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Please help me with this complicated childcare conundrum? Please, please! <begging tone>

(180 Posts)
WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 22:44:07

Oh god, it's long and complicated but please, read on and tell me what to do. Background: I have been looking for work for 7months. I need a job. I've just got a job, hurrah! Reasonably well paid, but it's a contract 3.5 hours drive from where I live with my 2 children (7.5yo ds and 20mos dd) and dp. Ds is ex dh's. We are still good friends and I love and get on with his mum, ex MIL (keeping up here?), who lives in London. Ex MIL is 1 hr drive away from my new contract and has offered to put me up AND look after my children! So my options for childcare are:

Ex MIL, who I love and who loves both my children, even though one of them is no blood relation to her. She has offered to look after dd (20mos) AND ds (7.5yo) AND put me up for not much money. Ds would be there to settle dd in and I would be there at the end of every day. So 3/4 of my family, i.e. ds, dd, I, will be together next week and the next few weeks over the summer holidays. Dp will stay in Bristol BUT will be able to do unlimited overtime and earn quite a bit more money (not as much as me, ha!, but still useful).

OR we find a nursery for dd now, if there is a place, in Bristol, where we live. But suddenly I disappear and am not around during the week AND she's in a strange place, i.e new nursery, plus her brother, ds, will be in London with me and will suddenly disappear from her life it will seem to her. But dp, her father, would drop and collect her and put her to bed every night in her own home.

Oh goodness, what would you do? Our options seem to be splittng our family up (i.e. dp lives alone until the end of the summer hols, the rest of us live in London) and keeping 3 of us together until the new term when dd will have to go into a nursery (yet to be found) and ds will go to after school club. Once my contract ends it might be extended or I will be at home again. Any advice welcome. TIA.

I can't not take the job, we need the money but any other thoughts or advice welcome. TIA.

soapbox Tue 26-Jul-05 22:51:28

What a nightmare of a choice!!!

Only possible idea I have is to see whether there is any prospect of working from home on Mondays and Fridays so that you can spend more time at home, then come up to London for 3 nights?

I would be really torn about DD - could you do week about - 1 week nursery and DP and then 1 week with MIL and you?

Or could DP keep her at home Monday and Tuesday and then you meet half way on Tuesday evening then she is with MIL, wed - Friday???

What a wrench - I really don't think I could do it, but I understand that you don't really have a choice

Ladymuck Tue 26-Jul-05 22:52:20

I have no idea whether this helps but due to work being done on our house earlier this year I and the ds's moved into a flat, with dh staying at the house. Our nannies came to the flat and looked after the boys from there on the days I was working. This worked fine. ds2 was 20m at the time of the move (which was for 3 months). My ds's are closer in age (2 years apart). With dh at work during the day and spending most of his time with us at the weekend they hardly commented on the change, even though they were out of their normal environment.

So based on my experience I would opt to staying with MIL.

Ladymuck Tue 26-Jul-05 22:53:24

I think for dd, staying with MIL would give her the greatest stability, but its at the expence of your distance from dh I guess.

QueenOfQuotes Tue 26-Jul-05 22:53:39

I'd do the first option. I think keeping the chidren 'together' for this period of 'change' will be less unsettingly that splitting them up

And I'm sure your're DP will cope without you (and sounds like the extra money would be useful too).

hunkermunker Tue 26-Jul-05 22:54:46

I'd stay with ex-MIL in this situation. Would DP be welcome to stay for a couple of nights during your time there?

Gillian76 Tue 26-Jul-05 22:56:05

I'd go for the MiL option too, I think. How does dp feel about this?

DelGirl Tue 26-Jul-05 22:57:39

If DP is ok with you staying with ex Mil then personally I would think this is the best solution all round. I'm sure you and DP could cope with being apart better than ds and dd and you can still see him at the weekend. Having said that, ds and dd won't see him but it is only for a few weeks isn't it. hth . Is dd quite close to ex MIL?

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 22:59:40

Dp wouldn't be welcome at ex PILS, not because they haven't met him, they have, but because for them (traditional Indian family) this whole 'be lovely to the ex dil/her new dp/their new dd/dp) is already such an impressive leap of understanding and cooperation that asking anything more of them (i.e. is it ok if my new dp sleeps here too?!) would, possibly, be offensive. For example, they asked my ex dh whether he minded before they offered me all this. He doesn't, remotely, clearly! And had already told me so. They very sweetly,treat me still as family because I'm ds's mother. It's very flattering and lovely and makes me feel v loved.

hunkermunker Tue 26-Jul-05 23:01:00

Totally understand, WWW. Would he be able to come and visit and stay overnight nearby if you do miss each other? Or you can go home at weekends?

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 23:02:39

This arrangement would be for:

the next 5 weeks of the summer holidays ds,dd and I would all live with my ex PILs in London. Dp would live in Bristol in our (rented) house.

At the end of this ds and dd would have to go back to bristol, ds to school and dd to a nursery/childminder. I would stay in London with ex PILs in the week and go home every weekend


QueenOfQuotes Tue 26-Jul-05 23:03:19

And, probably a daft question (true QoQ style) I presume your current DP understand the situation with your ex MIL and is happy for your to stay there?

SaintGeorge Tue 26-Jul-05 23:03:43

Is there a B & B local to ex-MIL's where DP could stay at the weekends? At least then you could all spend some time together without dragging the kids great distances.

Staying with ex-MIL does seem to be the better option overall.

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 23:03:43

and we would all be together every weekend no matter what the arrnagment.

assumedname Tue 26-Jul-05 23:04:45

How does dp feel about things?

I think I would opt for dd staying with dp.

hunkermunker Tue 26-Jul-05 23:05:19

Then stay with your ex-MIL, enjoy being in London, enjoy earning a fortune, and take me out for lunch while you're here to celebrate this decision.

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 23:06:21

Oh yeah, dp understands and is friends with ex dh (they talk geeky stuff when I'm not there and call each other from work etc)and approves of ex mil arrangement for his daughter because he sees how lovely she is with her. i.e. ex mil is no relation to dd really but brought back gorgeous dresses from India for her and always talks to her on the phone. I really do love ex mil, we've always stayed close, even when I left her son, which was a big deal for her. She's fab.

Demented Tue 26-Jul-05 23:07:36

Wow, now if my MIL was an ex-MIL I would be more than happy never to see her again but if you get on with her the situation seems quite plausable.

However, can you really put up with it long-term?

Enid Tue 26-Jul-05 23:07:58


hate to do this but I would say...the second option but I would leave ds there too.

Let them all stay in Bristol and I would commute.


Enid Tue 26-Jul-05 23:08:27

I think ex-MIL a big no-no

Enid Tue 26-Jul-05 23:09:49

actually www I think it sounds like a fecking nightmare.

Is there any way you can not do this?

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 23:10:39

It's a totally obvious answer isn't it? Ex mil is a sweetie, utterly trustworthy, loves BOTH my children although one is biologically not related to her, is kind and sweet and cuddly, is my guardian of choice for dd if I die, is willing to put me up too and yet not mind if we all bugger off at weekends, is within 1 hour commute of my contract. What's not to like? Dp can cope with my not being there for the summer, plus we'll see each other every weekemd when all 4 of us will be together. Thanks, I think that's sorted! Cheap too! < I thank you>

Enid Tue 26-Jul-05 23:12:03

It sounds lovely and I hope it all works out x E

WideWebWitch Tue 26-Jul-05 23:12:39

enid, there is no way I can not do this. We need the money and it's a decent amount. I am tempted to leave them all and then they all have continuity and it's just me who is disrupted. I could still be home at weekends.

Twiglett Tue 26-Jul-05 23:13:14

can dp visit you? or are you planning on going home every weekend with kids? is it just for the summer hols?

I think its a bit of a no-brainer .. move in with MIL

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