Tag Archives: Day care

Miss Three is at war with her carers, and I’m on her side..


Here’s a confession, I haven’t had major sleep problems with Miss Three since she was four months old.

That’s not to say we’re not up a lot during the nights; there are often bad dreams, illness, heat or cold issues and sometimes a need for emergency cuddles, but we know that in the grand scheme of things, we’re pretty fortunate.

I’m the last person to claim the credit.  We had fantastic support from the sleep support centre provided by our local area health service when Miss Three was four months old.  As hapless parents who knew very little, this was a godsend.

Since then things have gone fairly well.  Miss Three gave up her daytime sleep about six months ago, it made the evening bedtime quicker and less stressful and we’re quite relaxed about that.

But every day she’s at daycare, her carers spend two hours trying to get her to sleep.  They pat, cajole and beg and she just doesn’t sleep. I get reports (from her) about how they will try and get her to ‘be good and have a sleep today’.

And I really don’t care.

I understand that those who work in daycare need a break during the day – this is absolutely not about that.  I also understand that some kids need a sleep, and others a little quiet time, but I do not understand telling a child that good behaviour is sleeping when they really have no physical need for one?

We spend the first few years of our children’s loves agonizing over their sleep patterns.  There’s a very good reason that Go the F*** to Sleep is a bestseller.  And it’s a serious issue for working mums, who are trying to commute, make decisions and function like regular human beings during the day, often on very little sleep.

I’d love to get an afternoon kip on the weekends, and it was lovely while it lasted, but if they don’t need it, there’s simply  not much you can do about it.

I try so hard to support our lovely carers and any rules or processes they implement.  I think consistency in expectations, especially on things like manners, eating patterns and treatment of other people, is really important.

But I’m sorry daycare, I just can’t back you up on this one.

Kirsten

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Six options for mums with sick kids

We’ve been fairly lucky this winter (touch wood nervously), but when Miss Three is sick, things get pretty tense in our house.  Negotiations about who has the most critical meetings and deadlines at work occur.  There are thin lips all round.

Like a lot of families, we have no real backup plan.  Our parents live too far away and missing a day’s work can seem like a crisis.  It’s usually worse for Miss Three than it is for us, but at the time it feels like a disaster.

The other challenge is that, when kids are sick, it’s usually going around in the family, so you’re probably struggling with something too.  But there’s no sick leave as a mum, right?

Coping with Jane has published these tips on Four ways to avoid a sick child in day-care which has some good ideas, but there are times when none of them work, and you just need to get by.

Here are your options.

OPTION NUMBER ONE

Force your kids to get up and ready for day care.  Often a bit of a false economy as the carers are pretty expert at spotting a sick kid and will whip out that thermometer and call you home by mid-morning.   The rules are often that they have to stay away for 24 hours after being sent home, so you may have turned one sick day into two.

OPTION NUMBER TWO

Call someone – anyone – to look after your sick kid(s).  Mums, neighbours, friends, paid babysitters, can all come into their own at around 7am on a sick day.  A paid babysitter can earn more than you do, so this can also be a false economy.

OPTION NUMBER THREE

Try and do it all.  Call your employer and explain, offer to work from home, and then, if your work allows it, log in and try and get as much done as you can.  This method usually involves using a television as a babysitter, or taking calls with a child whingeing in the background.  In many jobs, and for many employers, it’s also not allowed.

OPTION NUMBER FOUR

If you are one of the very fortunate, use one of your carer days as a leave day and explain to your employer that your child is sick and you will not be at work today. They understand and know that their flexibility will be appreciated by less time goofing off at work and a more engaged and loyal workforce.

OPTION NUMBER FIVE

Try and get your husband or partner to do one or all of the above.

OPTION NUMBER SIX

Lie and pretend it’s you who is sick so your employer doesn’t regret employing a working mum and just thinks you’re always ill.

Have you used any of these strategies?

Kirsten