How should I handle this situation? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend of ours is a single mom whose ds is a month younger than my dd. When she went back to work, she asked me to babysit a couple of days a week, and she's paying for the sitting.

Here's the problem: This week, she brought her son over, like normal, but mentioned that he's had a fever of 104 degrees (!!) the previous night, along with a runny nose, but the fever was gone, so everything was fine.

I really didn't want to watch him, but she's got absolutely no one else to help her. So, like a fool, I didn't say anything (just wiped the poor little guy's nose all day and washed everyone's hands like crazy), and now my dd is sick. And not just a little sick, either...she was up about every half hour last night, and couldn't nurse back to sleep because she couldn't breathe when she latched on.

So how do I bring this up with my friend? I'm on the fence about babysitting, anyhow, since my dd is the reason I'm at home, and she hates sharing her mama. We can use the extra money...but not at the risk of making everyone here sick! Any suggestions?
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#2 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 04:28 PM
 
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I would simply tell her that you won't watch her child if he's sick. I can't think of any dc situation - be it a private dc in someone's home or a group dc - where it is acceptable to drop off sick kids. Why should it be any different for you?

HTH
amy
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#3 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 04:29 PM
 
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Hi Shannon, I hope your little one feels better soon. I know the situation you are in all to well. My friend is also a single mom and i have looked after her son many times, when he was sick, when she had to go out of town for a few weeks. I know it is so hard to do "business" with a friend, especially when the business is looking after a child, probably the most impotant job in the world. I am sure she appeciates you, but when it affects your family like this it's hard to justify, you want to help her, you need to make some extra money, but the price is just to high for your family.

I took some advice from another friend of mine who runs her own day care. Draw up a contract, if your child minding is somewhat regular, you can put everything into writing, the hours, the pay, get her to sign an emergency release form that you will take with you when you go out with the kids, you may need it anyway and this can be the reason you tell her you need the contract signed. On the contract also state that if the baby is sick he can not come to your family daycare, if he has a fever or running nose then he is too sick to come over.

Other day care centres/pre-schools have this rule, to protect the other kids and the staff (you). You could tell her it's required by law to have a contract. I don't know your situation but if you ever take more than one child you would bennefit to have this already in place. You could go to the government web site and look up what the requirements are for a family daycare- licence not required.

In my experience it can get a bit harry working for friends, but don't let yourself be taken advantage of. The job you do taking care of this child is very valuable work, you need to be compensated fairly and respected. Your childs health is very important too so you need to protect your dc.

peace kathleen

There's nothing you can know that isn't known. ~ John Lennon
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#4 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 04:30 PM
 
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that's a great idea Kathleen had about the contract. I second
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#5 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 04:44 PM
 
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Yep do the contract and a handbook. And check the little one as they come in the door in the morning. Look them over give them a pat (checking for warmer then normal) If the parent says they had a fever the night before ask if they check it this morning and recheck it yourself. Parents will make it all about them so you need to step limits and NOT back down.
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#6 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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I can't believe she would even take her child to your house under that condition. I work full-time and we have a babysitter to cover the hours that DH can't watch DS. Anytime DS is slightly ill, I call the babysitter and cancel. Besides the fact that she has her kids at home, I want to be home with DS if he's not well.
Does she realize that most daycare providers have very strict rules about fevers and sick kids? Surely she does, so I can't imagine that she'd have trouble understanding.
I understand that she may not have a back up, but that's what sick days are for.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 05:30 PM
 
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My ds school has a 24 hr rule as does my best friends DCP.. Fever free for AT LEAST 24 hrs before you can bring them in..

Warm Squishy Feelings..
Dyan

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#8 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 05:42 PM
 
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Both my preschool and my daycare require a child to be free of ALL symptoms for at least 24 hours before they will be accepted for care. My DCP has made an exception for my daughter and a runny nose, but only after I had a doctor confirm (the first time) that it was related to teething. Absolutely set up some groundrules and make sure you are both on the same page. Doing it in writting is great.
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#9 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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I agree about the contract. Shame on her for bringing such a sick child to your home.
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#10 of 12 Old 08-20-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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24 hours after a fever here too! Even my MOMS Club has sick child guidelines stating the same thing. Don't let her get your kids sick.

Doreen
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#11 of 12 Old 08-21-2004, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice, everyone! I feel much better knowing that I'm not being over-protective. My dd is feeling much better, although she's still got a little bit of a runny nose. I think I'm going to give my friend a call and let her know what the ground rules will be. I'm also doing some research on daycare contracts, so we'll be signing that, too. You mamas know your stuff!
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#12 of 12 Old 08-21-2004, 07:15 PM
 
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You're definitely not overprotective! I could see your friend getting defensive about this, though (which I think is part of what you're worried about). Would it work to say something along the lines of "oh, dear, DD caught your DS's cold. I hate to think that we're swapping germs back and forth. We should probably come up with a plan for what to do if my DD is sick or your DS is sick." That way it's not just you getting on her case about her child getting your child sick, which I think would put somebody on the defensive (even if you're right)...but you could make it about each of you looking out for the other person's child when your own child is sick.

I hope you find a way that works for everybody!

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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