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4.30pm dinner at childminders or 6.00pm dinner at home?

(50 Posts)
Sylviapearl Tue 10-Nov-15 17:19:10

I am a single parent of twins who were 4 at the end of August. They are in reception and since September I have been looking for a job. I have now found one which is 9-5pm Monday to Friday. Dds will be going to a childminder before and after school. They will be the only children there after school, the childminder said she could provide them with a cooked meal at 4.30pm if required (I will be collecting them at 5.30pm) I'm not sure whether to take her up on the offer as I will still need to get my own dinner in that case after the twins go to bed at 7. It's either that or do a slow cooker/salad/stir fry/ pasta for us all which would be ready by about 6.00/6.15pm. Having never worked before I am not sure which would be best? Twins are also very tired as they are so young so I'm not sure how they are going to cope with me working, and the car journey home which could potentially send them to sleep! Any advice appreciated! This is a big change for us all. I am also a total single parent with no contact from the father of that makes any difference (I.e. Im knackered!)

Sidge Tue 10-Nov-15 17:22:57

I'd let them have dinner at the CM maybe Monday - Thursday, then home for some time with you then bath and bed. They can always have some cereal or toast before bed if they're hungry again. Then you can eat later if you can wait!

Then Friday, Saturday and Sunday you can all eat together.

SweepTheHalls Tue 10-Nov-15 17:25:22

Tea at childminders, then a snack know at home if they are still hungry is what I do.

Sylviapearl Tue 10-Nov-15 17:26:15

That sounds a nice idea. I'm worried about being starving by the time they are in bed as they call down to me until about 7.30pm, if I can solve that problem I think the above will be a good idea.

messystressy Tue 10-Nov-15 17:26:15

I do the same with my DC but we have dinner at home. It's just pasta, jacket pots etc but we talk about their day and wind down. My DS has school dinner so has hot cooked meal so don't feel too guilty. Works for us. (My DH has his own dinner alone when he gets home).

TheTroubleWithAngels Tue 10-Nov-15 17:26:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NarcyCow Tue 10-Nov-15 17:27:02

My childminder feeds my two at 4:30. They'd be too hungry to wait till after 6 and I have to admit it's bliss coming home and not having to cook immediately!

Artandco Tue 10-Nov-15 17:30:26

I would eat with them personally after 6pm as its a nice half hour when your all sitting down and can catch up on their day. Ask childminder if they can have some fruit or similar as a snack after school and maybe she will help with homework being done instead of cooking dinner? That's a better thing to do imo as if tired they will be more tired to read and do homework than eat.

Like you say it can be simple meals Weeknight anyway

futureme Tue 10-Nov-15 17:31:26

There was a thread recently about this but I can't remember what it was called. People (like me!) Who had never ever heard of or considered eating as early as 4.30 and tons who do!

I think whatever works for you. I personally would prefer to eat all together but if she didn't eat at childminders would she have to watch everyone else eating?

Also when you get in would you rather cook and ear together or would you rather have time to play together? Think about what you'd prefer! I don't think there's a right/wrong answer.

SauvignonPlonker Tue 10-Nov-15 17:37:42

I would let them eat at the childminders.
Rushing home at 5/6pm or later, trying to cook a meal with over-tired wee ones is not quality time!
On my working days, I have a main meal at lunchtime at work (canteen or microwave meal) then soup/sandwich/baked potato/omelette at home.
It makes life much easier & means I have a more relaxed bedtime & quality time with my DC beforehand.

Buttercup27 Tue 10-Nov-15 17:40:33

Tea at child minders then a small supper at home. We do the sa.e with ds 3 and 2 as they eat at nursery but I pekish before bed.

Fuckitfay Tue 10-Nov-15 17:41:22

Definitely meal at CM and then a snack at home before bed. Working and trying to prepare a me is stressful! It's nice to use that time for homework and chat.

Sylviapearl Tue 10-Nov-15 17:58:14

Yes 4.30pm is earlier than what they are used to eating, we normally eat at 5.30pm but I'm worried childminders and school will leave them exhausted and too tired to eat by the time we get home in the evenings. I will take up the offer of dinner at the childminders, I just need to work out plans for my own tea now!

HappyAsASandboy Tue 10-Nov-15 18:22:10

I don't suppose you have a canteen at work?

I have always dreamed of a time when my kids have a cooked meal at lunchtime and I have mine at the work canteen. So I'd only ever have to prepare soup/toast type teas!

I've never managed it. Either I have a canteen or they're fed st lunchtime. It's never coincided to release me from cooking a main meal. Such is life.

In your position I would let the childminder feed them, and then still sit down for dinner together when you get home. They probably won't eat, but they can sit at the table with you and have some if they want to, and talk about the day/read with you/show you endless pieces of glittery paper smile

I have been surprised by how tired my twins are after a day a school. They were at nursery for 11 hour days and coped fine, but a 9-3 school day completely whacks them out. I don't look forward to the day I will be getting home with them at 6pm and still having to feed them (maternity leave is helping somewhat at the moment!).

Jenijena Tue 10-Nov-15 18:26:46

When my son was in childcare which didn't provide an evening snack, I found the pick up/traffic/cook something quickly enough for hungry wailing child/enough time to wind down for bed really stressful. Would far rather pick up fed child. Which is what I do now - we then unwind with something little - an apple, cheese and cracker, that sort of thing - before bed.

Well done on the job! Hope it all works out for you!

NoSquirrels Tue 10-Nov-15 18:29:01

Tea at CM, substantial lunch for you at work, milk & toast/tea & toast when you all get in, alongside a bit of reading.

I really noticed the difference (in a bad way) when changing from a CM who fed and prepared all the meals as standard to one whose fees didn't include food, which meant I was doing a lot more prepping and thinking about food on top of work.

PassiveAgressiveQueen Tue 10-Nov-15 18:40:17

Another vote for tea at CM the, eating dinner with you sounds lovely, what it actually means is running around like a loon with starving tired children, who are too tired to really eat by the time food is ready.

Dixiechickonhols Tue 10-Nov-15 18:48:35

Yes definitely with childminder. Then you have an hour at home to spend with them. If you can I'd eat at lunchtime and have a snack supper like soup etc yourself. See how the land lies at work but we have a microwave and people eat pasta, chilli and rice, all sorts for lunch. As they get older it may change but it sounds like a big help.

2tired2bewitty Tue 10-Nov-15 18:58:17

Mine (5 and 18m) have a snack at cms of the sandwich and fruit variety, and the stir fry/pasta type tea when we get in at about 6. But it's only 5 minutes drive home, if you are going to be in the car for much longer you might prefer to do it the other way round.a!

Babbafish Tue 10-Nov-15 19:33:22

I would let the kids eat at the childminders Monday-Thursday and Friday they can eat late with you.
DH gets home from work at 6pm so he has from 6-7pm to play , chat and have fun rather than nagging tired kids to eat! Friday's and weekends are family dinner time.
We eat after DC are in bed. Yep usually starving but more quality time .

Sylviapearl Tue 10-Nov-15 19:36:59

Thanks for all the advice! This is such a big change for us all as I haven't worked since the day before they were born and it has just been me and the twins since they were 6 weeks old. I feel sad now they are at school! On the positive though it is finally financially possible for me to go back to work, although I feel nervous after 4 years out of the workplace, and a bit sad too as I loved spending time with my twins, now I will be back to a boring office job 9-5 sad I had planned to retrain but never found the time with looking after the twins!

Leavingsosoon Tue 10-Nov-15 19:37:56

Can't they have a snack at the childminders? I'd hate to feel like they never got their evening meal at home?

Mintyy Tue 10-Nov-15 19:40:17

4.30 is too early for anyone's dinner.

Bring them home with you, cook (I know it's not going to be easy!) and give them dinner at 6.30 and push bed time back to 8pm.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Tue 10-Nov-15 19:41:12

I feed my nanny kids dinner around 4.30 then we do wheetabix or toast about 6.30 if they're still hungry

Leavingsosoon Tue 10-Nov-15 19:42:18

Do you mean you give the children you are a nanny for dinner at 4:30?

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