Parenting Is Just Damn Hard (*WARNING: contains a few swears!)

It’s hard and I can help 🙂

Parenting Is Just Damn Hard

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Below is an account of just how hard it is being a parent… I can relate, can you?

It’s OK to not be OK!

It’s OK to need help!

It’s OK to ask for help!

Ask me 07849347709… Alex….:

Parents – friends (we are friends, aren’t we?),

I’m going to start by stating the obvious:Parenting is hard, damn hard.

As much as we don’t want to admit it or talk about it, lest someone think that we don’t appreciate being a parent or don’t love our children as much as we should, the simple truth is that parenting is damn hard. Of course, it is amazing and wonderful and meaningful, but it is also really fucking hard.

But as we know, it’s possible to love something even though it’s really hard and kind of sucks sometimes. It is possible to love being a parent, but not like it all the time. And it is possible to love our children, without loving (or even liking) every minute we spend with them.

These realities, though they may seem like inconsistencies, are not surprising to me or all that difficult for me to reconcile. I’m pretty comfortable with the conflicting emotions I sometimes feel about motherhood and my children. And I’m OK with parenting being hard and kind of sucky sometimes, while at the same time being fulfilling and meaningful and wonderful.

I will say it again: Parenting is hard, damn hard. I know this and you know this, but what we don’t know is that the other person knows this. And so we sit over in our respective corners of the parenting world knowing that it is hard and confusing and heartbreaking sometimes, yet believing that everyone else has it easier, that everyone else knows what they’re doing, that we arethe only one who thinks that parenting is this hard.

It’s just me, you might tell yourself.

One of the biggest shocks of parenting, for me, has been the absolutely brutal and crushing loneliness that I’ve felt at times, exacerbated by the lack of authenticity, truth, and openness with which many other parents are willing to talk about parenting. In my nearly nine years as a parent, I have encountered some really tough parenting issues, not to mention your run-of-the-mill concerns and questions as well, and each and every time I faced a difficult situation, there was a nagging and persistent fear that it was just me, that I was the only one, that I was all alone making the whole thing that much worse.

And so, I am here to tell you that whatever it is you are going through – whether it’s a hard day or a hard month or a hard year, whether you can’t get your baby to sleep through the night or your 3 year old to poop on the toilet, whether you’ve been doubting every parenting decision you’ve ever made or feel a little bit like SuperMom today – IT’S NOT JUST YOU. Someone has been there. Someone knows what you are going through. Someone can relate, empathize, understand.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re completely unqualified to be a grown-up, let alone a parent;

If you’ve ever thought I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing;

If you’ve ever cried yourself to sleep at night because your child was hurt or scared or in trouble and you didn’t know how to help or couldn’t help or thought that maybe this once you shouldn’t help;

If you’ve ever sat in the bathroom for five, ten, fifteen minutes pretending to be pooping while you scroll though Facebook or text your BFF about the assholery that is toddlerhood (“assholery” is a word, right?);

If you’ve ever hidden in the car or pretended to fold laundry or taken an extra-long time sorting socks just for a few minutes alone;

If you’ve ever wondered how it’s possible to love your child with all your heart while not liking them very much;

If you’ve ever wanted to ditch your family to spend a night or two or three in a hotel by yourself, ordering room service and watching Lifetime movies the entire time;

If you’ve ever actually ditched your family for a night or two or three in a hotel by yourself, ordering room service and watching Lifetime movies the entire time;

If you’ve ever been frustrated or annoyed or angry that your kid is THAT kid and wondered why everything has to be so goddamn hard;

If you’ve ever regretted having kids – if only for a moment – only to immediately be consumed by guilt for having that thought, however fleeting, in the first place;

If you’ve ever wondered why you dropped eighty grand on that college education only to clean boogers and wipe butts and refer to yourself in the third person;

If you’ve ever muttered fuck you under your breath at your kids or your husband or both;

If you’ve ever wondered what your life would have looked without kids; or

If you’ve ever felt your heart swell ten sizes at once, cried tears of gratitude and awe, and understood what they meant when they said being a parent is like carrying your heart outside your body, then

Please know that IT’S NOT JUST YOU.

You aren’t the only one.

You aren’t alone.

Source:Scary Mommy 🙂

🙂

Shared by Alex 🙂

Out-of-hours childcare: expensive and ever harder to find

call me to book your slot! 07849347709

Below is an article that is still very relevant. Parents in 2018 don’t work 9-5. They work such a variety of hours that childcare has struggled to meet the demand. UNTIL NOW!

Ministry of Minding offers ad-hoc childcare with fees as little as £2.50 per hour per child (up to 4 children), 24/7! Parents CAN receive help towards their childcare costs because Claire Alexandra Donaghy is a registered childminder and homecarer, and is registered to provide TAX FREE CHILDCARE.

*Finding affordable childcare can be a struggle for any family, but for parents who work outside traditional nine-to-five hours the search is even more difficult.

Figures from the Family and Childcare Trust show that only 7% of local authorities provide sufficient childcare for people who do shift work or have unusual working patterns, a figure that has fallen from 15% in 2015.

“We get a lot of emails from mums, many from the NHS, who have shift changes at very little notice,” says Mandy Garner, the editor of Workingmums.co.uk. “People are often patching together childcare and it can be so stressful.”

An increase in the number of people doing ad hoc work means more families are looking for flexible and affordable childcare. “We have got more parents working outside normal office hours or as freelancers or on zero-hour contracts,” says Jill Rutter, the head of policy and research at the Family and Childcare Trust. These workers may need childcare one week and not the next, and will have problems if forced to commit to set days.

Nurseries and childminders tend not to operate before 7am or beyond 6pm, and are not able to offer parents different days each week in accordance with their changing shift patterns. Strict rules on how many carers they need to have for each child mean they are unable to easily take extra children, and if they provide for a child who is not there they will make a loss.

Liz Bayram, the chief executive of the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (Pacey), says it can also be expensive for nurseries to offer evening and weekendservices. “They have to pay for staff outside of normal working hours and it is hard to recruit staff willing to work in that way,” she says.

Firefighter Rachael Cooper says returning to work after maternity leave might not be feasible for her because of the lack of childcare options on offer. Her working pattern means doing two days from 7am to 7pm, two nights from 7pm to 7am and then having four days off. The eight-day cycle means she never works the same days each week, making it impossible for her six-month-old daughter Erin to access a nursery and difficult for a childminder to accommodate her.

“No nurseries can accommodate different days each week, and a nanny would be really expensive,” she says. “Also I want Erin to go to nursery to learn and to socialise with other children. The other option would be to pay for nursery full-time, but then she may only be going one day a week sometimes.”

Cooper has spoken to her employer about flexible working, but that would involve a job share and still would not mean fixed working days. “The other option would be a day job in an office, but I did that when I was pregnant and I hated it,” she says. “My parents live in Turkey and, although my husband is self-employed, he has two lads working for him, so needs to be there. I think we will end up with one fixed day at nursery, maybe a childminder and my mother-in-law will retire to look after her. But if these things don’t happen I will have to give up work or do something else.”

Even if Cooper and workers like her do find irregular or out-of-hours childcare, it is often not eligible for free funding. All three- and four-year-olds and some two-year-olds currently get 15 free hours a week of early education childcare for 38 weeks of the year. This is set to increase to 30 hours a week from 2017. There are strict rules, however, about who can provide these hours and under what circumstances. A childminder has to be Ofsted-registered and must provide the care in their own home between 7am and 7pm for a minimum of 2.5 hours, which does not help parents who need childcare in the evening or early morning within the family home.

Parents needing out-of-hours childcare lose on all fronts because it can be up to 40% more expensive. Although they may be eligible for childcare vouchers they are unable to access universal free hours and there are restrictions on eligibility for working tax credits.

Recognising a need for flexible, affordable childcare, Yvette Oliver-Mighten launched an out-of-hours, at-home childcare service in Nottingham in 2005. @Home Childcare offers wraparound Ofsted-registered childcare to fit either side of the school day as well as out-of-hours care for irregular workers. The service can cost as little as £4.17 a child an hour, in line with the national average, but this is based on three children so is most affordable for larger families or people sharing the service.

“Out-of-hours care can cost 20% to 40% more depending on the times. In our model, evening childcare is charged at the same rate as day care. However, we charge 20% more for unsocial hours such as late in the evening, overnight or very early in the morning,” says Oliver-Mighten.

This service meets the criteria for working tax credits and childcare vouchers, but is not eligible for free hours, because although it uses registered childminders they operate as home carers and by definition childminding can only be provided in the childminder’s own home.

Part-time GP Natasha Hulme spends £25,000 a year on a nanny who works three days a week. As a partner in her practice Natasha is classed as self-employed and is unable to access a tax-free childcare voucher scheme. The nanny looks after two-year-old Edward and four-year-old Henry from 7.30am until Natasha, or her consultant husband David, returns from work, which can be between 6.30pm and 9pm. “We can afford it but we have to be careful with money. If we could have the free universal childcare hours paid to the nanny that would help,” she says.

In recognition of the problem, the government has run a consultation on plans to broaden the types of hours offered. The education and childcare minister, Sam Gyimah, has said that “childcare needs to be more flexible as well as more affordable, with greater choice over the hours available to parents”. The free hours are currently only available between 7am and 7pm, and the new scheme plans to extend this to between 6am and 8pm, though it will depend on providers willing to offer these hours.

Some feel the plans do not go far enough, because they do not address the need for care in the home, or ad hoc hours. “The government is beginning to wake up to the issue and realise there is a need out there for flexible childcare, but it is expensive. The government is only looking at half of the solution. It needs to consider more flexible models such as home childcare and what parents need,” says Oliver-Mighten. “If you are a shift-working lone parent with one child, how do you work and have affordable childcare? We see parents all the time who say they have given up work as they can’t afford childcare, and yet they want to work.”

*(The Guardian, June 2016.)

Ministry of Minding offers ad-hoc childcare with fees as little as £2.50 per hour per child (up to 4 children), 24/7! Parents CAN receive help towards their childcare costs because Claire Alexandra Donaghy is a registered childminder and homecarer, and is registered to provide TAX FREE CHILDCARE.

IF YOU LIKED THIS ARTICLE PLEASE LIKE AND SHARE IT 🙂 Alex.