I recently received this question from a reader via email…
Hi, I am a stay at home mum, with two super active boys, 1& 3. I’m doing a full time study load externally and my husband works away for weeks at a time. I only know a few other mums and don’t have a lot of time to socialise with people with kids (the housework, Uni and kids leave me exhausted most days!) and the only family member we have who lives in this area can only take the kids for a few hours every few weeks, due to her own work commitments.
I have both boys in Kindy two days a week, I usually leave them for 6 hours or so, and we are paying $300 per fortnight. There is a lot of bullying in my older boys class which I have tried addressing numerous times and overall, I wonder if I am being selfish to put my kids in care- though I think I’d go crazy with them at home 24/7 given our lack of support.
Are there any other alternatives to long day care that have worked for others? Are there childcare rebates for part time in-home carers? There has to be another way! I’ve thought about Demi Pair/ Au Pair/ nanny share (absolutely can’t afford a full time nanny nor do I need that much care). I can’t study while they are at home and by bedtime I’m usually too frazzled to study much. Can anyone offer any alternatives? My 1 year old is still breastfed and wakes frequently too, I feel like I’m running on empty but don’t want to quit study as I’d like to be able to start work in this area as soon as possible. Please help!!
From when Immy was 18 months through to about three and a half we had an in-home helper one morning a week who came to play with Immy while I worked furiously to get as much writing done (at home) as I could in that time. A year later and I have more paid work commitments and both a baby and a kindergartener so Dad 101 and I have recently been talking about ways to more effectively managed the load. It has been on my mind a lot in the past few weeks and I have plans to write more about this topic and our decision (hopefully soon!) so I too am interested in the experiences of other families.
Did/do you have help? What type and how did it work? Please share your experiences of managing the home/work/study/whatever-life-throws-at-you load!
What is Mum 2 Mum? Mum 2 Mum is a place where as online friends we can share a little of our own experiences, so why not pop in for a cuppa and join the conversation.
- The ABC of Child Care: Helping Parents Find Quality Child Care
- Mum 2 Mum: Choosing a School…When It Doesn’t Work Out Quite As You’ve Planned
- Q & A: Should I Send My Child to Child Care?