As you probably guessed from the topic, I am considering a career change. This has been playing on my mind for a while.
As you probably know from my blogs, I am a mama to two little rascals, a one-year-old and a four-year-old. To date, we were very fortunate to have a very generous woman minding our two boys for a very low fee. However, this wonderful lady is retiring as of next April and so we have a choice to make where to place our boys while we are working.
If you do not know, in Ireland, childcare is extremely costly. For one child in a creche (kind of like kindergarten) you are looking to pay around a 1000 euro per month. For a second child, there is generally a 15 % discount, but in most creches, you will end up paying around 1850 euro.
We had a very bad experience with my eldest son in a creche. I do not blame the creche completely, as a mum I should have realised that something was wrong, but all I can say now is that I was a first-time mum and only had a knowledge of a kindergarten in Belarus, not in Ireland and trusted those that were taking care of my son completely.
What was happening was that my son, after he finished with the baby room (6 month – 1 year) was transferred to wobblers group and then the problems with his health started. He started getting chest infection after chest infection, every two weeks for the duration of 6 months he was at doctors who generally prescribed antibiotics and steroids. I was being bullied in work and was sick worried that he had a respiratory disease and I was terrified of losing a job as I thought we will need all the money we can get to get my son the healthcare he will need.
However, at one point I realised that this cannot continue and asked my mother in law to mind my son for a month while I was at work, as I knew that if something didn’t change I would quit.
While in the creche I was told that Alexei was eating by himself with a spoon and that he ate everything at particular hours. However, when my mother in law started minding him, we quickly realised that he did not feed himself. He would eat three spoonfuls and that would be it. Also, he did not eat at the times that they said he did. So what was happening was that he was starving in the creche with lack of food and nutrients and in evenings, by the time we were home he would too tired to eat any wholesome meal. So he would snack on rusks and raisins. As a result, his body was too weak and could not fight the infections.
Looking back at his photos from that time I am absolutely mortified that I could not see what was happening and as a result, I am really anxious about putting my kids into a creche.
So we have a dilemma, if we were to hire a childminder, she would need to drop Alexei off to schools and pick him up and she would have to mind Matthew all day until he is old enough. The price would vary between 1500 – 1800 euro per month depending on whether Alexei is in school or on holidays. As we live away from his school, she would need to have a full car licence and have her own transportation. I also want my youngest to go to the same playschool that Alexei attended as I found the level of care and education superior. I tried putting out the feelers for childminders that would be willing to do this and so far nobody replied.
As I work away in Dublin and have a three-hour commute per day to and from my job, there are expenses associated with that as well. Most of my spare money pays for that and going out with my group for coffee’s and lunches as not going is considered rude and can create moral issues.
So if I pay the childminder and add-on what I normally spend for my ‘work associated expenses’ I am left with absolutely nothing. My children would be taken care of by a stranger and the only benefit would be that I would have a career in Academic research.
So, now I am at a crossroads about what to do. The most perfect scenario would be me staying at home and having a flexible part-time job that would work around my hubby’s work schedule. However, that would mean that we will not spend any time as a family s one of us will always be away.
The other solution is for me to stay at home and having an online job that I could do in comfort of my office on days that my hubby is home and is able to mind the boys. It would also mean that he can do more over time and I could transfer him my tax credits in order to increase his earnings.
What would you do if you were me? Are there any mums out there who were in a similar situation and what did you do?
Hope you are having a great day !