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.