Tag Archives: Childcare

My irks with home working

Home WorkingIt’s been a tough couple of weeks, with yet more change and adjustments that need to be made, some much bigger than others. One of the positives (I’m starting to over-use that word) is Baby D’s new nursery which has so far gone well. I say new as after just a week’s notice (!) his first nursery closed its doors eight weeks after he started, and we had to find another one pronto and get him fully settled in. Thankfully, day one at nursery two went very well (despite the over-tiredness in the boy I put to bed an hour or so ago).

With both children in childcare full time, I had a day to work, work, work. I’m enjoying working for myself (although I have to say I’m now over the initial euphoria of being at home with a hot coffee and a laptop screen not being pawed at or slammed shut).

We’re creating a home office but in the meantime it’s the kitchen table, once the breakfast things have been cleared away. There are so many positive parts (that word again) to working for myself and I sometimes pinch myself that it’s actually happening. However, there are also the niggles that only come to light once you start. Here are a few things that have made me wish it wasn’t just me here today:

The printer – I consider myself reasonably tech savvy but I fail to be able to default to the right printer (why do I have a list of 15??), print on the right side of the paper or push page 20 of said paper in far enough to keep on printing.
My new email account – where’s the IT support when you need it? Answer – thousands of miles away on a virtual chat (probably answering a lot of other queries at the same time). I can receive but I still can’t send, a week later…
The workman’s drill – do you choose a day when there are no children to trip over pipes and wires or have a full day of drilling when you’re trying to have a client phone call?
The coffee overload – hot, freshly brewed coffee? Mmmmm. How many cups can I enjoy without getting the shakes? Not as many as I used to I realise as I bounce to the door to greet the postman manically.
The housework – not the temptation to spend my whole time doing it – the opposite. I feel like I need to make every moment of work count so I end up with a house messier than the days with the children plus a basket full of wet washing.
The mum guilt – it’s still there, niggling away. This isn’t a vanity project – I’m earning money for the family as well as doing something I hope I’m good at. Plus hopefully setting a good example for my children. But working from home feels the same as going out to work – you still get those moments where you feel you should be with your children, rational or not.

However on balance what a privilege to be able to do this and hopefully fit my work around my life rather than the other way around. I’m off to pick up the children (once the coffee shakes have subsided).

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A childcare trial – Babysitters of Kensington and Chelsea

I was recently offered a free babysitting trial by Babysitters of Kensington and Chelsea – BOKAC – who are expanding further west. My friend Anya, who lives in Chiswick, trialled the service. Here are her thoughts:

BOKAC was launched in 2011 by Anna Cameron while she was working in London and babysitting for local families as a way of earning extra income. She soon found that she had more families to babysit for than she had evenings free, and had also noticed a lack of services that allowed parents to book and pay for babysitting appointments online. After securing a website developer and recruiting their first babysitters, BOKAC was born.

The business has grown steadily ever since whilst maintaining strong relationships with both parents and sitters. Central to BOKAC is providing a service that is efficient, personal and reliable. Anna meets each candidate for a face to face meeting to discuss their childcare Continue reading

How to make nanny sharing work

I’m always a little defensive when people ask about my childcare. I always emphasise the ‘share’ in my ‘nanny share’, and tell them how in London, nurseries cost just as much (which is true) and that Scrip felt quite little to be left with lots of others when I went back to work. The truth is, I’m very happy with our arrangementsĀ  and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

IMG_3289It was actually my employer who first suggested a nanny share – ironic considering what difficulties followed with work, but that’s another story. She’d had one a few years before and it worked well. So, during my pregnancy I ignored the “put her name down for nursery after the 20 week scan or else” scaremongering and we decided to considering sharing.

It’s been fantastic – our little ones get on so well and they learn a lot from each other. I’m sure it’s helped with their development. They both crawled and then walked at very similar times, and they now play together, eat together and even hold hands every now and again (very sweet).

I’m sure we’ve been lucky – and it helps that our nanny is fantastic – but we’ve also learnt a lot inthe process. Here are some nanny share tips to help along the way: Continue reading