Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
02/10/2013 at 13:57
I get so much great advice with my random threads, I have come back again thank you ladies!
As soon as we decided we wanted kids at some point it came up that we could probably pay my sister what she earns for her evening shifts at a care home, to be our childminder. This was the ideal solution for us (family/flexible arrangement/reasonable cost) and her (wanting desperately to be around more for her son without losing out on cash).
She had fertility issues for years (best part of 7 years) but is wonderfully, happily 20-odd weeks pregnant with twins!
Early on in the pregnancy she stated she still wanted to go ahead with our loose plan and believed she could still be our childminder (between 1 and 4 days Mon-Fri depending on hubby's shifts, averaging 2.0-2.5 days a week). I'm not sure I said out loud that I thought she was crazy to contemplate it, but that's what I was thinking, lol.
Because she's due January (or Feb) and I'm due April when I go back (and hubby has had a bit of time off) ours will be 3-4 months old and hers will be 6-7 months old. Some other factors are that her house is tiny, bless her, I can't imagine having space for 3 babies in either of the downstairs rooms (not sure how they will manage as a family actually, but I guess they just *will*), and she will have to go in and out on the school run occasionally (on foot, round the corner).
I don't see how it's possible, but for her, it is the single only way they can keep their heads above water once she has quit working. I don't want to tell her I know better than her on this, because perhaps she's thought of things I haven't, but we are quite different personalities and don't always communicate well and I'm terrified of offending her. We had our first fallout since childhood earlier this year and it really shook me.
What do you think? Is it possible to look after 3 on your own?
02/10/2013 at 14:03
Sounds crazy to me but I know someone with triplets who "manages"!
02/10/2013 at 14:08
But how will she take them out?
Where will 3 babies sleep, as usually children aren't allowed upstairs in a cms house unless its to the toilet, so she wouldn't be able to take her 2 up as it would mean leaving yours unattended.
So if she has your lo and her own 2 she can't take on anymore under 5s.
My cm has 3 littlies but they all can't go on the same day as she can't transport them
02/10/2013 at 14:12
Sounds crazy to me too VE!
CP - she's not a childminder it would be her 8 yr old (some of the time), and the 3 babies.
No way could I do it, I know that much.
02/10/2013 at 14:17
I can't imagine it would be easy. thinking of the practicalities...What can area does your sister live in? are their local baby toddler groups that she could get to either walking or in the car? what other activities would they do? I can't imagine that she'd want to and the babies would want to stay in the house all day.does she have a car that could fit 3 infant car seats? Would she have space for a triple buggy? I can imagine it would be difficult to be your sister employer. what would you do if her babies were poorly?
02/10/2013 at 14:23
TBH Carole I can't see they would do much and because the days would differ each week there would be no onus or pressure on her from us to take our little one to any groups or activities. But I can't see being stuck in the house being nice for any of them at all. They don't know how they will get a double buggy in to their house let along a triple. There's much more space at my place so we'd happily have her come to us every day once she's dropped her son off (bet I could negotiate a late start time at work), but she won't want our dog around her kids and it would be hard (impossible probably) for her to get on the afternoon school run.
If hers were poorly we'd have to manage ours, which I sort of see the same as any childminder/other arrangement so am not specifically concerned on that score, although it's something to be considered in the sister/nursery dilemma.
02/10/2013 at 14:33
Both my best friend and my cousin have twins, friend's are nearly 3 and cousin's are 4 months. From my experience of being around them and their little ones, taking on a third with a different developmental stage would be very very tricky. I don't think it compares to having triplets. With triplets the mum is used to it from birth, they are all at the same stage, the mum has a routine for them etc. Taking on yours can't be a routine since it's not every day, and before dropping them off, yours will have eaten/slept at different times from hers. It's also fine saying they won't go out to start with, but as they reach toddler stage, in nice weather, it's horrible to think they may be stuck inside rather than out in the park just because there are 3 of them.
I think your sister is being very optimistic, and brave, but I'd get a backup plan in place.
But surely in summer she would at least want to go a walk? I think maybe over 1 or when they walk you can manage a bit more, Isaac is 20 months and would walk to school but it does take forever but I think when they are all in buggies I can't see how it can be manageable with out a triple buggy because what if she needed to go out how could she get them
02/10/2013 at 15:03
CP I know what you're saying, but they have a great garden so being taken out 'proper' really doesn't worry me, but you can't get buggies through her house so I don't see how she could manage, bless her. I wonder whether she'll have her lad go to school on his own instead but he's quite volatile and I don't know it's a good idea.
Barefoot, I agree entirely, triplets would be - dare I say it - easier, or less complex anyway, because they're all there from the start and the rules/routines are established quite possibly across the board.
02/10/2013 at 15:05
My SIL has 6 children. When the twins were born she had 3 under 2.5 yrs and she manages. They also live in a tiny house (2 bed mid terrace, they have just started a loft conversion and chopped the already small living room in half to make a single bedroom for my 15 yr old nephew)
The twins are now 9 months,boys are 21 months and just turned 3. She doesn't go to any groups but does take the 3 yr old to preschool every day. She now has a triple buggy which doesn't fit in there house. It's kept in the car and she carries the children out to go in it.
02/10/2013 at 15:06
That should be 4 under 2.5 yrs!
02/10/2013 at 15:09
My sister had the same story of fertility issues and then pregnant with twins!! They are 2 years old now, and in the beginning it was tough, but when isn't it tough for first time parents?? Her husband own his own company so is a pretty busy man, having to be at work 8-6 during the week, but luckily he can be there at night and during the weekends. I work for my brother in laws company and he allotted me 1-2 days a week to help nanny the girls with my sister for the first few months. On those days we could get any errands done, or help with dr's appointments and etc. She did do a lot on her own though, and after a bit you get the hang of it. If you can afford to get a nanny to help her out on just for 1 or 2 days out of the week say 9-5 or something, to help with feeding, diaper changes, etc. it will help her out a lot, in the beginning. Having multiple infants around is what is the difficult part so once they are past 6months, it gets a lot easier to handle multiple babies :)
02/10/2013 at 15:20
Jenny, the issue is that we would pay my sister to care for our baby, not pay her and also pay for a nanny. It's an option for us to get a part-time nanny but that would leave her with no income.
02/10/2013 at 15:59
Tbh you sound like you aren't keen and having doubts. Is it the fact ud be paying the wage? If so surely she would be on maternity allowance and she'd have tax credits etc so things might not be as bad as it first seems
02/10/2013 at 16:05
Oh no! it's not the cash, I would pay her what I'd pay a CM, it's that I don't see how it's possible and thought I should check with others in case I'm being too negative. I'm worried about her, to be honest. If we do it I'll be worrying she's not coping and it's too much for 1 person, and if we don't do it I'll be worrying about her getting in to debt.
Maternity is only 6 weeks, and then not full pay, she'll be long past that before I have mine.
02/10/2013 at 16:32
Our best friends have 11 month old triplets and a three year old, its really hard but they are amazing!
02/10/2013 at 16:43
Forgive me if I'm wrong but if you are paying someone for childcare, they should be Ofsted registered. In which case, they can only have 1 under 1 anyway.
02/10/2013 at 16:55
Our best friends have 11 month old triplets and a three year old, its really hard but they are amazing!
02/10/2013 at 16:58
yep tell me about it! her routine is awsome!
02/10/2013 at 17:18
Rusty, I think Counter would be having her sister as informal childcare, her sister wouldn't be a registered CM with Ofsted.
Counter, I think you are right to be concerned about how this would work practically, and I don't think you are being negative, just realistic. It's lovely that you are concerned about your sister - both financially if you didn't stick with this plan, and mentally if you did! In your shoes my main reason for cancelling the original plan would be for my baby. I just don't think it will be fair on him / her to spend part of his / her week with two other babies, and an 8 yo part of the time and only one carer. I don't think it's right. You will know from having your son, that babies need attention, play time, cuddles, on top of their basic needs - feeding, keeping clean and sleep. And even with just the basics, how will it work if your baby - or one of the twins, needs help getting to sleep (see my thread on this today!) Chances are not all of them will be SS by then. The twins will probably be starting weaning around the time your baby lands too, I just can't begin to imagine how this could work.
I know people have triplets, and I know they manage and get by, but the point is you don't have to put your baby in this position, it isn't you with three babies, if that makes any sense. It will be so much better for your baby to be with a CM that can take him / her out, give them play time and attention and ensure they get their naps etc. They are going to be very young when the arrangement starts so will be really dependent still.
It's really awkward I know and I know you don't want to risk a falling out but hopefully giving her as much notice as possible will avoid arguments, and if it doesn't, you aren't doing anything wrong, just putting your family first. If they are on a very low income, they will be entitled to working tax and child tax credits, plus SMA for 9 months, and child benefit. However, if that isn't enough, put bluntly, that isn't something you can be responsible for, and I don't think you should feel guilty enough to put the needs of their family above the needs of your own.
Also, your sister may well have the twins and change her mind about your LO immediately!
All just MHO of course, I hope you find a solution that you are happy with.
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