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Cheap childcare offered...advice needed.

I'm looking to offer very cheap childcare but wondered the best way to go about this as it's a bit of an unusual situation.

My partner and I are considering trying for a baby but we know they are a lot harder work than anticipated, everyone we know has said this, even the most organised mums we know.
We have a good number of friends who have had babies and we have helped babysit etc but we feel that it's not really a true picture of how difficult it would be...sleepless nights etc.

So what we were wanting to do is live in with a mum and help to look after her little one or little ones with a very hands on experience.
We were thinking 2-3 weeks or so would help give an accurate idea but we wondered how to go about looking for a mum that might appreciate the help/company?
Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.


  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,196 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Absolutely NOTHING, not even living with someone who's just had a baby, can prepare you for having your own.

    Yours will be different. Maybe easier, maybe harder work.

    Either do it, or don't.
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,182 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Is this really a serious suggestion?
    My guess would be that the last thing any tired new parent needs is to have two unrelated people living with them and having to worry about them as well as the kids.
    If your good friends aren't up for it, then why would anyone else want the stress and hassle of two more adults in the house. It'd be like having people round for Christmas but without the presents and alcohol.
    If you want to practice sleepless nights just set the alarm to go off at random intervals every night. Won't take you long to get to just the right stage of grumpiness.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • wishuponastar
    Thanks for your replies, yes it is a serious suggestion. I definitely wouldn't want to add to the stress or pressure, in fact I saw it as quite the opposite as we'd be helping with a variety of things that the mum would like help with, including school runs (if there are other children in the family), bottle feeding, nappy changing, breakfast and family meal prep and cooking, household chores, laundry, shopping etc.

    I can understand your point of view but I had no idea parenting would be so difficult that you wouldn't even be able to welcome help in the form of like a live in nanny for a couple of weeks. It doesn't have to be straight after becoming a new mum, as obviously this time is precious, but at a time when things maybe are getting too much. As we'd have to plan it and tie it in with annual leave etc too.

    It's not that our good friends wouldn't let us do it, we just felt that for a variety of reasons that perhaps the help would be better offered to someone that really needed it so we've not asked. Our friends have either got children that are older, don't have a spare room, already have nannies, grandparents, childcare routine. As we'd be giving up 2-3 weeks holidays to do it and want to make it as beneficial to the mum as possible as it would be a two way thing.

    I also understand that each experience is different, but in my opinion it would help to know as well as I can what it may realistically entail.

    I suppose maybe I should be asking the question to all the parents out there, that if you knew/felt/experienced what you had to date, would you do anything different with regard to bringing up children or even trying for a baby in the first place? If so what? I'm not asking if you love your children, as I know you would of course but just if you could go back...would you still do everything the same?

    All advice and suggestions/points of view are welcome, good and bad. Please feel free to be honest.
  • jenijen27
    This is a service that some people/companies offer, but I doubt any new mum would want you in their house, getting in the way and treating the family as an experiment. The professionals would generally also offer feeding advice and reassurance in those early days. What benefit would you be to them? Who's going to want an unqualified, unchecked, completely inexperienced stranger in their home in those precious early days when the new mum is likely to be sore, struggling with feeding and feeling completely overwhelmed?

    TBH, I think you're worrying too much. Much of parenting is instinct - you will be fine. Many people don't have bags of experience before having their own children.
  • wishuponastar
    I definitely wouldn't want to be a hindrance, but a help in all areas which is what the benefit would be. I do have experience when babysitting over the years for friends and family and the reason the idea came about was that I've heard lots of different people say...
    It's easy handing them back after a day but you should try having them for a week or two, then you'll find it's not so easy and wished you had kept the receipt.

    Which is what made me wonder, is it really as hard as what some/most make out or not? Not wanting to be under ANY illusions I thought the idea would be both welcome by the mum and me too. I take on board what you are saying and I know that it may not be for everyone for the reasons you've said. Thank you for pointing those out.

    So I guess I'm trying to combine knowledge with instinct as you say to make as informed a choice as I can as for me personally, granted everyone is different though. As I definitely don't want to feel resentment if something is different to how I imagine it to be later when I could have taken more steps now to find out by asking people on here.

    I would really appreciate more opinions from the parents out there of how it was for you and if there was anything different to how you thought it would be.
  • susancs
    susancs Posts: 3,888 Forumite
    Both as a parent and someone who worked with babies and young children, I would say that all babies and children are unique. I honestly cannot see how helping to support a family for a few weeks would give you any real insight into how the parenting experience would be with your own child and it may well be different with each of your children if you have more than one.
  • SmlSave
    SmlSave Posts: 4,911 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Late to the party but hey, ho ....

    I agree the only way to honestly know how you'll cope having a baby is to actually have one.

    Some people find breastfeeding a breeze and others hard work for example.

    I certainly am not the mum I thought I'd be before having kids. Mine are currently 6 and 3, I'm still knackered and I'd still have another baby cause they're sooo squishy and lovely.

    I find sleep deprivation the WORST thing about having the kids. You think that you can manage weeks of poor sleep but months and years really mess with your ability to think straight. A few weeks will not give you enough insight apart from practical tips.

    P.S. My mum thought she'd be fine having children as she was a child/careworker in young mums housing. Then she had me :eek: not only a non-sleeper but a screamer too (looking back I was probably lactose intolerant or something similar).
    Currently studying for a Diploma - wish me luck :)

    Phase 1 - Emergency Fund - Complete :j
    Phase 2 - £20,000 Mortgage Fund - Underway
  • Kynthia
    Kynthia Posts: 5,672 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'm not sure what you are expecting to find out? Having children is a massive change and your whole current lifestyle is over. You will be busy and tired for years, rarely relax, no longer go out with your partner unless you've arranged someone to babysit, find popping anywhere now a more difficult job, no longer be able to stay out Into the early evening as you'll need to get the child hone for dinner and bedtime, your holidays will change dramatically, etc. Once a parent you'll be worried most of the time and you'll have less money. The early years are a hard slog of non-stop things to do of which many can't wait and gave to be done immediately even if you're mid-cup of tea and want to wait 10 mins. However you adore your child and they can make your day with a hug or achieving a milestone. You'll often look at them, feel your heart swell and think of how lucky you are to have them.

    Staying with a new parent isn't going to give you the above experiences. You'll either find out it's a hard slog and night wakings are hell or you won't even get a good taste of the work involved. However you wre unlikely to experience the joy and love. So let's say it does give you a good idea of the hard work involved, does that mean you won't have a baby?
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
  • redmel1621
    redmel1621 Posts: 6,002 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 26 October 2018 at 7:53PM
    EDIT - OOOPS! Not sure how I managed to reply to a post from a year ago? How random lol. I wonder if the OP had a baby???
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.
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