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What would be best kind of help for impending dt's plus school/nursery runs?

(10 Posts)
accessorizequeen Fri 22-Aug-08 22:15:24

I am 34 weeks with non-id twins and have 2 ds's already - ds1 starts school on Sept 2nd (eek) and ds2 (20 months) attends nursery 2 days a week. My mum currently has the boys one day a week as well, and will still take ds2 one day a week. She works part-time so may be able to help at other times I think. I've also contacted HomeStart about getting a volunteer in.

The question that dp & I have been having heated debates about are what other kind of help do we need? We had kind of agreed with a member of staff at ds2's nursery that she would work for us one day a week. We haven't fully discussed it with her, nor agreed how much etc. DP never thought this was a great solution because it only took care of 2 school runs. Now my father has emailed me this week to say he will pay for help for 20 hours a week for a year, which I still can't quite believe and don't know if I can accept as it works out to nearly £10K. It's just overwhelmingly generous of him, but still dp and I can't agree and time's ticking on.

I liked the arrangement with the nursery nurse as the ds's both know her quite well, she's older with 2 grown up children, I feel comfortable with her. DP is just thinking of having help for the school runs so that he doesn't have to leave work early to do them. He insists that having help 2 or 3 hours a day would be much better than just one full day, and would benefit him so that he can try to earn more money to offset extra expenses with the dt's and my being on ML for 18 months.

I feel rather pathetic in that I can't seem to face up to how difficult dt's are going to be. I'm keen to bf them, but had a lot of problems with ds1 & 2 so it's not going to be straightforward. Can those with twins give me a reality check please (as I seem to be living in lala land) and tell me how much help I will need and whether it would be best to look for someone for a few hours a day (where?) or stick with the current arrangement??

frumpygrumpy Sat 23-Aug-08 00:21:48

Right.....I'll copy this in to the multiples daily thread so you can hear from all the girls.....we've all done it differently.

For a short time I had a lady who came into help 3 afternoons a week. At that point I had DD1 who was beginning school (age 4.5), the DTs who were 1 and DP who worked away almost permanently. I also had PND which I was studiously ignorning grin

I managed not too badly when the DTs were born as DD1 was at nursery and it didn't matter if we were late. Also, I stayed in a lot and fed the babies whilst drawing/reading/watching telly with DD1. But when school beckoned I wanted to know that at some point in my day I could chat with DD1 uninterrupted and hear her problems/help with reading etc. She was also a little clingy then and I wanted to help her not push her aside.

I didn't want to take the help but I did and, looking back, it was the right thing.

I got my children up, fed, dressed and out to school every morning leaving at 8am. My helper came in Wed, Thurs and Fri around 2pm so I could go to school alone and collect DD1, pick up shopping, chat with her, do homework etc. She played with the DTs while I made dinner and she helped me with bathtime. I found that time of day most useful as it was the time I felt more tired/alone.

In the days of newborns, I would have been ok with the morning school run because often you are up anyway! but that having someone to bring children home in the afternoon would have been hugely helpful because you might be able to catch an afternoon nap with the babies rather than getting everyone ready to do pickup.

Am I rambling on? grin

frumpygrumpy Sat 23-Aug-08 00:23:27

here we are, jump in

MarsLady Sat 23-Aug-08 00:27:28

I think you want someone a couple of hours at day at arsenic hour! You know 5pm through 7pm. Someone to hold a twin or two, or play with a toddler or read with the school aged DS.

I had a local teen come in 3 evenings a week to do just that. Saved my life! grin

MarsLady Sat 23-Aug-08 00:28:39

Second the... get someone to bring school aged DS home! grin I loved the fact that I didn't have to do that school run (even though it meant I didn't show the DTs off that often). It was wonderful sleeping in the afternoon when the wee weapons slept! grin

accessorizequeen Sat 23-Aug-08 19:45:35

thanks, frumpy and mars, really really helpful. You're right, the hours between 3 & 6 (as dp will likely be home at 6) will be the worse so someone to help me then would be best. I had wondered how on earth to do the evening meal for a start with 4 LO's and dt's feeding a lot presumably. I have a separate dining room which doesn't even have a comfortable chair to feed in at the mo'!

any more tips, advice, would very much value them from those who've been there!

mumoftwinz Wed 27-Aug-08 16:51:49

I lived away from friends and family and didnt have any help. Which i now realize was a mistake. It was quite a burden (in terms of quanity of stuff to do) for me and DH (when he wasnt at work). At the time we didnt really know what sort of help we could get or think we could afford it. But it is totally money well spent. Get as much as you can of the kind you want. For instance, someone else doing the school runs might be ideal. But it also might be good to do that yourself and have someone else in with the babies. You may relish getting out of the house/away from the crying! I think i would have liked someone to look after them whilst i went out and did something else to get a break. Online supermarket shopping is great too! On a positive note - you already have kids so you will know exactly what to do with a baby! Unlike me.grin

Lazycow Wed 27-Aug-08 17:06:34

My friend (who had 4 under 5 years old - two of them twins) had live in au pairs for a few years. She tried with a mothers help a few times a week at first but that wasn't enough help. Friend's husnand worked long hours so couldn't really help with pickup and drop off etc.

Ap would help between 8.00am and 9.30am - she would do the school run or stay at home with the twins while my friend did the school run whichever was most useful that day.

Then AP would go away have a few hours to herself and come back to help between 3-6.30pm to help with school pick-ups and dinner time etc.

Ap's aren't really supposd to have sole charge of small children but for the 30mins max it takes to do a school run my friend felt that was OK

That way the AP worked 5 hours a day (The max they are supposed to work I think) but split to be most helpful to my friend. She stopped having an AP every day when the twins went to nursery and the older two were at school.

She also had a cleaner who came 1-2 times a week.

Having said all that, some of the APs were fab and some were terrible.

Also after the twins were born, my friend had her mother move in for a month to help and then her MIL moved in for the following month. This all caused some friction as you can imagine but my friend said that friction or not she needed the help and that she found her life unbearable when there was no help at all.

accessorizequeen Thu 28-Aug-08 20:28:41

Thanks again for the advice, I wish we could have an au pair but we have no space for a live-in (ono 3 bedrooms). My mum has offered to stay off work for a few weeks if I have to have a section but from memory the first few weeks are ok because everybody is around e.g. in-laws. I'm very afraid I'll get PND as I did with ds1 if I don' have sufficient support.

I'm trying to find a new cleaner who can come twice a week. Our current cleaner comes on a Tuesday morning when the ds's (4.8 and 20 months) are at my mum's overnight so the only morning of relative peace we might have would be wrecked by a vac. I've also self-referred myself to homestart. I think I know what I need now, we've worked out how many school runs I actually need to do etc. But I've no idea where to find it and just do not want to interview strangers right now, I'm so emotional and exhausted.

Sometimes I wonder if I'd be better off taking ds2 out of nursery (2 days) and putting the money towards a nanny but he so loves it and it's a wonderful place where I get a heap of support so don't want to. Would make it less complicated to not have to take him to nursery and then ds1 to school 2 days (and pick ups).

MarsLady Fri 29-Aug-08 00:02:57

Why not see if you can share an au pair with someone? The au pair could live there and do the school runs.

Try the local college to students.

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