It has been a while since I last blogged as the four of us have been learning a new routine now I’ve returned to work full-time. The morning schedule seems to work, although it does involve me waking up naturally about 5am! Argh! At least it normally gives me time to prepare all the bottles my youngest will need for his day at nursery (a fun series of bottle sterilisation, water boiling, etc.), wash up, hang washing out and prep breakfast.
No matter how efficient that hour is though, as soon as the boys wake up I seem to enter a time warp. It’s a magic time when they are both drinking their morning milk, then the oldest asks for a book to be read to him – or two, or three. The cheerful gurgles from the youngest and the excitement of the oldest listening to the story being told are hard to disrupt and this only happens when a look at the clock reminds me that we need to get moving if we have any hope of getting to our respective destinations on time.
I’m still getting it wrong though as the boys are changed, fed, washed and dressed before I even think about getting ready myself. Then it is a quick game of catch up to get out of the door.
I remember trying to work out the morning logistics before my second child was born and thinking that it was never going to work. It – like an awful lot of things related to caring for children – is just one of those things that is easier to do than plan for.
The good news is that both boys seem to be enjoying nursery – the youngest getting loads of cuddles from all members of staff. I think it’s mum that finds the morning drop off the hardest.
Routine is good, but the unforeseen can make a huge difference – whether it’s an extra big hug, toothless grin or impromptu dinosaur impersonation. What’s certain is there’s nothing routine about being a mum and that’s half the fun!
My youngest has started going to nursery this week in preparation for my return to work next week.
I thought it would be easier this time around, having done the same with my older son just a couple of years ago. Surely knowing how happy my eldest is at the same place and seeing how well he is growing up in terms of speech and social skills would mean the morning drop off would be a piece of cake?
Seems not. Good job the sun was shining and I could wear my big sunglasses as I couldn’t hold back a few tears. To be fair, having been the main carer for my baby since his birth five and a half months ago, it was hardly a surprise that it was an emotional time.
I had learnt enough from the first time around to know that I would be the one needing a few days ‘settling in’ period rather than my baby – being close to the nursery in case of any problems, being able to drop off late and pick up early, as well as not being an emotional mess when returning back to the office (not helpful for anyone!). My baby on the other hand seemed to have had great fun being cuddled by all the staff, playing with loads of new toys and getting to see his big brother throughout the day.
This week’s survey results that show 75% of new mothers would stay at home if financial pressures allowed has sparked a lot of comments on news sites such as the Daily Mail from mothers in a range of circumstances. It was not surprising to see this story run in the DM. However, I truly believe that everyone has to find out what works best for them – emotionally and financially. There is not always the ‘perfect’ scenario for all concerned but as long as the children are healthy and happy, what more could I ask for?
In the last week I’ve been told by two people on separate occasions that they would drop their current jobs tomorrow to nanny for my children. Dedicated attention, cheaper, additional home support were just some of the mentioned benefits. They were tempting offers.
After the initial flattery of the offers had worn off, as well as the excitement over the potential benefits, the reality of our current circumstances kicked in. Without family in the vicinity to help out, how would we cover nanny holidays / sickness? Also, what is required to become an employer in terms of insurance, tax, etc.?
When you’re working full-time for whatever reason (vocational career, financial demands, etc.), it is reassuring to know there is a team of qualified professionals caring for your little ones.
Both my children also love socialising with others – they gain a lot from being around a wide mix of people of all ages, having all their senses stimulated. Nursery is a great environment for this.
If you know more about the ins and outs of employing a nanny, I’d love to hear from you. Also, it would be great to hear your own experiences of nursery vs nanny.
This morning I kept my son home from nursery so we could spend some quality time together having some pure fun – something that doesn’t happen very often when you’re working full time as weekends go so quickly and are often filled up with mundane tasks like shopping. Today’s plan? Head to a local soft play centre.
My youngest obliged by spending the entire morning asleep sitting on the sidelines of the soft play room, letting me give my undivided attention to my eldest. It was a fun and fantastic morning for us both – although I’m not sure who enjoyed the bouncy castle the most!
There were plenty of other mums and dads there – with one or more children. Everyone friendly and happy to have a chat, which was lovely. The only downside was those keen to share their thoughts on those parents who ‘send their children’ to nursery. There are a large number of reasons why a parent would send their child to nursery – from being in a life saving job such as doctor or nurse, through to pure financial reasons to ensure their children have what they need for a comfortable lifestyle. Every parent has a lot of decisions to make about what is best for their child – what’s right for one parent / child won’t be for another.
No matter what the circumstances of the parents there today though – the children were all having a lot of fun, while also learning how to share and build on social as well as motor skills. What more could any parent want?