There have been a lot of changes happening in our lives in the last couple of months. I started a new job, my hubby go a promotion in his job and of course my kids started being minded by a childminder on the days that we are working.
When we knew that we would have to find a new childminder I was very worried. First of all financially… would we be able to afford it? Second of all and idea of giving my kids to a stranger could not compute in my brain.
Because of that fear I even considered placing kids in a creche… something that I said I would never do again after bad experience that resulted in Alexei being very sick… This idea was very short lived as my kids don’t need a full week care, as my hubby works shift work and creches do not usually do flexi part-time attendance.
Also, my older sons school is in a remote little town and unfortunately this town does not have a creche, which would provide after-school care. The only creche that I found that used to bring kids to this school was from nearby bigger town but doesn’t this year as there were no kids going to this school. They did say that from September onwards they could, but when I enquired about my younger son they laughed and said the waiting list is too long and that they won’t have any space for him.
With that idea being out of the window, I started to look at other options. The other choices were an au pair, childminder or me staying at home.
I looked into getting an au pair first. This seemed like a best idea until I researched it. A lot of people in Ireland, especially full time working parents with two or more kids opt for this option. But there were a few things that I discovered after doing some research that made me wary of that choice.
After talking to other mammies on Facebook, I realised that they normally change their au pairs every 6 months or so. Normally, they have one au pair for the school year and another for summer holiday. That was my ‘I don’t think I like that’ moment… I do not think I want that sort of instability around my kids. Them trusting one person and then suddenly having to get used to another. Especially for my youngest being so small he would not understand what was happening.
Also, the law in Ireland has recently been changed whereby if you have an au pair working for you in your house you become an official employer and need to register as such and pay a minimum wage and make sure that all is well with revenue. Now I am all for paying someone a minimum wage amount but not having extra charges applied as well as providing them their food and accommodation.
That’s another thing that kind of worried me having a stranger in my house. Would we be comfortable with that?
So in the end we decided to try and find a childminder even if just temporary till April/July when my contract was meant to be finished and then give an au pair a try or for me to stay at home if neither was working out.
I placed a couple of advertisements for a childminder and got couple of replies. Some were very nice but could not mind two kids, some I said no to after talking to them as you could see that having kids there with them was more of a nuisance to them than anything else. Finally, I got contacted by a lovely lady who I decided to meet and see if this was something that we could afford and if my kids would like her. She turned out to be absolutely lovely when we met and Alexei chatted non-stop to her all through our coffee. The price was reasonably and around the same as we would pay in a creche. But she was willing to provide them with meals, drive my eldest son to school and pick him up and do homework with him.
So we decided to give it a try and after Christmas they started being minded by her. On the day I brought them there for the first time I had the heaviest of feelings.. I had so many doubts running through my head ‘she is just too perfect.. what am I doing giving my kids to a complete stranger?… what if I never see them again?..’ After dropping them off I drove away in complete tears.
I was so so worried, however our new childminder was so good.. she texted me non stop with pictures and updates on how kids were doing and by the time I got back you could see that they really enjoyed themselves.
Now forward on two months and Alexei is asking when is he coming back to hers. Matthew is giving her loads of hugs and is very happy going there and we since found out that she is friends with a lot of my hubby’s friends. She treats my boys as part of her lovely family and for that I will always be thankful.
I got a new job as well, which means that for the next foreseeable future we are stable and can afford having kids taken care by someone else. Sometimes you just have to take a leap and trust someone else to take care of your children. For me personally it means that I can start making my career in my new field and excel at it and show my kids that when you set your mind to achieve something you will.
Everything that happens, happens for a reason. I truly believe that.
I hope you have a lovely day.