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I am confused about my CM's behaviour and need some opinions!

(22 Posts)
xaras Fri 09-Oct-09 15:35:12

Hi everyone,

My 8 month old just started going to a CM a couple of days a week a month ago, and everything's been going ok until this week. When I came to pick him up on last time my CM seemed a bit tired and hinted he had been a bit hard work, and then said something like 'if he is like this next time I'll call you, there is no sense in him being here if he is unhappy....' and carried on with something like ' I have other things to do'
I was pretty shocked, and stunned, so I ended up not saying anything and just went home. Of course now I realise how absurd that sound to me... so just to clarify, surely it is a childminders JOB to work with children, and not call the parents as soon as a bit unhappy or anxious so they come pick them up? or, is this a common thing for childminders to do? I can't believe a nursery would ever do this? I mean, I have to work! And my son surely needs to adjust, get used to being there somehow. I mean, he is not panicked from being there... He seems fine to me. Anyways, so today I get a call 1 hour before he is supposed to be picked up saying he is impossible and I should come pick him up, so I did. and she says it may be like this for a month or so, until he settles. So during this month, I am going to pay for childcare i don't receive?? Is this normal? I think she is having me on here....?

Some advise please.
All the best to you mums! Sara x

argento Fri 09-Oct-09 15:38:31

No, sounds ridiculous. Unless your ds is so distressed that the CM is concerned about his welfare rather than hers? In which case she should be working with you to find solutions and help him settle, not calling you because he is "hard work".

PinkChick Fri 09-Oct-09 15:41:28

what does your contract say? you have a settling in period?..if she is saying she will be constantly ringing you to come and get him early..then A- no you shouldnt pay for that time, she is prempting this and is saying she will be making herself unavailable with no notice and b- if you LO gets used to mummy coming early when ever he (well i dont know what it is shes saying hes doing???) then he will learn to understand doing this makes mummy appear so shes making it harder for herself!

i personally (and im a cm too) think she either cant be botherd and has forgot what hard work even day to day things are with 8month olds, or she's trying her luck to get early finshes! need to speak to her and ask what exactly she is proposing and tell her obviiously if shes refusing care and making you collect because she cant cpe then you wont be paying for this time..right?!

if you are still in settling in period, id start looking for a new cm now just incase as this is not a good start 8-(..good luck

thisisyesterday Fri 09-Oct-09 15:43:04

hmm i think if he is very unhappy and crying most of the time then she has a point. there is no point leaving him there if he is miserable, and you may have to rethink your childcare arrangements.

if it isn't working, andhe really is unhappy then no, i wouldn't keep taking him and paying for childcare you aren't using. I would end the contract and try him somewhere else

if she has other children then it is unfair to expect her to only focus on your child, so i can kind of see where she is coming from.
but if he is just a bit clingy/whingey and needs to settle then i thin kshe is overreacting

begentle Fri 09-Oct-09 16:00:19

I dont think she is really professionnal tbh. I'm a cm and I had difficult children to settle but I wouldnt have givin up after a month. At the very beginning of the settling period, I have called parents to come and pick up their lo because I could see it was all getting too much but the parents were around the corner for a coffee or else so it was easy for them to come and pick them up...but it was at the very beginning. We all agreed (me and the parents) that we will take it slowly...She shouldnt have said that to you, its really negative, she should have said, he was not really happy, can you give me his routine, how do you confort him, what are his likes/dislikes etc...You have to work together to settle the little one, and its normal it takes time to settle and I'm sure the other mindees had more attention when they were first settling...Tbh I couldnt have a cm like that

coral Fri 09-Oct-09 16:36:51

When did your ds start with the cm? Has she had any additional children start since he has been there which has made her have less time to spend with your ds? Does she have a lot of after schoolers she has to feed - your ds might be impacting on her not being able to get on with this perhaps.

Is she sticking to your ds's routine as far as is practicable - eg, if she is finding him "impossible" at the end of the day then it might be a simple fact that he is not being able to have a long enough nap and is therefore shattered, or is not having his feed times as he does at home so is starving - how do you feel he is when you pick him up? Difficult to deal with or overtired? How does the routine he is having at the cm's matching up to the routine he has at home? It might also be something siomple like he is teething at the moment - the 9 mnth old I look after has been really struggling with this all week which has made him a bit more grumpy and wanting to be held more but he has never once been "impossible" with it which, to my mind, is such a terribly negative comment and should never be addressed towards a baby!! I would also never ever contemplate asking the parents to pick up their children early unless they were genuinely ill meaning that they were seriously impacting on the care I was able to give to the other children and at risk of infecting everybody else here.

Talk to your childminder about why she is finding him "impossible" to use her words at the end of the day - any good childminder would have already talked to you about this, compared notes as to whether you equally find this time of the day more testing than usual and working in partnershop with you to try and find out what is causing him to be like this at this particular time and discussing ideas to try and make it easier for everyone all round.

If she is not open to having any discussions with you then sadly I think you may need to find another cm who will!

ChilloHippi Fri 09-Oct-09 16:47:34

My son started with a childminder two days a week when he was 11 months old. Within three weeks the CM told us she couldn't cope with him as he was so unsettled and so we stopped using her. I was furious at the time as I felt like you do, that it was her job to cope, but we did find a CM much nearer who was much more able and we used her happily for 18 months (until I saw her daughter and grand-daughter in the park, looking after a fellow mindee while the CM went to an appt for an hour, but that's another story).

TeeteringOnTheEdge Fri 09-Oct-09 16:54:00

No, it's your job to cope. "I have to work". FFS. You have to mind your child.

The person minding your child calls and says s/he is really not happy and you resent this? You should be grateful.

balijay Fri 09-Oct-09 17:06:21

Teetering what is that all about?? The OP has asked for advice so lets not turn this another working-mother slag-off eh?

Sara you are not being unreasonable at all - your cm really should be making more of an effort to
a, help your son settle in,and
b, discuss any issues she has with you rather than just phoning you as soon as there is a sniff of a problem.
I would give her a call and find out exactly where she is going with this. A good, professional cm should be more than willing and able to discuss it with you.

xaras Fri 09-Oct-09 17:21:03

Thank you all for your comments! I will def try finding out more where she is coming from with this. unfortunately there are no other cm's where I live, but I'm in a que for a nursery, hopefully my son will get a place there soon... i think my son just plain dont like this womanm perhaps? any other person i leave him with is absolutely fine.

and, there was never any talk of a setteling period. he has been there a month, 2 days a week and acted up twice.

saying I have to work is equivalent to saying i AM minding my child. being a struggling single mom I need the money for my son, never mind me, to survive.
plus being with other ppl is great learning for kids. i certainly can't afford, time, money and emotionally to have him in childcare that he does not receive.

balijay Fri 09-Oct-09 17:29:49

Sara you don't have to explain yourself - I'm sure you are doing a great job smile

xaras Fri 09-Oct-09 17:33:23

Ripeberry Fri 09-Oct-09 17:39:54

Best thing to do is to find a newly registered childminder who does not have hoardes of other children to look after at the same time.
It's bad enough sometimes sorting out the older ones and trying to look after a baby.
That is why CMs are usually only allowed to have one baby at a time.
She should work with you to see how you settle your child and what kind of comforters you use.

thebody Fri 09-Oct-09 18:27:36

XSARAS I think she is toatlly out of order to call any baby 'impossible' thats absolutly unnacceptable.
I am a cm and wouldnt dream of behaving like this, some children take longer to settle than others, thats life and thats the job..

thats what makes it so interesting and so rewarding when finally, after lots of hard work and cooperation between the cm and the parents all eventually do settle.

I would NEVER call a parent unlss I was worried for the childs health, crying and fretting do not come in this catagory.

Sound like a lazy cow to me mate..

thebody Fri 09-Oct-09 18:29:43

Teetering on the edge.. thats totally unfair and uncalled for..if you cant be a bit more supportive then dont post..

FABIsInTraining Fri 09-Oct-09 18:31:17

I think the clue is in the fact he only goes for 2 days a week. He is the prime age for separation anxiety and with 2 days he doesn't get the chance to really settle in.

Calling a baby impossible is a bit mean imo.

CarGirl Fri 09-Oct-09 18:32:00

xaras at 8 months old your ds is probably suffering from seperation anxiety. If you are happy to continue using the CM I would personally suggest that your son goes more often for several weeks so he gets used to it (only needs to be for a couple of hours) only 2 days per week is not very frequently for an 8 month old to "remember" and bond with a prime carer.


MaureenMLove Fri 09-Oct-09 18:34:00

Any CM worth her salt, would realise that a mindee that only goes to her a couple of times a month, will need far longer to settle than an everyday mindee!

Like my favourite MN CM PinkChick sayswink, check your policy. If you're still in a settling in period, get out quick!

I had a mindee that only came once a week and it took ages longer for her to settle, but I knew she would. She did settle and still flings herself into my arms whenever I see her, even though I gave up minding over a year ago!

HSMM Fri 09-Oct-09 19:43:50

Babies are hard work. Any childminder worth her/his salt will know this. They are also lovely though, showing new skills every day and giving beautiful smiles when you look at them.

I am a CM and I do find babies hard, but I do not send them home early, because they are so easy to please - hug/food/milk/nap/etc.

Maybe she is the wrong CM for you?

Northernlurker Fri 09-Oct-09 20:05:06

This is totally out of order. You're paying for a service and she's having a laugh. Start looking at other options now because this one is not going to be a keeper!

Heated Fri 09-Oct-09 20:14:12

Am raising my eyebrows at your CM calling an 8m old baby "impossible". I don't think this CM is for you since she's not looking for solutions, just you to come and relieve her of what she sees as a burden. It's hard enough to return to work without having complete confidence in your childcare.

Are you sure she is the only CM in the area? Could you phone the nursery and see if there is any chance of a space soon becoming available?

xaras Fri 09-Oct-09 21:24:36

Thank you so much for all the advice, that is very useful to hear from all you cm's too! You have just made me realise how out of order her behaviour is and I actually feel really uncomfortable sending him back there now as I just know that if he kicks up a fuss she wont be able to handle it. Guess my search for a new cm has to start... Wish me luck! Again, thanks so much!
All the best!

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