L.E. asks from Irvine, CA on June 10, 2010
Sick Child Care - Culver City,CA
Here's my situation: I will start a psychology PhD program this fall. For my fellowship/stipend, I must take at least 9 courses per year, T.A. 3 sessions (quarters) per year, and do research. As well as a student, I am a 40+ mother of two children, almost 3 and 4 years old. My husband, a touring musician, is out of town (country) sporadically 50% of the time. He is gone anywhere from two days to two months. Sometimes, if he is within a 5-hour drive of home, he will come home to spend a weeknight or two with the kids. My parents are in their late 60s; my in-laws are in 71 and 82. My parents will live approx. 35 miles from my new campus; my in-laws will live just 10 miles from us. As we live in a big urban area, it could take my mother, the most available/helpful grandparent, up to 1.5 hours, to get to campus. I hope that my kids get full-time nursery/elementary school Monday through Friday throughout the whole process, parents and in-laws can help a bit, and I can make it to PhD within a reasonable amount of time (6 years?).
While working on my last master's degree full-time with two babies in tow, my kids and I survived, but we were sick almost all the time. Weeks my kids were sick, although I paid for three-day-per week childcare at a local nursery, I had to stay home with the kids. Some weeks, I had only approx. 17 hours of sleep. (My younger child, almost 3 years old, still wants to nurse and doesn't believe in taking naps or sleeping for more than a few hours at a time, esp. if I am not right next to him in bed.)
Any suggestion on how to take care of the kids when they suddenly fall sick, I have to attend class, study, or teach, and husband is out of town?
1 mom found this helpful
D.K. answers from Washington DC on June 10, 2010
Wow, it sounds like something's gotta give. This suggestion might not be popular and of course you don't have to take it, but this is what I would personally do.
I'd ditch the PhD for now. Your kids are only young once. They're little and they need you. You can always finish your education later, but you can't make up for their babyhood later. A lot of kids get "sickly" when they're bounced around too much throughout the week. Maybe your babies are trying to tell you something. Maybe they need a little more stability/time and attention from mom.
I'm not criticizing, please believe me. I don't mean anything by my comments. I'm just thinking about how busy you must be and while I sympathize with wanting to further your education and with wanting to make your mark on the world, I empathize with the children that are sick with no mommy there to care for them. You're probably also doing yourself a disservice. I'm sure you're under an enormous amount of stress. Who knows, it might be good for you to put your ambition on hold for a couple of years and let yourself enjoy your babies while they are young.
I know everyone is different, so I'm only speaking from my own feelings here, but I believe that nothing is more important than nurturing the next generation and that they truly need their mother when they're this young. I feel that their needs should come first and mom's wants should come somewhere down the list after that. I'm talking about needs and wants, two different things. Evaluate their needs and weigh them against your desires and see which way the scales tip.
I hope everything works out for you whatever happens. Have a blessed day!
4 moms found this helpful
T.J. answers from Fort Walton Beach on June 10, 2010
Well after they are done being sick, I would look at weening your 3 year old, then getting him to sleep in his own bed.
Back to being sick... I would look at getting a sitter that is willing to watch them on a call-in basis when they are sick. Those people do exist, especially now in this economy. I would start looking around now about finding someone like this. We have one we used for a long time on a full-time basis, but if our kids are sick (with the exception of vomiting, she won't take a vomiting child) she will take them.
Good luck with getting the PhD and being a full-time mom to two babies and full-time employee all while trying to get some type of adequate sleep :)
3 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on June 10, 2010
Find a Babysitter that you trust (retained ahead of time)... and have her care for your child if sick. Some babysitters/Nannys will do this.
Of course nothing is free.
But, it is a necessity.
A back-up plan is needed.
all the best,
2 moms found this helpful
G.B. answers from Tulsa on June 10, 2010
It would be the same if you were working full time. You wouldn't quit work. I believe many people are in similar circumstances as you and they make it. You need to call the local hospitals, your University, they probably have an on campus child care center, child care centers, etc...and find a sick child care center. We have one here in this little town in Oklahoma. It is through the hospital and is in an older doctors office building. Each child has their own room and they have a cot and some toys to play with. There may a DVD or VCR player and tv too. They do charge cash and I believe the state won't pay for it if you are receiving child care assistance from them but you are getting a nurse to care for your child and you are able to go ahead with your plans to attend classes.
Another option would be to hire a babysitter for your home. If they watch your children in your home it falls under Nanny law and not home child care or anything that needs a license. You could contract with the person for X amount of hours per week, minus school breaks like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Fall/Spring Breaks. You could put stipend/financial aid funds in a CD or savings account that you could draw interest on and be able to save it back from other money. If the kids are in a new school you know they will get every sickness possible but it is just a fact of life, it builds their adult immune system and is just something they have to go through. You could use the person as a housekeeper when the kids are not sick and in classes. That way they could count on X amount of income whether it's for child care or cooking meals/cleaning. They could just be on call for emergencies and make up the other hours at the end of the week. For instance, let's say you contract for 15 hours a week, sick kid on Mon, Tues. They work 5 hours on Monday and 7 hours on Tues. That's 12 hours out of 15 that was used for child care, that leaves 3 hours for housework and other things you assign.
When I was a nanny I was paid an hourly rate per child I cared for. I was expected to keep the washer and dryer going and to set out food for dinner to thaw. I also fixed snack for after school kids, etc...I was surrogate mom. I also was paid for a certain task if I wanted to do it. Such as cooking the meal for dinner, or filing papers, there were 7 children and almost all were in school full time and they had lots of school papers, she kept every one of them in a separate file drawer for each child. The person you hire could do just about anything you needed if it was acceptable for both of you.
Good luck on your new adventure.
1 mom found this helpful
J.L. answers from Los Angeles on June 12, 2010
Wow 17 hours in 1 week. Thats enough to make anyone insane (no pun intended towards your psych background LOL). I just wanted to suggest taking a multi-vitamin to help prevent becoming ill, and asking your kids ped if they are able to take one as well. When I was constantly on the run my immune system weakened and I got ill all the time. I did take a multi-vitamin but I also found just boosting my vitamin C helped a lot. I would also check into your child care and ask what the guidlines are for sick children. The one I worked at would take ill children as long as they didn't have a fever. And the parents had to come pick up the child if one developed. We had a special room for the sickies. =) I also wanted to wish you luck on your PhD!
1 mom found this helpful
M.T. answers from Dallas on June 10, 2010
nanny or sitter is likely the way to go.
1 mom found this helpful
S.K. answers from Kansas City on June 11, 2010
I agree with the mom that said you are taking on too much. Why on earth do you need to get a PHD this late in life? I know you could concievably live another 40 years or so. But seriously??? How many of those years will you be actively working? Don't you want to slow down at some point? Something possessed you to have 2 children so late in life. That alone is daunting for most 40 somethings. I am 43, run an in-home daycare and help care for my grandson. I'm starting to feel my age! I can't imagine adding school to this. It sounds to me like you are addicted to achieving and need to start to actually put to use the skills you've already learned in an active earning/living/loving those kids sort of way.