Please tell me about using the Y for exercise and childcare ... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I see lots of recommendations here that joining the Y to use their childcare while you get some exercise is a good idea.  Our Y just reopened and the new building is great, DH went and checked out the weight room and everything, and I signed DD1 up for a half-hour once per week gymnastics class.  So we joined.  Last week my SIL (who works there part-time actually) asked if I would go work out with her, and we could leave the kids in childcare.  I said sure.


She called later and was talking about what time we could go.  I thought her schedule seemed really tight, but after a minute I realized she was saying when the childcare room would be "open" and not when she would be free.  It's only open 5 hours per day!  From 6 to 8:30 am and 5 to 7:30 pm.  Also, you can leave infants over 8 weeks old, but they will not change diapers, and there are no cribs/swings/bouncy seats.  No food or drink of any kind (snack, bottle, water in a sippy cup) is allowed in the room.  They will not take older kids to the potty either. (If your child is old enough to walk to the bathroom and back alone, they can go, but if they're not the childcare person will page you to come get them.)


I guess if they had to limit the times, I understand picking those (since it could be used before/after work/school), but for those same reasons those are the busiest times and the weight room is packed then!  She said you have to get there really early to snag a treadmill or stationary bike because everyone wants them.  I wasn't planning on lifting weights.  Also one whole wall is nothing but mirrors, and I don't really relish the idea of watching myself work out AND having twenty other people in the room (but I admit I'm very shy). 


IDK, I guess I was thinking I'd like to go at a quiet time mid-morning or mid-afternoon, and let my DDs play with one or two other kids in the childcare room while I chatted with a couple other SAHMs on treadmills or whatever.  Considering that I live in a very small community, that doesn't sound too ridiculous (after all I'm not in NYC or even a city or suburb, we are very rural), but apparently that's not how it is.


What is your Y really like, for you and for your kids in childcare?

Me , DH , Emmy (5/08), and new baby Tilda (1/10)
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#2 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 07:36 AM
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Wow...that kinda sucks. I used the Y for a while but had to quit because DD started hating the childcare (I took her once when she was coming down with an illness and I didn't know it, and she was really miserable...long story), but ours was nothing like that. I don't remember the hours but they were very reasonable--definitely lots of quiet morning hours. One of the Y's I went to (I tried several hoping she'd like the childcare better in a different location) had NO other kids there when I went at like 10 am. They also were totally cool with taking DD potty...and she was younger than 18 months at the time; we do EC so she was in trainers or underwear. I would put a diaper or thick trainer on her for the Y, and I took her potty before I left, but I asked if they would take her potty if I wasn't back in an hour and they were willing to. (I don't think they ever actually did it though since I was never gone for a whole hour.) They also had no problem with my cloth diapers. 


And they encouraged parents to leave snacks for their kids. They also have toddler programs during the day, so a lot of my friends take their kid to the 10:30 toddlercize class and then leave their kid in childcare while mom works out. 


Our Y is also really good about paging the parent if the child is at all upset, which I really appreciated. (That one time when she was sick I didn't hear them paging me because I was in a class...but after that they would actually send someone to come get me if I didn't hear the page.) 


Did you check out some other Y locations? All of ours have different childcare hours, etc. 


A different gym might be worth it even if it's more expensive! Most of the gyms in our area offer childcare now. 

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
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#3 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 11:14 AM
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Those hours are total deal breakers!  Our Y is great. Long hours, and wonderful people and play space.  We get 2 hours per day per child!


But - they do have the no-food and the no-diaper thing, and I am totally okay with both.  We just eat snacks before or after.  And if they need a poopy diaper change, they just come find me.  It's no biggie.

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#4 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 01:18 PM
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Wow, those hours are crazy. Mine goes from 8 until noon and then 4:30 to 7 or 8. 


Ask them. It could be that no one has requested child care at other times. More likely is that they don't have volunteers.

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#5 of 15 Old 11-26-2010, 01:36 PM
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Sounds like the volunteers have to work during the day, thus the odd before and after "normal" work day hours.  Maybe you can form a sort of co-op with some other moms who can trade the childcare time while each of you exercise?  That might work if the Y itself can't find volunteers during the daytime hours.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#6 of 15 Old 11-27-2010, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm kind of confused about you all mentioning volunteers; everyone who works at this Y is paid.  Not much, but paid.  Since we're very rural there are no other Y locations (so I guess I didn't know most are staffed with volunteers!) or gyms.  The nearest gym is an hour away and it has no childcare at all.  DD1's gymnastics class is one day per week in the afternoon, and I thought I could at least walk on a treadmill or something then, but the childcare room isn't open for me to put DD2 in, so I have to sit in the lobby and try to keep her from tearing up the stacks of pamphlets and ripping down the posters.


Unfortunately I'm not close enough to any other SAHMs around here (who am I kidding, at all!) to start any kind of co-op childcare.  I don't have any friends except my SIL.  One neighbor is kind of friendly, but the kids she has are her grandkids for half the day, and she's not GD or AP at all so I wouldn't really be comfortable leaving my DDs with her.


I was really hoping the Y would be a great thing for me.  I need to lose some weight and have some downtime.

Me , DH , Emmy (5/08), and new baby Tilda (1/10)
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#7 of 15 Old 11-27-2010, 04:30 PM
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I love our (Chicago) Y.  The hours are way better than that....those are crazy hours!  But they don't change diapers or give food, etc.  I'm also fine with that, and just change/nurse my son right before I drop him off (for an hour max, although if I wanted to I could leave him there for up to 1.5 hours).  He LOVES it.  He loves watching other kids and playing with new toys.  He has fun, and I get a good workout it.  OP, I really hope you can find something that works....exercise is so important for your total health and hopefully you can find some kind of daycare situation that your kids enjoy too!  Our Y is definitely a win/win for my son and I. 

I'm Rach, full-time mama and part-time doula.  I love my city life with Mr. J stillheart.gif, Little J diaper.gif (05/03/10), and brand new Baby V love.gif (02/11/13)!

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#8 of 15 Old 11-27-2010, 04:44 PM
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Our Y has both paid staff and volunteers that help out in the children's rooms. I like this because allot of the volunteers are Developmentally Disabled and I think the exposure to diversity is good. The Kids Kare, as they call it, is open from 9am-1pm and from 4:30pm-9pm. I like it, DD takes swimming lessons, I take Thai Chi, DP does Core class. There is always something going on. Our membership keeps us busy especially in the winter time.  

namaste.gif WAHSM to Ani (7) and Juddah (18mo.)


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#9 of 15 Old 11-27-2010, 04:56 PM
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I've used the childcare at 2 different YMCAs and those hours are nuts!  Where we live  now, childcare is open from 8-1 and then from 4-8.  It's only open in the morning on Friday and Saturday and closed on Sunday.  They do change diapers and there is a small bathroom there for children to use.  Sippy cups are allowed if they are labeled.  The staff is some paid, some volunteer.  By volunteering, I can get free childcare time.  Our old Y had free childcare, but our current Y charges $25 a month.  DD2 goes 2-3x a week for 1 to 1.5 hours and loves the craft projects they plan for each morning.  And I love being able to workout in peace AND take a shower alone in the locker room afterwards!

~~Kristina~~ Mama to DS(10/30/01), DD1(VBAC 3/28/04) and DD2(HBAC 5/21/06)
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#10 of 15 Old 11-28-2010, 01:27 PM
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I don't know anything about the Y here, because there isn't one that is convenient for me, but I did look at the JCC before joining a private gym. I decided against the JCC for several reasons, mainly because it was more expensive and the childcare hours were inconvenient - though not as inconvenient as the ones you listed! They also required you to reserve childcare in advance, which I didn't see working out with DS's unpredictable schedule.


The gym I joined has drop-in childcare available during the week from 9-2 and 4-8, with shorter hours on the weekend. They take kids from six weeks to 12 years, with a separate area for babies with a pack and play, swings, and bouncy seats. They will give bottles and you can also bring snacks for older kids, there's a little table where they can eat. I don't know what the potty policy is because I only have a baby, but I know they won't change diapers (which is fine by me). They'll page you if your baby needs a diaper change or is otherwise unhappy. I give them my phone number and keep my cell on me while in the gym, since I usually have headphones on and wouldn't hear the page. You can leave kids for two hours at a time.


OP, if this Y is really the only option, I guess I'd try to find a way to make it work - it has honestly been a blessing for us.

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#11 of 15 Old 12-05-2010, 04:18 AM
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wow...those hours are scary limited. At ours it is from 8-12 and later from 4-8pm. The only thing that is a little werid is the hours for childcare for older children 7+....on the weekend they don't quite match the childcare room for younger children.


Our childcare room is pretty good....they will change diapers and help with potty if needed. They will feed infants. I don't know about snacks, but given the time limit of 90 min I don't think is unreasonable for them not to give a snack/serve food. We have been fortunate in our Y to have a group of women who have been working at the Y for a long time, some over 5+ years so its nice having consistent staff. They usually do arts/crafts and take the older preschool children to the gym if its not being used to play with balls/hoops etc.

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#12 of 15 Old 12-05-2010, 10:15 AM
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I just joined my local y a week ago.  The child care is open from about 9-1 and 5-8 on weekdays and mornings on weekends.  It costs $28 for 8 hours (although they have a financial assistance rate too).  They allow snacks.  I don't know about diaper changes but I doubt they do them and I wouldn't want them to change my ds, I'd rather them come get me if needed.  My ds isn't too sure about staying in it (although he did stay the entire hour I was gone today which was a first for him - yay!!)  Every other time he's been there someone had to come and get me because he was upset.  They have a lot of great toys (it actually looks like an Ikea catalogue in there lol!)  And they also have a baby swing, exercausers, playmats etc for babies.  There is a different room for older kids with different toys. The girls (so far it's only been girls) working there are paid and look pretty young.

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#13 of 15 Old 12-08-2010, 09:37 AM
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We're in a 'burb and our Y has paid-only staff, but better hours than that.  Way better.  We also have the 2-hour/day limit and I think they don't do diapers (never asked, but it would explain a lot).  They have come to find me for a bad poopy diaper.  Snacks are totally fine.  I guess this is a matter of differences in where you are--ya know?  And since your Y just re-opened, maybe that will change with time as they get more employees and/or the demand at different times becomes more clear to them so they're not staffing people when the nursery would be empty--ya know?


On the flip side, it's COLD here and getting me out of the house for anything is just impossible.  So although we belong to the Y, it's kind of a waste since I won't leave the house in the winter.  :/

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#14 of 15 Old 12-26-2010, 08:55 AM
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I live in rural south Ga and our Y is the same way.  The hours are horrible and no weekend hours at all.  I paid a year (financial assistance) and have never been able to use it because I can only go weekends and there is no childcare!  :(  They also only have a handful of classes...My schedule has changed a little so I am hoping now I will be able to go starting next month in the afternoons

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#15 of 15 Old 12-26-2010, 11:54 AM
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Well, this isn't what you asked but I can't imagine joining a gym personally. If I have a time for exercise it's not a lot and the driving back and forth would be such a waste for me. Maybe if I lived like 10 mins away or something? I still don't feel I need to spend that kind of money though if I even had it. I find exercising at home works best for me. And the kids sometimes join along if they are awake at the time. Sometimes I choose early morning before the kids wake up/ or at nap time.


So, if a gym becomes completely inconvenient to you - that's what I would do. I used to be 60 lbs overweight. I'm now only around 20 lbs overweight - I'm kind of guessing since I'm preggo now.


I lost weight exercising at home and eating better and less. HTH

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