Working Mums,DAY off and Childcare

Updated on July 02, 2012
B.K. asks from Albany, CA
25 answers

Hi Mamas
I work full time ,12-8pm, my 2 kids go to a childminder mon-fri from 11.30am to 6pm. I drop them and Dad collects them usually around 5-530pm ish.
We have a set pay agreement ,we pay for the week and not on the children's attendance.
So here I am today ,my birthday,at home alone.
I decided to take a day holiday for myself as a birthday present to chill out,have a bath,on my mama site and have a little sleep.
I do this every few months where I take a day to myself. To be clear this is not a sick day ,I use one my holiday days /or build up time.
1.Why do I have to give the guilt I'm feeling a good kick in the behind.?
2.Why do I tell my hubby not to tell the childminder I'm taking a day off.?
3.Why don't I tell the childminder I am taking a day off.?
4.Why do I feel like I have done something sneeky to the childminder and prepay her by giving her a day off in the next few weeks.?
All those questions aside I come to the conclusion that I deserve this and I am not going to waste my precious time on feeling bad .
Why do I have to go through this process every time?
Do you working Mama's take the odd day off.

Your thoughts please.
All opinions welcome!!
B. k

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone!!
Guilt gone ,never to be mentioned again lol
I will still give the childminder the odd day off ,as I do ,as she deserves a mental health day too .
Ha ha ,yes Jo,I am Catholic
I'm off for a little snooze!
hope everyone is having a good day xx
ps.I use my mobile for contact

Featured Answers


answers from Detroit on

haha Jo W first thing in my head.. "Are you Catholic?" and B., you don't have to justify it and yes you deserve it and if some times you don't so what. Take that day off anyway.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have Fridays off and my 5 year old would most of the time rather go to daycare. It's much more fun for her to play with her friends than it is to watch/help Mommy clean the house.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

B., I am a childcare provider and I have several clients that take days for themselves, I don't have a problem with that. Do let your provider know so that if something comes up she knows where to find you. I had a client several years ago that was working a short day every other week and coming to pick up her little one at about 11:30. I encouraged her to wait until 3:30 or 4 to pick up so that Mom could have some time to run errands, clean house, veg out, whatever while her little one was napping here.

Take Care,


6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I really don't have a response other than I love that you call a daycare provider a childminder - love it, love it!

I do think it is natural to feel guilty about taking a day for yourself but I'm glad you came to the conclusion you deserve it!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

As a single mother with the closest family 6 hours away, sometimes taking a day off is the only way I don't go insane! If you are paying for your children's care, then you can use that time to do whatever you want. She is being paid to take care of your children, period. Not to only to take care of your children while you are at work. As long as she can get in touch with you in case of an emergency, relax and enjoy the day off!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Are you Catholic by chance? :p Seriously every time I am having fun I feel guilty, I blame it on my Catholic upbringing. :)

Somewhere I hit a point where I didn't feel guilty for taking time to myself. Heck I didn't even feel guilty when I spring the kids for a day off. Without shame I have called the school and told them we are all taking a mental health day. :)

Dawi, one of my psych professors was Jewish. We were discussing guilt one day and she said, "guilt, the Jews invented it, the Catholics perfected it." :p

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I take the day off sometimes. My daughter goes to daycare and I tell them just so they will know where to reach me. You are paying so it doesn't matter if you are at work or not. I am sure your childminder doesn't care. I like childminder. I never heard that before today. Anyway you are paying her to watch your kids so it doesn't matter what you are doing with your day. Have a nice day off, relax and Happy Birthday.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I have no idea why you are feeling any guilt whatsoever over this.
There were some days I was sick (fever/aches/flu) - I called in sick to work and child went to day care, and then I went home to go back to bed and sleep till it was time to pick child up.
It was the only way to get the rest I needed to help me get over it.
Other times, child goes to day care when I had Friday off work, and I could shop, clean, cook wash, garden, OR see a grown up movie, or do a date lunch with my husband, or sleep or do a bubble bath or henna my hair or what ever needs to be done.
Child got to see his friends and play, and when we all got home, things were finished so I could spent all my time with child now and not try to occupy him while I juggled other tasks.
We get a million things that pull us into 20 directions at once and you have to figure the best ways to accomplish what you feel is important (and rest/relaxation is important so we're not screaming stressed out people with little patience).
Never feel guilty about doing what you must to stay sane.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yes, I do this on occassion. Don't feel guilty, just enjoy it. Taking care of your own needs - including mental health days - allows you to be a better mom for your children.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

By contract I work Mon through Thurs, but the reality is I often need Fridays to catch up on things. Also, there is the occasional meeting called on a Friday because it's the only time we're all free. I realized I can either keep my son home and then work on things when he's asleep, or I can keep my sanity and take advantage of the time we're already paying someone.

Not only did my childminder encourage me to use my Fridays for catching up at work, cleaning, errands or (gasp) time to myself, she reminded me that kids need routine. Big brother is in school, so little brother wants to be in "school" as well.

Also, my husband and I discovered the joys of an afternoon date, even if it's just lunch. Wow! A guilt-free meal to ourselves where we didn't have to pay a sitter (because daycare is already in the budget).

Enjoy! Try not to feel guilty, but know that it's that twinge of guilt that lets you know you are a great mom!

Happy birthday!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Wash your guilt away while you are soaking in that tub!

A day to yourself renews you so that you will continue to be the great mom and wife that you are. It's good that you are taking care of yourself like that!

And... HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (mine is in a few days).. and I will be taking that day off too!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

DO NOT FEEL GUILTY...I am a non-working mama. I still take my boy to the sitter occassionally so I can get my nails done, go shopping or clean house without him under my feet. My husband is OK with this. He knows it helps me to recharge and feel better about being a mom. My son now looks at it as if its a playdate--he's of school age and gets to play with the children who he used to play with in daycare. B.--it is fine for you to take time to recharge. It will make you a better mama and wife.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Happy Birthday! You are using a service for which you have already paid. If you didn't send them you would have wasted your money, which would have been irresponsible. I'm sure the childminder neither needs to know or cares what you are doing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi B.!

First of all--a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!!!!!

1. Because we're taught to think that moms have 24/7 responsibility
2. See above.
3. See #1.
4. See #1.

Your conclusion is correct--you DO deserve it! Remember that--EVERY TIME!

I work PT, so I don't run into this issue....but last night (husband is out of town, and my son's friend invited him to go to a ballgame, and I'll tell you, from 4-9 p.m. I felt like I was on a mini-vacation! LOL

If Mama aint't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Days off are nice treats you should not feel guilty about. We have a nanny so she knows the days I'm off. About half the time she gets these vacations as paid days off so I can do something fun with our son OR she comes in so I can go out alone. Shopping is just so much easier without a baby/toddler in tow. I can browse and wander around shops and town. I rarely shop so it is a double treat. Also lunch is great since I don't have to share my food or think about toddler friendly options. On the other hand I understand your guilt. My sister in law is a teacher who is off during the summers. She discovered taking her daughter to daycare every day kept the routine in place and their collective sanities intact. She takes her daughter out early as a treat but for the most part she enjoys having the house to herself and the ability to do what she needs and wants to do. I say allow yourself to let the guilt go. Enjoy your time off without the unnecessary added guilt and stress. Remember sometimes we have to recharge our own batteries to be at full speed to be wife, mother and employer. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi B.,
When my kids were tiny, I took a couple of "me" days off a year and still sent them to daycare. Still did that when they became school aged, and still do it now that they are both teens.
Your feelings of guilt are up to you. I never felt guilty about working and never felt guilty about spending time away from the kids.
Why would it be the daycare provider's business that you are taking a day off? As long as she knows where to reach you in an emergency, it is not her business where you are. She is YOUR employee, you don't report to her. The only person who can let these feelings go is you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Happy Birthday!!!!

I have been there before. When my kids were younger they went to the babysitter no matter who was off of work. I usually took the days I accured with the boys. After a while my husband told me take a day off just for you and that was strange!!! I decided later is was best that the babysitter or daycare which ever they were in at the time that I was not at work incase something came up and they needed me. But you should not feel guilty for needing some time to yourself. And for not telling the kids they might have tried to talk you into letting them stay with you. That's nice that you want to give her a day off some time. And I love that you call her a childminder!! That's great!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Of course you deserve it!
I do this, too. And my kids stay at home with our nanny - who I pay by the week, like you do. So I have to actually sneak out of the house and chill out somewhere in order to be left alone!
I totally do this.
Don't feel guilty!

For your childminder - all she really cares about at the end of the day is getting paid! You probably feel guilty because you see it as "having to take care of your kids"...where she sees it as her job.

Don't worry mama! Just enjoy! And happy birthday!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

You may be surprised by your child care provider. The first time I left my child at daycare while I was going to go Christmas shopping, I felt very guilty. I mentioned it to my daycare provider. She said, he would much rather be here with his friends than running around shopping with you. She's right. No more guilt for me.

Happy Birthday!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

From the perspective of the "child minder" (first time I've heard us referred to by that phrase and I think I like it!) there's no good reason you shouldn't let her know that you are simply taking a day for yourself. You are paying her to watch your child for the whole week so that's what she expects to be doing. But, look at it this way... suppose something happened while your child is in her care, and she needed to contact you. Try to imagine her feelings as she called your work and found out you weren't there that day and then had to call you at home.
Also not a bit of reason for you to feel guilty having a day to yourself occasionally. What childcare providers to tend to resent is the parent who decides after a day of work to simply stop off for shopping or some other activity without letting them know that they are going to be picking the child up late. It is inconsiderate to the provider, because they plan their day according to the children's scheduled times, and may have planned an appointment or outing for themselves after the last child had gone home. It also is inconsiderate to your child, as they become accustomed to that regular pick-up time and (even if they can't tell time on the clock) they begin to get anxious when the parent is late.
What you are describing does not fit the criteria just presented, so do enjoy your day off and give the provider the courtesy of knowing how to reach you if it should become necessary.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi B.!! Happy Birthday!! I go through all the same emotions as you when I take a day off for me, and that only happens mayyybe once or twice a year!! Last year I decided to take thursdays off for a couple of months, even though I was only getting a few hrs of alone time b/c by the time i finished dropping off all my kids at school it was 9am and my kindergartner got out at 12:30pm! I still felt that guilt., and I wasn't even using the time for ME, I was using it to go grocery shopping so I didnt have to go with my 4 kids! But anywho, I just wanted to share that you're not alone :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Even when my kids were little and I was a SAHM full time, every month or so I would take a day to myself, my mother would babysit for about 6 hours so I could just take a damn bath alone or even do laundry uninterrupted. We all need a day off once in a while. I hope you really enjoyed your birthday, good for you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I totally feel the same way. I'm mostly at home with the kids and still need a "day off" and I always feel guilty after a few hours. I miss the little buggers. But I think it's important to get some alone time. Whether out shopping, home cleaning or just relaxing. It's good for the soul.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

You deserve it B. K! I know you feel bad because you know that your kids would rather spend a day with you then a day at Daycare but sometimes us Momma's need a day to ourselves. Just relaxing, watching mindless TV, you know stupid court shows, E or Extra to hear the celebrity gossip or whatever your favorite Soap Opera that still has the same characters from the 80's and no one is happy-lol. Have a fantastic Birthday!!!!Or Birthday week!!

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