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CM Club: How do people react when you tell them you're a childminder?

28 replies

allieballie · 24/03/2006 12:54

I was out with my DH last night when we bumped into a friend of a friend of his. So we were chatting along quite friendly when she asks what it is that I do. Her reaction to me being a childminder was "oh", then she turned around and started talking to someone else, me obviously being a lower life form.

I know I wasn't being paranoid cos my husband noticed it too and he's not very observant in such things! I've calmed down now but she ever needs childcare...

OP posts:
Kidstrack2 · 24/03/2006 13:15

allieballie when i told my PIL that i was going to become a childminder she asked "when was i going to get a real job" i told dp what his mum had said and he gave her a mouthful of how dare you etc, me really chuffed that he stuck up for me aginst his mummy

saltire · 24/03/2006 13:25

When i go home to visit, my friends are quite dismissive of my job. With the exception of one who is a dinner lady, the others are bank workers, PR consultants etc etc. Many a time i have been asked
"When are you going to get a proper job" However since i pointed out to them that if it wasn't for me, and all the other childminders across the UK, then people like them would not be able to go and do "proper" jobs. One of them often asks how work is, if i'm busy etc, but the others hardly mention it, never ask how it's going etc.
My MIL often mentions the fact that i don't have a proper job as well. She will call me during the day and i say to her that i'm working
"no you're not, you're just a home" is the reply.

FeelingOld · 24/03/2006 13:26

I seem to get 2 kinds of reaction which are extreme opposites

  1. The 'oh that's nice you can earn a bit of money til you get a real job' kind of reaction, or
  2. The 'You need a medal, I couldn't do that, what a fanatastic job you do reaction,

lots of my friends started off with reaction number 1 when I told them that I was becoming a childminder but having seen all of the hard work I put in to it and have seen how much training etc I do they are now more of the number 2 opinion Smile.


Sorry, but it's about time we all got more assertive and let people know this.
welshmum · 24/03/2006 13:29

I'm not a CM but wanted to say that my life wouldn't work without my wonderful childminder and I have nothing but admiration for anyone who takes this job on. I'd challenge anyone who tries to say otherwise.

Kidstrack2 · 24/03/2006 13:32

exactly saltire if there were no childminders, parents having children would struggle getting back to work unless they used a nursery, Feelingold totally agree we should say CHILDMINDER/childrens carer loud and clear

Kidstrack2 · 24/03/2006 13:34

welshmum exactly, i have had to use a childminder recently when i was ill and then when i went to do the Childminding course, my dd loved the childminder and i loved how it worked out for us as a family

RTKangaMummy · 24/03/2006 13:38

One of my friends who I knew from school is a business woman totally dismisses my job so I wrote her a very long email telling her what my goals were and how I had acheived them


"My ambition was to work as a nanny, and I feel that leaving home at 19 years old to go to work in London where I knew no one was a huge step on the career ladder.

My ultimate career goal was to move over 3,300 miles away to a country where I had never been before or where I knew no~one, to live with strangers and to make a life for myself, learning to drive, making friends etc. All this at the young age of 22 years.

My next goal was to get married and have children, which I have also achieved.

I wanted to carry on with my vocation in life of working with children, teaching them how to grow from babies into young people. I am a very successful self-employed business woman."


saltire · 24/03/2006 13:42

I never thought of telling my friends that i was a succesful business woman with my own "company". Thanks Kanga I shall remeber that one the next time anything is said.

RTKangaMummy · 24/03/2006 13:44

You're welcome Smile

nzshar · 24/03/2006 13:51

Thats fantastic RTKM :o . But i just dont understand attitudes like yours saltire (no offence). Why is it that childminders do not consider themselves to be business women and professionals and then expect others to think that they are???!!!

I have always worked in the childcare profession and yes have come up against the old "oh" with raised eyes comments. BUT i always challenge their views and totally up the whole childcare profession.

We all (cm's,nanny's and nursey staff etc) need to tell and show people that what we do is very very very important. Then maybe just maybe we will start getting the respect that is deserved.

Sorry rant over, as you can see it is an issue with me :)

Riddo · 24/03/2006 13:59

I get really cheesed off because people are surprised when I say that I'm a childminder because they think the baby is mine. The implication seems to be that they should be able to tell I'm his childminder by the way I'm treating him which I find really insulting.

FeelingOld · 24/03/2006 14:01

This reply has been deleted

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Booh · 24/03/2006 14:02

I always tell people I run a professional childcare service - sounds good eh?

I did point out the other day to one friend, she sells computer software, that I hold far more qualifications than she does, and if we went for the same job I expect on paper I would look better!

I do have another job, far more high profile but I always tell people about the minding first for some reason!

Booh · 24/03/2006 14:02

I always tell people I run a professional childcare service - sounds good eh?

I did point out the other day to one friend, she sells computer software, that I hold far more qualifications than she does, and if we went for the same job I expect on paper I would look better!

I do have another job, far more high profile but I always tell people about the minding first for some reason!

FeelingOld · 24/03/2006 14:02

Sorry didn't mean it to sound so serious.
I love my job and have great fun doing it SmileSmile

allieballie · 24/03/2006 14:04

And what we do is important because the children we work with are important. It is a shame that it is perceived as a low skill "hobby" by so many people as that is saying that children only deserve those who don't have the ability to do a "proper" job.

OP posts:
welshmum · 24/03/2006 14:11

Feelingold, you are exactly right, I give my CM my most precious of all things. How on earth people can look down on someone who does this job is completely beyond me....and I hate the perceived notion that there's a hierarchy of childcare options with nannies at the top, then nurseries (private of course) and then childminders for those who have no other option. What a bloody cheek! If I had all the money in the world I wouldn't make a different decision....apart from stay home a bit more myself Grin

HenniPenni · 24/03/2006 17:32

Welshmum, I often say that I work with the most precious things in the world! Also say that I'm a self employed business woman.

jellyjelly · 24/03/2006 17:37

When i was earning alot of money with 3 spaces filled i got alot of 'thats alot of money for working at home just looking after the kids', i do challenge them to why they think that i can wash up/do the washing etc as i am at home all day. (i get that from my sister)

I point out that parents pay me a wage to look after their children and teach them social skills, keep them safe and educate them and everything else we do. i also tell then that i have done almost 25 course on all sort of training courses in my own town without pay in about a year and would they give up thier own time to do courses. No.

They also cant believe that i am dying to get back to work after almost 4 months off. I love my job and i am so glad that i can support my family for the last year for 'only' looking after the kids.

I do get lots of 'what a hard job, how do you cope looking after four kids all' and 'rather you than me' Think it comes down to i have patience and look caring for them and they dont, which is fine with me.

tobysmumkent · 24/03/2006 17:57

Love the self employed childcare company type of remarks (storing up to use in the future!).

And yes, I've had the blank looks with "oh". But most working mums react positively (for some reason...!). Tend to be more blank looks from friends husbands, whether they're dads or not.

alison222 · 24/03/2006 18:12

i totally agree with Feeling Old its one extreme or the other as a reaction.
I also get lots of people assuming that the children are all mine at times too (currently all inc my own are blond haired and blue eyed.
Mind you I would have been busy if they were Grin

ThePrisoner · 24/03/2006 18:27

My dh tells people that I run my own company (technically true although it's not exactly world domination stuff!) I tell people that I'm in "crowd control."

I do feel appreciated by the families I mind for, and I know that they don't see me as a glorified babysitter. Unfortunately, lots of other people do think that that's what we are, and also managing to do the housework and weekly family shopping.

HappyMumof2 · 24/03/2006 19:45

I get negative reactions all the time. Not from friends so much, but my parents keep saying things like 'well you won't be doing this forever' 'you'll get a proper job when dd goes to school' etc etc & my ex insists on calling me a 'babysitter'

I'm self employed fgs, running my own business and actually quite enjoying what I do (most of the time!) Grin

pol25 · 24/03/2006 21:29

I was a nanny before becoming a mummy and now mummy/CM.
For years I have had the 'oh' reaction and bet thats easy just sitting in soemone else's house. NO!!! I take care of their children, run their house, look after pets, am the personal diary of their children... the laundry lady, the cook, and nurse maid all in one. It is not easy!!!
I am responsible for a life and someone else's who is little and usually has no common sense Grin... Who is untidy, messy, sometimes unruly and most of all needs heaps of love, care and attention- not just sticking in front of ceebebies (except lost the plot on spelling that- I am preg, so forgive me!) Wink
It is hard work and ppl who look after children are shaping the ppl who will (hopefully) care for us in our old age...! It is one of the most important jobs in the world ppl who dismiss it need a big wake up call!

Isyhan · 27/03/2006 18:15

Alot of people just laughed when I told them because of jobs Id done before that. They will be laughing on the other sides of their faces soon though I think!

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