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Both parents working shifts...what to do about dc's??

(35 Posts)
MadameOneSword Sat 24-Nov-12 23:03:52

I'm currently on maternity after havin ds3 last month. I became fully qualified with the ambulance service 8 months ago (bad planning I know!) and when I return to work I will be required to work shifts that could cover days or nights. Which would be fine.....HOWEVER...dh works for LFB who are also required to work shifts which could be day and night. Previously I've been happy to leave two daughters with my mum or his mum when the big shifts clashed but with baby I'm not so sure I could ask so much of them!!! Baby sitting in the day is one thing but overnight is a lot to ask!!!

Anyone in a similar situation? Is it best to start looking for a nanny? If so we dont have any spare rooms!! Would a live out nanny be able to provide overnight care?

Any advice would be gratefully received!!

GimmeIrnBru Wed 05-Dec-12 16:05:34

This is exactly why I gave up my profession, and put my career on hold...DH is also a shift worker. It would have been too much in the early years to pass the children from pillar to post when both are working shifts. I will return to my profession once they are older and in school. It's not great when you both work night shifts and get your roster at late notice (which is often the case).

MrsSpencerReid Wed 28-Nov-12 20:17:57

Ah ok grin makes sense now!! He is lush

DudeInaTutu Wed 28-Nov-12 20:05:42

why what?

....sorry am being thick - i dont mean your rl husband i mean your user name a criminal minds fan too!

MrsSpencerReid Wed 28-Nov-12 19:19:05

Errr why vicar?! Maybe we have met! Is there some sort of MN secret handshake smile

Lifeisontheup Wed 28-Nov-12 08:06:37

Think I'm really lucky as my trust is very good about emergency child care leave. My youngest is now 16 but has ASD and so I'm reluctant to leave him overnight yet and they've been fine when DH hasn't managed to get back from business trips away.
I don't know how people manage with younger ones though, hats off to you.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:10:41

mrs your same county as me - im sure had i looked hard enough i would have found someone but it seems so silly as my youngest is 15 and she would flatly refuse childcare at her age....

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:06:00

(and mrs i covet your husband!) grin

MadameOneSword Tue 27-Nov-12 22:55:29

Not at all! In fact I'm glad to see there's others in similar position schadenfreude it's good to know we're not alone, I've had two offers from nannies on here already, maybe you'll find similar

MrsSpencerReid Tue 27-Nov-12 22:40:54

Some good ideas and I have found places that offer flexible days, however, you need to be able to give a month or so notice and I can't do that, we get our rota at such short notice and oh gets shifts on a sat for the week ahead. We are not allowed to work set days or even have the same day off each week, it was hard enough getting days off for hosp appts when I was pregnant!!
Anyone know of super flexible child care in east Yorkshire?! Hope I haven't hijacked OP

MadameOneSword Tue 27-Nov-12 22:36:45

Thanks rota, I see what you mean, yes three is deffo to much, and especially now as girls are at school, both grans are out in Essex so would mean either them staying at ours, or the setting off at stupidnonclock to get them to school.

Private nursery was never an option lol, we tried it for dd2 for about 2 months and just couldn't keep it up, as you said the time constraints were unreliable, and it meant if one of us was held up, it led to a grand theft auto style ride across the capital to pick her up, as they charged £10 for every 15 mins after they're agreed session, even if they were still open with other kids!!!

And old dogs that's good to know, we're going to have to start asking around, I didn't even realise chid minders would have overnight space to be honest! Will start asking around at mien and hi stations if anyone could reccomends, to be honest I've never even thought of that...

We've only ever had one major emergency, unfortunately being in the same area means we get Called to similar events and ain was on shift already and he was called in, no grandparents available and we ended up bribing someone on the childrens ward at my local hosp to watch them for an hour til grandma could get there! Ne'er again do I want to be in that situation!

rotavirusrita Tue 27-Nov-12 22:28:15

we found her through some of DH's colleagues. She is very good and is very flexible. We let her know a month in advance what we need and she sees what she can do- we didnt pay for regular weekly hours. Someone DH works with had used her for his children. WE use her less now as boys are bigger but on those days when we truely couldnt get back at reasonable time she would give them beans on toast for tea smile, and look afetr them for an extra hour of so. I have friends who use nurseries and they sometimes had problems getting back otherwise child would literally be sat on kerbside with very angry nursey worker. we are miles away from london though sorry!!
MIL is a paramedic and I think she job shares... would that be an option for you?

I know what you mean about 3 children seeming more of an imposition than only 2! However both grandmums arent as fazed by having all 3 children as I would have expected ( and in fact they rather enjoy it!)

olddogs Tue 27-Nov-12 22:21:49

I'm a childminder and i am registered to have two kids overnight, because of the sleeping area we have available/

I would be willing to take on regular overnights to accomodate shifts or even irregular nights to accomodate different frequency shifts.

If i'm willing to do it.... then there must be others who are too.

ThatVikRinA22 Tue 27-Nov-12 22:19:23

you have my sympathies - my DC are older but i still have this dilemma - im in police and DH works permanent nights.

we sort of wing it somehow but its a constant source of stress to me (never to dh oddly enough as its always me thats trying to juggle!)

my youngest DD is 15 (and eldest away at uni), that said i absolutely cannot settle knowing DD would be in the house alone at night so i juggle as best i can - i have up until now been able to slightly deviate my night shifts on a weekday so she is not alone for long.

when you have your back to work meeting i would ask if you can deviate any shifts at all if that would help?

Lifeisontheup Tue 27-Nov-12 22:19:07

Have PM'd you OP. smile

MadameOneSword Tue 27-Nov-12 22:18:22

Thanks for the advice ladies, you guys are the tops, its so good to actually speak to people on the same situation!! I think we need to sit and plan eventualities.
Thank for the nanny comments too, we just don't want to go down that route yet...if we can avoid it. We always have twonamazingnsets of grandparents to fall back on, I just don't want to rely on them too much.

rota where would we find such a person? Just word of mouth do you think?


rotavirusrita Tue 27-Nov-12 22:10:53

oh and if you need to use day time childcare go for a childminder who is used to dealing with parents in emergency services rather than a nursery when you have to pick up on time.

rotavirusrita Tue 27-Nov-12 22:08:44

Have you sat down and written down both your likely shifts yet?

DH is in police ( fixed shifts lates and nights) and I used to work in a hospital doing crazy shifts. However when we actually wrote things down it looked far less scary! We managed by taking random days of annual leave here and there, swapping shifts and in extremis moving my mum in for a few weeks to cover things. Word of mouth is a good way to find people who will sit with children for a few hours when there is a few hours overlap. We actually spent less on child care than when we both worked days monday to friday.

It used to give me sleepless nights but once we actually wrote down( sometimes on an hour by hour basis) who needed to be where and when it was FAR less scary.

Only problem is we barely had any time together smile

ledkr Tue 27-Nov-12 22:04:30

I have this op and very little spare cash for childcare. Dh is police and he has my two working days as time off either a/l or his rest days may fall on them. I have a local girl who I call on for emergencies like if he can't get off and she will help.
The upside is we get lots if time together and aren't limited to busy weekends for shopping or days out

Insafehands Tue 27-Nov-12 21:58:41

Hi there
I run a Nanny Agency and we would be able to help. I am open 24/7 to ensure we can support and be on hand for Nannies who are working as Night Nannies.
I have several Nannies who may be able to help so if you did want to discuss your requirements further please get in touch. We aim to provide Nannies who meet families needs rather than the other way round.

MadameOneSword Tue 27-Nov-12 20:40:03

Interesting!! What trust are u with, if you don't mind me asking! (maybe I could transfer lol)

I have an appointment with a board member to discuss my 'return to work schedule' as they ease us back in hmm and will bring it up then. Its not the issue of works the ights, it's just having that regular knowledge of when they will occur so we can plan ahead, because even if we resort to nanny...that person needs regular work etc and it could be like one night every month or something, which would be odd...

The other issue is we would need someone with extendable hours at short notice, as due to the nature of our work. We rarely finish shifts at set hours, it totally depends on jobs we gt called to...e.g. My dh should have finished at 8.30 this morning, and he didn't get home til 12.30....if I had been relying on him to then go out to my job, it could be disastrous.

Lifeisontheup Tue 27-Nov-12 19:59:42

Could you go part time but nearly full time hours IYSWIM. In our trust we have quite a few couples who are both shift workers and the one in the ambulance service does say 3 twelve hour shifts a week and they get to state which shifts they do to fit in with their OH more settled shift pattern.
Might be worth asking.

BlueBoat Tue 27-Nov-12 19:39:00

Hello MadameOneSword i have just sent you a private message. I am a nanny and i might be able to help.

MrsSpencerReid if you are in East or North London you can pm me too if you like.


MrsSpencerReid Sun 25-Nov-12 16:53:49

Thanks, I go back in march and am hoping to start ttc next week gringringrin

MadameOneSword Sun 25-Nov-12 10:49:53

I have my fingers crossed for you!! It's such a difficult decision! When are you due to go back?

MrsSpencerReid Sun 25-Nov-12 01:34:00

Got it in one Madame smile I was always planning to go back but since having DS something changed and now I just want to stay at home!! I am hoping others with children will swap shifts with me and if it's too difficult then maybe management will help rather than me resign (hopeful)

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