Child care is absolutely the hardest part of my job and always has been.
Originally Posted by crunchymama214
but they both have 3 or 4 kids of their own. I would feel horrible pushing my kids onto them for a long period of time and at the last second.
One thing I've found is that people with more kids are more likely to be willing to take on another three or four kids than people with only a couple of kids. Once you have three or four, what's another two, three or four? I've had eight children 10 and under in my house, as has my friend who I used to swap child care with.
So my child care situation has really evolved. I've been doing this for six years now, starting in an apprenticeship.
At first, I had only two children and hired a homeschooled highschooler for a nanny on prenatal days and then a friend who watched the kids during births. Then the nanny situation imploded and my friend watched the kids on prenatal days too. Originally I paid her, but eventually she asked me to to just trade child care and favors with her. It worked great for a long time. When things were slow and was homeschooling and doing home visit, I'd take the boys with me (still only had the older two children) and would only rely on her for births. DH had changed jobs and was just about never away from home overnight, so it helped.
Then we each had two more children (one of her births was free b/c she had provided me like $4000 in child care over the years and the second would have been at a deep discount had she not risked out of midwifery care early in her pg). We also moved about 20 miles apart instead of the original three miles. It got a lot harder to swap child care and neither of us has a vehicle that would transport 8 kids, which was fine when we were homeschooling, but not so good when we put the kids in school and needed to pick kids up. It became a real juggling act and my practice was getting much busier because I had a birth center.
So I hired a college aged nanny who could drive and pick my kids up for me when/if I needed her to. I checked her references and did a background check but in the end she made a decision regarding carseat safety that was unacceptable so I fired her.
Which brings me to my current situation: I pay a day care to be available from 6am to 6pm for my littles (I use it three half days a week--one for prenatal day and two for some college courses I'm taking--if there's not a birth). My bigger boys are in school from 8:00 to 3:00. DH has a flexible enough schedule that he can drop them all off at school/day care if I leave in the middle of the night. We have a few people who the big boys can either go home from school with after school or who can pick them up and drop them at home, where a neighbor is available if they need her before DH gets home 1.5 hours later.
My friend moved five hours away in December so the bottom has fallen out of my emergency child care system and DH is working 50-60 hour weeks. A few weeks ago he worked a 33 hour day, which required him to sleep in his truck on a location. There was a lot of praying going on then b/c I wasn't sure what I would do if I had a labor. I have a backup midwife I can call if I just absolutely can't make it to a birth and my apprentice is very capable of laborsitting while I wait for child care to get to my house so I can leave. I have two friends with teenagers who are homeschooled and are often available for $10 an hour--but they don't drive and they are both the oldest of 6 so their mothers don't have the capability to transport my kids and their kids (maybe I should buy a bus?!). When DH was gone for two weeks in December (left the day after a client's EDD, so it was almost a certainty that she'd have a baby while he was gone), my friend's daughter spent the weekend with me so that if I got called out in the night, there would be someone there for my kids and I had a list of adults who were willing to come to my house in the middle of the night during the week and see the kids off to day care and school if I got called out. It ended up my client was 17 days after her EDD so all of the stress and planning and arranging was in vain b/c DH was home by the time she had her baby.
I'll say it again: child care is absolutely the hardest part of my job and always has been.