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I know I'm going to have to be like a soldier and be super organised or it'll all fall apart.
MM - I know what you mean about childcare, I've just been given the bill for two kids in full time nursery. I am lucky that I earn enough to cover it and still have a decent bit left over but I still debate at the merits of paying all that money to a nursery. But also not sure how much value I would add to them being at home full time either I am hoping for some brainwave so I can come up with some business idea which will allow me earn some money from the comfort of my home.
I took JK (my 3 year old) for an assessment day at a pre-prep school. I have no idea what went on and if he will be accepted, but just found it terrifying and hilarious that my baby was being assessed. He seemed to enjoy the whole thing and wanted to go and play there again today. Aaarrgh, I’ve got to start thinking about school runs soon.
It is awful to think of the cost of these places. Sadly I am/was a PhD scientist working in a small company. Us scientists don't get paid very good salaries, but decent all the same, and even with a PhD and 8 years experience my salary would bring me home £100-200 per month on 3 days a week. I guess you do get childcare vouchers but even so.
We were dependent on my salary to pay the mortgage but we have cut out many expenditures and hubbies business is better this year than last, and we are just about getting by. No holidays for us for a few years! Guess it means I either go back to work just to keep my hand in not for the money, I do something else ( the option I have taken) or I stayed a full time Mum. After 11 months of being a full time Mum I am ready to do something else, but I also want lots of flexibility. I really envy those of you with family nearby. I have a great husband, but we do it all alone.
MM, I wish hubby would see it that way - that it's worth making sacrifices for a couple of years so that I could stay at home with Kit. I think though if it were just a matter of cutting our expenditure we would do that, but hubby and I have worked through the figures and we would be very, very skint without my salary. Although I'm only an administrator I am fairly well-paid - and we are in the fortunate position of having my mum literally 2 minutes' walk away. It was her suggestion when Kit was born that she would cut down to working two or three days per week so that she could look after Kit on two days and he wouldn't have to go to nursery. We are paying her, as she's had to sacrifice some income to do this, but obviously nowhere near as much as a nursery would charge. Had nursery been the only option, I think I would have rebelled and refused to go back to work!
I think your suggestion to run at lunchtimes is a good one, as I'm already struggling to get my run in when I get home from work in the evening. The only downside is having to lug running kit to and from work, and the hassle of having to shower etc. after the run. But it would mean two evenings a week would be freed up.
I would have been quite happy not to work and was fortunate that my Mum came and stayed with us for 7 weeks so I would work my full time contract. Then the childminder was part-time. James gives her big smiles although his 3rd day with her she said 'It's not as bad as it looks' his face was covered in scratches where another child was apparently jealous and went for him. thankfully as a teacher I know things do happen and I feel sorry for the other parent. She won't like her little daughter having hurt him!
I think working does get easier - you just learn to accept each day - it's just life.
I asked my husband about what about if we had another child and childminding etc. and he said that I would just stay at home. well if I could do then...... I think we need to really work on the mortgage, the way payments keep going up rather than down is demoralising.
Also I really make the most of my days with James and don't take him forgranted which I may personally have done if I was with him all the time. My neighbour went back to night shifts at Sainsburys - I would seriously consider that as I can survive on little sleep and then I could have James all to myself during the days. However hubbie says he wants to see me.... so not yet.
I don't know if such jobs still exist but 6 years ago I used to work weekends 4pm - 12pm at one of the investment banks in London.
It was a Secetarial/Admin type job doing PowerPoint/Excel/Word Type documents for the Analysts. They worked a 24 hour shift and there were plenty of options.
I was a student then but there were lots of Mums there who worked the night shift. The pay was good and they had a taxi take you home at the end of the shift.
That sounds quite interesting, Tonia - an option I would not even have known existed.
EF, know what you mean about the mortgage payments. We did rather well on a tracker mortgage for a number of years and decided to risk another one the last time we renewed. Turns out to have been a mistake, with constant Bank of England base rate hikes ever since. We are now paying more than we would be had we opted for a fixed rate last time, but on the plus side if we work out how much we've paid over the entire term of the mortgage we're still probably quids in. However, repayments are now at the highest they've been for us at the worst possible time as we now only have one full-time salary coming in. And we only have a 2-bed terraced house on an estate! We were thinking of ridding ourselves of our car loan and getting a cheaper car - but that's on hold for the moment since the recent collision as the car is still being assessed by the insurance company and last we heard it may be "borderline" for write-off ...
It never rains but pours ...
It's a shocker isn't it Minks. I earn double what hubby does so me being on leave really does kill us and is really why I have to go back to work. We're contemplating trackers just now cos I just keep thinking base rate cannot continue to rise surely and I don't want to find myself lumbered with a really high fixed rate. I hate this sort of thing - it's just total gambling!
Mare re the car. We bought a cheapo runaround which we plan to sell in the new year when I go back - it's just so Louise and I are not stranded during the week. Hoping to get nearly as much as we paid for it!
We are in the same boat... my wage is more so i will definateley have to go back. I work shifts so that will cut the amount of childcare we need as i can work every other weekend, do one overnight a week etc... only prob is we will never see each other! I think my ideal would be if we could both go part time and then maybe would only need 1 or 2 days at nursery but not sure if it will be an option, I cannot work less than 30 hours and keep my management position due to government regs.
We got a tracker too... really worrying. Was thinking of moving to a bigger house in a year or so (before we realised we would have 2 lots of childcare costs) but doesnt look like it will happen til at least the girls are at school...luckily can just fit 2 cots in the girls bedroom!
It's so hard, isn't it? I suppose I should be grateful that I'm in a relatively good position in that we're not having to pay high childcare costs (although we are paying my mum for looking after Kit as she's retired from work two days a week to do it for us) and I have some peace of mind, knowing that he's being looked after by family.
EF, know what you mean about mortgages - it's always a gamble when you have to renew. We've been generally quids in with our tracker and like you, we thought the base rate couldn't possibly keep on rising ... but it has, and although we're OK and are not likely to get into a position where we're not, it's SO frustrating when another £30 of your hard-earned disappears every month. Not to mention the council tax and all the bills going up all the time, plus our travel to work ... which of course is never offset by our pay increases! My organisation is particularly tight and rarely gives us a pay award much above inflation.
Did my 'long' run (8.5 miles) this afternoon andhonestly wondered how I ever ran further than this! My legs were SO tight and stiff during the last couple of miles. At one point my shoelace came undone and I had to stop to re-tie it - getting going again afterwards was a challenge! Can't understand why my legs are suffering like this - they never did before, even the first time I trained for a marathon, and it's not as though I'm doing much mileage each week. Perhaps that's the problem - I need to run more to keep everything loose. Still haven't decided what to do about FLM. I figure I'll maybe start working towards it now knowing I don't have to make a final decision until around Christmas.
Kit's cut a top tooth this weekend, and I can see all 4 of his top front teeth in his gums, so I think he's going to be sprouting over the next few weeks. Other than some runny nappies a couple of weeks ago, he hasn't had any problems at all. Hasn't been grizzly, or had flaming cheeks, or woken in the night. Think we've been pretty lucky so far ...
Yes we are also on a tracker mortgage. Nightmare and all the increases at the wrong time. Hopefully its reached a maximum now. I worked out that my child benefit now covers those 4-5 extra £30 rises! Poor Joshie only gets the second child allowance!
We have also been lucky with teething. Very little disturbs the boys sleep, which I guess is how I manage to do so much running. Keep going Minks, it takes a while to build up the endurance again. I remember my first longish run very well, was shattered and my knees really hurt.
we're just remortgaging at the moment (or would be if it weren't for the postal strike!) so we've been debating everything that you have all been discussing this weekend!
regards childcare, our parents all live too far away to be able to help out on a regular basis (although my mum and dad do visit a lot). the problem we have is that both of us are expected to work long hours - i have just finished an assignment in reading, which is 150 miles drive in each direction! - and my husband has around 200-odd staff, so is constantly in meetings / dealing with issues throughout the day and only gets time to do his job once they all go home, and is also expected to travel to europe a lot. nursery is fab, but they do expect (and rightly so!) that you pick the kid up no later than 6pm. i can never get back from work by then, so it's always down to tony (unless my parents are visiting) and he finds that very hard. tomorrow i'm in newport pagnell, which is going to be about 3.5 hours drive in each direction for me!
like many of you, we have no option for me not to work. even on 3 days a week, i still earn more than my husband does working 5 days a week. the only really sensible option was for him to go part-time but somehow that didn't seem right. and i'm really glad that i get two days a week on my own with jacob. he's a right mummy's boy now, which is driving my husband mad, because daddy just won't do!
jacob is going through a real light sleeping phase at the moment. everything seems to wake him up in the evening. on friday night, it was the cats fighting downstairs; one night it was the phone ringing. the problem is, he won't go back to sleep again. on friday night, it took 3 hours for him to go back to sleep. ARGH! consequently we are creeping around trying not to make any noise when he is in bed, which is wrong i know. he's never been like this before so i don't understand why it's started all of a sudden. he also wakes up in the morning as soon as anyone gets up for a wee. and when i go to work, i often get up at or before 5, so that can be a right pain for my husband, as jacob won't go back to sleep again. at the weekends, when no-one is up, he will often sleep in until 8am but as soon as he hears any noise, he's awake. and he yells and screams until you go into him - we've tried leaving him to settle by himself and he won't.
any mums got any suggestions about what we can do? short of putting ear plugs in his ears?!
Welcome home Janie... glad you had a good holiday. How is Teds reflux doing?
My clever girls rolled over today... now in training for 2012 olympics!! Poor M, she has been really trying and struggling for a week or so...E showed no interest but casually flipped herself when I put her on her tummy today! Had to give M a little nudge!
Wow Hetty thats early. My two have done well developmentally but not that fast! Am pleased that them being small and prem hasn't held them up at all. In fact they seem to be doing better at some things than their bigger friends. Both close to walking at nearly a year, but I guess being small and light is a bonus for that. J has worked out the stairs and H Almost. So bathtime now involves me following them up the stairs, good way to wear them out and save my back!!
Grim day today, but got out for my run with friend and had massage ready for race on sunday. Boys at childminder today while I do stuff for hubbie's business and my diploma. I have also looked at part-time nannies as they cost around 7-8 quid an hour the same as I pay the childminder for the two of them. My other option as childminder can only give me the one day is a nursery which costs £5.50 per hour x2 plus food at £2 each per day. Is this expensive? Seems is to me. It is a lovely nursery, but I think they are relying on the rich Mums round here which doesn't include me!!! Have reserved a place for Jan for half day weds but we'll see!
janie tri - glad you enjoyed your hols. is carol's page 3-girl position still working for you and ted?
our nursery is osborne childrens nursery, off chepstow road. wrong side of town for you i think. there seem to be many more over your side of town than there are over here, and some seem really good so i don't think you will have trouble finding one. a new one has just opened up by junction 28 of the M4, which is where my husband's work is about to move to. we were going to have a look at it, but we decided not to in the end because jacob is so happy where he is and i thought i was bound to think the new place was lovely because it was all new and shiny, but i really don't think jacob could be happier or more stimulated anywhere else.
my little baby isn't a baby any longer! he's moved up into playroom 1 from the baby room one day a week. i think they just wanted his baby room place for another baby so have moved him up early, but he loves it. apparently he spent 45 minutes 'creating' a collage with bits of paper and glue. i find this hard to believe as the most creative thing he does at home is eat crayons. but it is incredible! they do come on in leaps and bounds when they are copying bigger children.
Childminders are generally £3-4 per hour which works out cheaper and their hours are more flexible too.
I agree with them coming home having done all kinds of things - we have James' first pictures (dots/marks) he will not do that for me!
JT I think often with teaching if you want to go part time they ask if you can find someone to share with - to make it really difficult. It is worth finding out though. I got exactly what I wanted. Even if you work out your full time and look for parttime elsewhere to keep your full maternity pay
our nursery is 26.50 a day (i think it's less if you are full-time) and that includes all food / drink but not nappies or wipes. i think that's pretty cheap though. it was the cheapest we looked at but that's not the reason we went there.
i was paying 30 quid a day at a childminders initially (3 quid an hour, and was taking j's food there as well because she wouldn't do dairy-free and i hadn't introduced cow's milk at that point) but i didn't get on with her. i don't know whether it's common with childminders or not but she wouldn't follow my routine. all the children irrespective of age were fed and slept all at the same time. so she had jacob having one sleep between 10am and noon and then another one between 5 and 6pm. that was no good for him because he then wouldn't go to bed for me in the evening. i wanted him to have a nap in the morning for half an hour and his main sleep after lunch, but she wouldn't accommodate that. she also wouldn't give him his milk feeds when i wanted him to have them and decided he didn't need his mid-afternoon milk at all!
so we moved him to a nursery where they do (or at least they say they do!) everything as i want it. yesterday he woke up very early for him (6am) and when i picked him up in the evening, he'd only had half an hour's sleep all day! apparently after 30 mins he was up and bouncing in his cot. i think he just doesn't want to miss out on the action there. at home, he will sleep for hours after lunch but i always wake him up after an hour and a half or so so that we can go and do stuff!
on a totally different topic, is anyone else doing waterbabies with their babies? we have been doing it for almost a year now and jacob absolutely adores it, as do i. he is now so desperate to be off swimming on his own. if i let him go, he sinks, comes up to the surface, thrashes around, sinks, comes up to the surface, thrashes around and then when i put my hand under his tummy to try to support him for a while so he can breathe he just wriggles away and wants to go again. it's incredible! it should only be a few more months before he can learn to go solo properly on his back.
DM waterbabies sounds great. James loves the water but we have not gone to anything formal yet. I will look into that though.
Sleepwise James sleeps in the car on the way home from the childminders. I worried this would put out his normal sleep but it hasn't. he sleeps very little when he is there, as you say, doesn't want to miss out on the action.
Have to say my childminder is great, but she won't do any food except for things like scrambled eggs. She does everything I ask. The boys don't sleep so well there, but thats fine really as they sleep well for me the next day. Only trouble is she can't give me anymore days. She is only 5 doors away which is great!
So i'm guessing that £5.50 an hour plus food is pretty pricey its around £44 per day 9-5, plus the £2 for food as well. Fab nursery though, guess we'll see. Others are miles away, literally a good 20 min car journey about 15 miles. Other closer ones about 5 miles away don't have a very good reputation.
My two are starting at a local swimming pool. One of the mums from the village toddler group runs her own swimming businesss for kids. They are going after christmas.
JT - yes, our nursery is cheap. the thing is, it's also really good! it's quite small (only 25 places in total) but they have a full-time teacher for the pre-schoolers, as well as programmes to help with speech for kids who are struggling. they do music sessions with them, messy play every day, and all the standard stuff like themes /dressing up / festivals and stuff. even for the babies, there is structured play around themes. some of the places i looked at were truly dire in comparison. i don't really understand why it's so cheap, because the quality and consistency of care is excellent. all the staff know everything that jacob has been doing that day (even the ones not in his room), how much he's eaten, how long he's slept (and i get a report every day detailing what he's done, how many poos, what consistency (!) etc). they are pretty strict there - all the staff are known as 'miss *surname*' etc, and they all wear uniform. but jacob seems to love it - and i haven't found too much to complain about.
if you are thinking of waterbabies, see if you can get into the class at Maes Ebbw (special needs) school. It's a hydrotherapy pool - REALLY warm, and lovely and small. And not too far for you to go. I go to Chepstow on a Sunday now, but there are fewer classes for the advanced class and beyond, so we don't have as much choice.
I also take Jacob to Joe Jingles in Rhiwderin on a Friday morning (music session - or just an excuse for him to hit me in the shin with a triangle! Ouch!) He loves it. You can take them from about 6 months or so, so a while yet before Ted could go, if you are into that sort of thing!
Sadly nothing is cheap around here. Too many rich mummies!!! The rest of us have to pay or stay at home!
My two go to music groups and they love it. We also go to soft play and the toddler group in the village is great. We also go to a rhyme time in the library every friday, which is only 20 mins but its free and the boys love it. We keep ourselves very busy!!
MM - i should imagine the only way to cope with two nearly toddlers is to get out lots! we are out all the time now - it's the only way to control jacob because he gets bored and rampages around hitting the telly and swinging on the fireguard if we spend too long at home (even though he has 70 million toys and books!). soft play is great, but i find that jacob gets a bit bored in the toddler areas now and is still too little to manage the bigger kids areas. i end up trying to drag him round the bigger bits and killing my back in the process from stooping and lifting him at awkward angles! need to be fitter / stronger, i guess!
Jacob LOVES going to the library. i don't really know why because the library we go to in newport is pretty dire, but he loves it anyway. i think he just loves pulling all the books off the shelves and running around.
JT - when Ted gets a bit bigger, there is cheap soft play in the Tennis Centre at Spytty Park (or should I say 'Newport International Sports Village'?!) on a Monday and Wednesday morning (10-12). It's only £1.85 for up to two hours' play. It's not as good as Eeezeeplay (or however you spell it) or Jump (which you pay a fortune to get into!), but as soon as he can crawl / walk, it's a good way to pass an hour or so and to talk to other mums. It doesn't have a ball pool but it is a big area for them to run around in, and has a bouncy castle and soft crash mats / climbing things/ tunnels etc.
I would love to go to waterbabies but at £24 a session for the both of them I just cant justify it... also i would need someone to go with me. My friend did it with her twins and has got an ace photo of them swimming underwater together!
I have contacted the local college to see if I can get a childcare student (they do 1 or 2 days a week with you) thinking that it will enable me to go swimming, music groups etc that are difficult to do with 2 babies alone, and maybe get some sleeping/housework/decorating/running etc done. They cant be alone with the babies but I figure they could walk laps of the park while I run!
I would also love to do signing classes with them, I use makaton signing at work and it makes sense to sign to babies to help thier communication. Anyone got any experiance of using it with babies?
Hetty, I use Makaton at work too and wanted to use it with James. However all I seemed to use was good boy and occasionally the odd sign here and there. My sister gave me the baby sign video course but I have not had time to look at it and I think it might have videos and we have no video player anymore.
My sister used some signs with her 4 kids. I guess it helps with the particularly important words - more, milk, drink, food, sleep, toilet early on.
I started Sing and Sign last week. I enjoyed it. the signs are taken frm BSL and Makaton then sometimes adjested to make them baby friendly. I never found a music group that I really liked so this is what I thought would work for me as I love the signing. None of the babies sign in the lessons at all, it would purely be with practise at home. As the teacher said they learn to sign early on with waving goodbye - we encourage that and say bye bye with it.
Mitchie Moo, nothing is cheap nursery-wise round our way either. Had my mum not volunteered to have Kit two days per week, the nursery we were planning on putting him in would have worked out at £560ish a month for two days per week. A session (either morning or afternoon) is about £35 and all the local nurseries specify a minimum of 4 sessions per week otherwise they won't accept the child. SO expensive. It was a lovely nursery and all the children seemed very happy and stimulated, but at 7 months I'm glad that he's with family as I know hubby and my mum will follow his routine and feed him when I want him fed etc. At nursery he just wouldn't have that one-to-one attention. I do want him to go to a playgroup or nursery when he's a bit older as I think it's important for developing social skills.
Thanks for encouragement on the running front. I'll persevere with building the endurance but am surprised at how long it's taking. It's not the stamina - lungs and heart are fine! - but my legs seem to get really stiff even towards the end of an 8-mile run and are quite tight and sore afterwards ... of course, I ought to be stretching but somehow just never seem to find/make the time! Had planned to run at lunchtime from work yesterday, then ended up having to go to a meeting so ran 4.5 miles when I got home, after bathing Kit and putting him to bed. Neither lunchtimes nor evenings are ideal but as hubby says, I'll make it work if I want it enough. By the time I've got changed and then showered afterwards a lunch hour is almost too short for a decent run - if it's only 3 or 4 miles then I may as well do that in the evening. Think I might end up running home from work once a week when I need to fit in a longer run. It's about 12 miles but I could also take the Tube part of the way and run the rest if I wanted to something a bit shorter. I just need to decide whether or not I really want to do the marathon because at the moment I'm still unsure I'm 100% committed to finding a way of doing the training.