh dear, poor you, dd, and childminder. You could try looking for another childminder, maybe one that is newly registered that hasnt filled spaces yet? The reason i suggest this, is that my first mindee was a baby who was much like your dd, by the sounds of it, I was newly registered (and didnt have my own dc's either at that point) because I didn't have many other kids, she was with just me most of the time, and I was able to give her the one to one she needed. It was HARD as she cried A LOT but she settled after a while, and by the time i got others in, she was part of the family. Shes five now, lives two doors down and comes tearing down the street to tell me about school and to cuddle my baby ds2 when we see her!

crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:24:40

Thank you for your suggestions: I'd sort of discounted another CM ...

Added problem is that CMs are in very short supply around here: they're all booked up!

It's also not that DD doesn't like CM - it's just that she wants to be surgically attached to her all of the time.

I did try suggesting that we try to find CM an assistant - she wasn't keen.

eviz Thu 02-Oct-08 21:25:00

Nursery? Maybe less attention would stop the diva-ish behaviour (apologies if I've misinterpreted!) My DD1 behaves similarly with DP, but rarely with me and never at nursery. Our nursery is really small so it doesn't feel impersonal and unwelcoming.

I'm no expert though and hope my post hasn't offended you..

It's just I have realised lately how DD1 can adapt her behaviour according to who cares for her, and plays up with some, not others.

cmx2 Thu 02-Oct-08 21:28:59

where very roughly are you ? cms here are flooding the place lol

crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:29:01

eviz ... none taken grin ... her behaviour is totally diva-ish (despite my mn name, I am about as far from a diva as you could imagine!)

eviz Thu 02-Oct-08 21:33:15

A diva of crochet is as good as any other I'd say grin

Sounds like she is too clingy, and demanding attention. I'd say the solution should be less attention, not more. So she can learn that yes, she gets her fair share, but diva-behaviour isn't tolerated. But then again, I am a bit harsh like that..

I really don't think it would last for long in a nursery environment! I love ours, despite my misgivings, it really is friendly, and like a family environment. Depends on what you have locally, though!

crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:37:03

We're in Penarth ... CMs in Barry (15 minutes drive away) have loads of spaces!

FloriaTosca Thu 02-Oct-08 21:37:03

Oh Crochet! I thought when you said the cm might sack you, you were jokingsad Never having been in your situation I dont have any better advice than you have already been given...if you could find someone like Geraldinetheluckygoat it might be just what your dd needs, of course that might not be possible in your area or situation...I just sincerely hope that things improve before half term so looking elsewhere is not necessary.

geraldinetheluckygoat Thu 02-Oct-08 21:39:17

the assistant would mean lots of extra paper work for cm ,and she prob doesnt earn enough to pay her without making a loss herself (she might, I dont know her situation, obviously, just guessing!). Nursery might be an option, I had one that didnt settle with me but loved nursery!

cmx2 Thu 02-Oct-08 21:39:34

i would love to have her but i dont think the commute would be possible (i'm in essex lol)

crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:41:40

Think Essex might be a bit of a hike!

crochetdiva Thu 02-Oct-08 21:42:36

Geraldine - I did wonder ... perhaps as people have said, less attention (rather than more) would be better - she certainly doesn't pull this stunt at home!

mogs0 Thu 02-Oct-08 22:14:38

I've had 2 like this. The first started when he was 10 months and I only had him and my ds (who had just started school nursery so for half of the day I only had mindee). Mindee would start to cry as soon as he was off my lap and stop the second he was picked up again. His biggest problem was that he wouldn't have a big daytime nap (unless he fell asleep in his buggy) and he would get really tired. I used to spend 3 hours each afternoon walking him in his buggy so that he'd have a decent sleep!! At 18 months he went through sleep training and was transformed into a little angel!! The difference was incredible.

The 2nd mindee (7 months) I looked after only came to me once a week and I'd often have one or two other toddlers at the same time and ds before and after school.

She was happy to be dropped off but would spend most of the day crying. She was always happy out in the buggy so we spent most of the day out of my flat. Each week I'd make small adjustments to our day to try and minimise the crying time. The worst time for her was from 4pm (getting home from school run) until 6pm (home time). After a few weeks (of trial and error) I'd make sure that tea was very simple and had been prepared before she'd arrived. Also, I would take her home in the evening instead of her being picked up. It filled up the last half an hour of our day and gave the rest of us a nice walk along the river! I was lucky because all of my other mindees lived fairly close to eachother so I could drop them all off without too much inconvenience.

She did settle into a routine with me and the crying did get less but very slowly.

One day ds and I discovered that if we sang "Twinkle, twinkle" fairly loudly and very animatedly she would temporarily stop crying and even flash a little smile at us so for a while ds would burst into song as soon as she'd start crying!!

muppetgirl Fri 03-Oct-08 12:35:46

Oh Crochet (who is most definitely not a diva but a lovely lovely lady!) this is awful fro you x

I would say a nursery might suit her better as if she did cry they are far better equipped in terms of woman power to deal with it. A cm is on her own whereas ds 2's nursery has 5-6 ladies to share the crying should they need too. I would research nurseries, go and chat to them being honest about what the problems are and see what they say. I think giving the situation a time frame is a good idea as your cm may be more positive as she knows there may be an end but it leaves you with a tricky situation especially if ds 1 loves his cm which it sounds like he does.


alicet Fri 03-Oct-08 22:04:06

Hi honey, sorry this has happened. How upsetting for all of you.

I would second others that nursery might well work better for her. Like muppet says there are more people to share the tough times. Plus if she is better when out like at soft play and stuff she might find the more busy atmosphere and varied activities are better for her. Both my boys love nursery we haven't looked back. And Adam can do this clingy thing from time to time too (I think it's just there age as they are learning that they are separate from you aren't they?) but seems very happy there.

Only down side for you might be that you will have to pay for a full day at nursery compared with just appropriate hours for cm - a mate of mine who is also a teacher chose this largely for that reason as she only paid till about 4pm when she could pick her dd up whereas nursery worked out a lot more.

Hope you get this sorted....

By the way thanks loads for the chocolate you sent too - forgot to thank you earlier but it was very much appreciated smile])

strawberrylace Fri 03-Oct-08 22:33:34

oh crochet - what a nightmare! I feel so sorry for you - as if it's not hard enough having to go back to work...
Can your CM recommend any others? Or indeed any nurseries? A recommendation is a good place to start and might help you to feel better about the whole thing.
I hope you manage to get something sorted x

ilovethecake Fri 03-Oct-08 23:07:24

Hi Crochet, this is definitely a tough one, what if you get her a place in nursery and she is really upset there too, maybe more as she wont be getting the love and attention from your present lovely CM, i would personally see if you can keep going with your present arrangement i bet soon thing's calm down, i don't think that any-one should carry her around, you don't say if she is moving yet, i bet if she's not walking she could be frustrated, when you collect her from the CM's don't scoop her up in your arms, sit down next to her and then give her a cuddle, she knows you love her, she knows it is upsetting you, she's not being silly and she knows you will pick her up and give her a cuddle, because that's what she is used too, we all do things for an easy life with our children, but some-times it's better to sort it out while our children are young, it's hard, but your get there, sooner rather than later, Good luck and please let us know how you get on!!

ShinyPinkShoes Fri 03-Oct-08 23:13:54

Is your DD used to being put down at home IE sitting to play with you around but not constantly being held?

This might be something that you can do to practically move the situation forward- she spends most of her time in your care so if you gradully help her to fell happy and contented to sit by herself within sight of you this might help things at the CM

badgerhead Sat 04-Oct-08 08:42:13

I agree that less cuddles could be the answer, it sounds like it is a form of separation anxiety that a lot of children go through at this age. It is more from wanting attention than anything else & it does make it very tiring for everyone involved. I have had a few to look after like this as a childminder & agree it is very hard work, Has your CM tried sitting on the floor next to her when playing rather than picking her up & cuddling her, I find that often just being next to them , touching to start, & then gradually moving away but still talking to them/holding a conversation with them is a big reassurance for the child. As you say she perks up when her brother arrives then it certainly sounds like separation anxiety which is often outgrown by 15 months especially if they are then a lot more mobile & can follow the CM around more easily. I have a 14 month boy at present who moans if I go too far away from him or shut the kitchen gate against him but as he is now starting to toddle more & loves climbing is getting more settled.

crochetdiva Sat 04-Oct-08 20:51:03

Thanks for your responses: dd isn't constantly held when at home: she's walking well (and has been for about 6 weeks), and is a real climber (will do a full flight of stairs without batting an eyelid!) She's very much Miss Independant when at home, and will often squirm to be put down if she feels that she's being cuddled too much (much to MiLs chagrin!)

CM is adamant that dd can't stay ... so I really have no choice. sad All the best laid plans ...

Having thought about this a whole lot more, I've come to the conclusion that she doesn't like not being the youngest around: my ds is 6 (today), and she loves playing with him - ds is fabulous with her, and they often entertain each other for quite a long time.

I've been around 3 nurseries: I've been warned off one of them though by the CM, but I think I've found one I'm happy with: I've been totally honest about the situation - the staff in the nursery I think I'll be sending her to didn't bat an eyelid.

The downside (and it is huge!) is that I won't have any fee reduction for her having a term-time only place sad - it'll be a stretch financially, but dh has pointed out that I can at least put dd into the nursery when I need to do some work during the holidays.

geraldinetheluckygoat Sat 04-Oct-08 23:44:05

Glad youve found a solution, crochet! Hope it all works out and that dd is happy there smile

dobby2001 Sun 05-Oct-08 22:56:17

hi crochetdiva
havnt been on the boards for ages and spotted you post tonight. it was so similiar to a situation i had that i thought i must post.

I cared for a lovely little girl 50 hours a week for 6 months and tried everything to et her to settle i bought 3 differant slings and carried her on my back some days whilst making lunch she would scream so badly shock But when it got so the other children were getting distressed and she would not let me attend to them i had to talk to the parents about finding altentive care. Mum was very keen on another CM but I actually suggested a nursery as if she needed attention there was more than 1 person to provide and somebody else was in charge of the cooking/cleaning etc so no worries about those getting missed- i was always worrying about mealtimes and safety when she was here.

I helped them move her on to a local nursery and wrote a 4 page handover report for them. Mum called me a few weeks later to say after a couple of weeks of diva ish behavior,as she latched onto her keyworker strongly, the little one realised there were other staff there if the girl left the room and was much better! Mum was really happy with new situation and the environment at my home was, i have to admit, alot less stressful!

So hopefully this will be a change for the better, although it may not feel so now.

good luck smile

crochetdiva Mon 06-Oct-08 20:52:51

thank you dobby2001 - it's always nice to know that I'm not the first that this has happened to.

Hopefully my friendship with CM will survive this too - she's keeping ds for school drop-off and pick-up, and hopefully, when dd is older, she can go back to CM.

I shall see if I can ask CM to write a handover report for the nursery.

I phoned them today, and told them I wanted the place (eek!) - I'm collecting dd early on Wednesday, and I'm taking her to the nursery so she can get a feel for it while I fill in the paperwork.

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