Tag Archives: childhood illness

Childcare logistics – childminders, nurseries and schools!

One of the major things I have come to accept since having children is that just as you get the hang of one thing or situation, something changes. Whether this is part of the child’s development – getting more independence, learning a new skill, etc. or something in your own life – health, change of job, etc., it can have a huge impact on all your lives. At these times, it’s good to feel in control of at least one thing. And the main things you can control are the logistics.

Over the past few months, my youngest was spending a lot of time excluded from nursery owing to various illnesses. During the most recent bout of sickness, we all got brought down by the bug so health and energy levels were at their lowest for everyone in the family. It was time to make a change.

I had been very keen on the nursery model – lots of children and carers to provide guidance and social skills experience. In fact, I still am! However, the downside of multiple children is multiple colds, viruses, etc. My eldest must have had everything in his nearly four years on this planet as he now seems fairly indestructible (fingers crossed!) but my youngest seems to get two bouts of everything going. Taking time off work at unplanned times is never easy so finding a solution needed to be done quickly.

Without a wider family support network we looked at nannies (direct and agency) and childminders – all over a frantic weekend. By luck or fate, I’d just got to know a mum through one of our weekend activities. It turned out she had just started as a childminder after a decade of nannying.

It was hard to disrupt a pattern that was working well – both children going to the same nursery (company and support for each other and easy for drop offs and collections!). As with anything to do with your children, it created worry. Were we doing the right thing? How should we explain the change to them?…

Well, one week in and it’s as if this has always been the set up. The boys have accepted the change and are both very happy with their busy days and respective (old/new) friends.

With school starting for my eldest in September, it was actually a change that was going to happen at some point in any case.

My take-outs from this process?

  • Children adapt to change quickly and well (more than their parents!)
  • Logistics are never as bad as you think (there is normally a way!)
  • Talk to other parents (they’re fantastic supporters!)

If you’re having to make a change in your childcare, do share your experiences.

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Spotting the difference

In the past month, my son has pretty much been spotty. It started with an unidentified allergy, followed by a second bout of chicken pox and then suspected hand foot and mouth disease. It was becoming slightly hard to spot (pardon the pun) the difference between the start of one and the beginning of another. Luckily he was mostly fine in himself, as knowing what to give to treat the spots became increasingly tricky – is it just a reaction or a contagious blister?!

What was quite an eye opener was that it was quite hard for the doctor to identify the ‘style’ of spot. The diagnosis of: “If your other son gets it, then it probably is chicken pox” wasn’t entirely helpful as this only manifested three weeks after my eldest had started his spots.

You always want to do what is best for your child, so it can be frustrating not to have a definitive label to attach to a disease. Also, spots do create fear amongst others – whether it is just an allergic reaction or something more serious, people think the worst and fear it is something they may catch too. This makes it tempting to keep your child at home rather than expose your child to the concerned look on other people’s faces even when you know it is just a simple skin allergy that is nothing more than unsightly. As a result, we’ve not been out much recently!

I thought I might be more of an expert the second time around, but think there are plenty more spots to look out for!

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