Choosing childcare for Baby
There comes a time in every parent’s life when a decision has to be made about childcare. Will one of the parents give up work? Will they get a nanny? Go for a nursery? Hire in a pack of wolves to raise the child?
I started working again in August. Not full time, but just enough that we’ve had a taste of what it would be like to pass Baby back and forth between us like a rugby ball when I have a shoot. Our desire has always been to raise her between the two of us with minimal outside help. If I hear one more time how children in Finland don’t go to school until the age of 7 in favour of spending time with the family unit and how they consistently score the highest IQ scores in Europe, then I’m gonna…well…I’m gonna move to Finland.
The reality is turning out to be a little difficult, so that means we need to start considering the options. Many of my friends and I have put our children down on lists at nurseries, but the Wimbledon area is so crowded with babies that we needed to have put her name down in the Stone Age in order to have a place now.
That means we’ll need to look at another option, like nannies. Every afternoon, I do what I call “Mary Poppins hour” with Baby. It generally involves playing the soundtrack to the film and doing different activities to each song; for example, during “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”, we play airplane. During “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, she bounces on my stomach. To “Step in Time”, we walk around the nursery. She loves it and there are lots of smiles and giggles throughout. I’m pretty exhausted by the end of Mary Poppins Hour, but so is she, which is good.
If I hired somebody in to look after her, would they care enough to do Mary Poppins Hour with her? Much as I’d love Julie Andrews to float into our life and take care of Baby, I’m afraid of handing over a large part of her care to somebody else. Not that I have anything against nannies; I know there are great nannies out there and maybe one day, I’ll go that way. But for now, I think it is overkill for what we need, especially while I’m still breastfeeding.
Which is why I was really interested when some of my mummy friends with toddlers told me about something called “a mother’s help”. It’s basically someone who will come into your house and watch the baby for you in between feeds and, while you’re feeding, do some light housework and cooking. Sounds like heaven! In addition, a Mother’s Help comes in at about £8 per hour and the person is usually self-employed, so you don’t have to do their National Insurance/taxes.
For now, I think this is going to be the route we go. Better than a slobbering St. Bernard. And a good option until, by some miracle, we get a spot at a nursery for a couple days a week.