Childcare issues

The kids went back to school after half-term today, so that’s all the childcare issues sorted then? Well, no, not really. For starters, only two of the kids went back. I’ve realised one of the downsides of having a child at secondary school – different schools mean different inset days. And my son’s school had an inset day today. And we didn’t exactly notice that until very recently…

My mum and dad are great and have the kids before and after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but childcare issues just keep popping up. And my mum and dad already do enough. I hate having to ask them to do more, but so often it feels like I have no choice. In the space of just over a week we have no less than FIVE childcare issues.

On Saturday my husband and I went out for a late Valentine’s night out. It was also our first night out together since my birthday in September. We decided to go for a quick, early meal and then to the cinema. My mum and dad agreed to babysit, so that was all good. But then I noticed the swimming party my daughter had been invited to – 6-7pm. That’s until 7pm in the water. She won’t be ready to come home until 7.20 and our table is booked for 7.30. So I have to get my dad to pick her up from the party while my mum looks after the boys.

Then there’s today. The dreaded inset day. My husband said he could have my son in the morning, but had to be in work for a meeting at 12.30. I only work until 1.45, so would be home about 2.30, but that’s still over two hours with no-one to look after my son. My mum and dad would do it, surely? No, they were going out. Luckily my sister is on maternity leave and was happy to have someone to help entertain his baby cousin for a couple of hours until I get home. Crisis averted.

On Tuesday night my husband is working late. And I have dance class. Generally he tries to avoid working late on Tuesdays, but it happens sometimes. So I’m going to have to ask my mum and dad for ANOTHER favour.

On Thursday my younger son is representing his school at cross country for the first time, which is pretty exciting. Unfortunately it’s at another school on the other side of town and he has to be transported by a parent. And it’s between 4 and 5. And my daughter’s dance class is 4.15 until 5. On this occassion his friend’s mum will take them to cross country, then next time they run – in two weeks – I will take them and my mum will have to take my daughter to dancing.

And finally… On Sunday my younger son is playing in his county cup rugby competition, which is the highlight of the rugby season. We will both want to be there cheering him on. The county cup is in the next town and we will need to be there pretty early. But my eldest is taking part in a Scout event the same day which is closer to home and a slightly later start. And an earlier finish.

Frankly I don’t even have the strength to start working that one out right now.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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13 Comments

  1. Top juggling so far I think, you can only spread yourself so far. For your next task invent a machine where you can temporarily duplicate yourself, problem solved

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  2. Wow that’s a lot of plate spinning but it’s so good you have that support network too. I have no idea how on earth people must cope without their family and friends nearby! It sounds like it just becomes more complicated as time goes on…eeeeekkk! 🙂

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  3. I’m kind of relieved I’ve only got the one child. And lots of family nearby who can potentially stand in (and OH works at home so emergencies can be shared). But worried just about school hours, let alone extra curricular! There’s a lot to be said about private schools where they’re there til prep/after!

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  4. What a logistical nightmare. Not really got to the point were we have that many clubs or extra activities, too much for now. Sounds like you really have your work cut out but you are doing a great job of sorting and juggling. x

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  5. Thank God for your family. you have options at least. I made my bed my moving away……

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  6. Glad I have just the one and work part-time too but no family nearby and she starts school in August – eek! You’re doing a grand juggling job though!

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  7. Thanks very much, everyone. Duplicating myself would be good, I think, Jo!
    Life does indeed get more complicated, Tas. When they’re little they just go to nursery all day and you can go to work! Longer hours than school, no school holidays and no extra-curricular activities.
    It’s not even that my kids particularly do an excessive number of outside activities, it’s just when there’s three of them doing them it gets too much!
    I am so lucky to have my family nearby and so lucky they help out 🙂

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  8. I have no family near by and juggling become a complete nightmare and asking friends for favours…….or paying for it!

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  9. Oh my goodness, that’s an awful lot of juggling! I am in awe, you’re doing great honestly, I often get stumped with just one child!

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  10. Thanks very much for your comments, ladies. I really appreciate them. Having no family nearby must be hard, Rowena. I’m lucky that I rely on mine a lot to pick up the pieces! Most of the time they don’t seem to mind.
    MNS – it certainly is a lot of juggling! It stresses me out sometimes, but we just get on with it and things mainly work out! We don’t have any choice but to cope. I’m sure you would manage if you needed to.

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  11. Oh yes, even with one child, I feel your pain. My parents are our main source of childcare, especially at the moment when my other main source has a new baby, it is one big juggling act!

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  12. I think Yorkshire might be a bit of a trek for them, YTM!
    I feel so guilty keep asking my mum and dad, Luci, but it’s either that or say the kids can’t do any extracurricular activities. They enjoy their sport etc and it’s not fair to stop them.
    Thnk you both for commenting, I really appreciate it.

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