Topic: Single mothers who work full time

If you work full time out of your home I need to know how do you balance it all? 

I have no family to rely on.  I work 9-5 my daughter is school age so this year I was able to get after school care.. but right now she is on winter break and I have no care.  The winter break care for not even 2 weeks was $600.0.  I only get 2 weeks of vacation time.

Today working on my 2013 calander and I have 1 week break between school getting out and summer school starting so I was excited because I have 5 days of vacation time left.. then I looked at the school calander and we have spring break coming up so now what.. Plus I have no one for tomorrow so I have to use one of those 5 days..

PLEASE tell me how to do this?????

Re: Single mothers who work full time

I have to save my tax returns to pay for daycare on breaks.  Each child is 120/week except for summer break they are 145/week because they do field trips.  I have a family that helps me out for $20/day for mild sick days for the little ones...I found them because we are both foster families.  Do you participate in any kind of activity where you might meet a stay at home mom willing to help?  I am the worst at asking for help, but I have learned that I have no choice.  My family is close, and they would do anything for me in an ER; however, they all work too.  Good luck!

Re: Single mothers who work full time

Could you find a reliable teenager to come into your home?  Maybe you could talk to friends and see if you could trade babysitting times--a stay at home mom might love having some nights off or a some time on the weekend. It is HARD...I am a SAHM now but worked full time for years as a single parent. The worst for me was a chicken pox epidemic that swept through my house...one of the kids was good enough to have it during Christmas break but they kept it going!  I had a friend who homeschooled her chidlren and they had already been through it...she saved my life that time!

Re: Single mothers who work full time

I am very lucky to have my retired mom to help me (she's a lifesaver!) but I do know how hard that can be. I think it's outrageous that the winter break care was $300 a week! that's insane. at my sons school, the before/after school care covers winter and spring break for I think $20 "extra" a week - for the kids already enrolled in before/after school care. I'm not sure how much it is for kids who aren't usually in the before/after care.

one of my single mom friends sends her daughter to visit her grandparents in another state for one week a year (usually spring break), she's been sending her since she was 8 I think (she's 12 now). she says they miss each other, but that her DD loves it smile

do you have family close enough that you could fly your DD to them, or fly them to you? it could be cheaper than the daycare and she'd be with family.

or like another mom said, can you talk to parents of her friends? see what they are doing?

Amy (39)
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5 (edited by fisch 2012-12-28 10:21:27)

Re: Single mothers who work full time

We share your frustration, even though there are two of us in our house - we both work very full time.

This year's winter break, we have resorted to hiring a nanny, since our 18 month old ALSO has two weeks off at her daycare, which I think is rediculous. Especially since we still pay the full month's rate. Our almost 5 year old was going a little nutty staying at home with sister and nanny so I just paid another $55 for a day of camp with a friend at the Y. He will also go there all next week if today goes well.

I think sending the kids to grandparents for lengths of time as they get older may be our answer, as friendamy suggested. Also, since I run camps through my work, they eventually will be both attending A LOT of camps. We also occasionally send our son to his old daycare provider for a day here and there when he school closes for any reason.

In general it's a lot of juggling and pre-planning as much as you can. Financially, we set up what we call our "nanny account" (even though we don't typically use nannies), and we both have funds automatically deposited into this account each paycheck. We use this account for childcare, and all extra curricular activities like swim lessons, music classes, etc. It has worked out well so far.

It is impossible to stretch your vacation to cover all of the days off. Not to mention that you might actually want a real vacation at some point. We have decided that we will not be doing any vacations in 2013, since we are heading into our 2nd year of infant care/preschool expenses. Once our son starts Kindergarten would should begin to see some relief. Our school's after care also provides coverage for no school days and breaks as other posters have said. It's the little one we have to figure out!

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Re: Single mothers who work full time

I'm in your boat too.
My kids' preschool follows the same schedule as the public schools, so I am stuck with no care the for the two weeks that cross Christmas and New Years, and also for a week in June (when the preschool is closed for vacation bible school).
During June it's not so bad, as I just take a week of vacation during that time.
Christmas and New Years though ..... it's a scheduling and financial burden to be sure. Because it's year-end there is no way in the world that I can get time off.  In fact, NO ONE is allowed time off during that time. My only option is $75/day, for a babysitter in my home. It's crazy, and I don't like it .... AT ALL. It's a preschool for goodness sake.
By any chance, can you ask any of your co-workers if they have teenage children who are interested in a little money on the side?

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Re: Single mothers who work full time

Check you local SMBS network - Yahoo groups, and see if anyone wants to trade daycare? I see posts on mine all the time for moms looking to trade.

It sucks - Maggie was sick for the first 2 years of her life.  The first year we were in the Er every weekend and sometimes during the week.  I would earn vacation/sick time and the next week use it up to take care of her.  Sometimes my mom could help but no reliably.

I am a teacher - and I have the same schedule as Maggie's daycare.  I just hate paying the full tuition $1000 a month when they are closed.

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Maggie
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Re: Single mothers who work full time

I don't work from home but I am single and working smile   Shiloh normally goes to preschool.  When that's closed, my back-ups are a babysitter or occasionally adopted grandparents.  Usually the sitter.  I have two older kids now and have a sitter pick them up from school each day.  So if I ever need help with Shiloh, I draw on her and just compensate additionally.  If you're working from home, I'd see about maybe hiring a college student as an au pair over breaks.

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Re: Single mothers who work full time

I think childcare/money to pay for childcare is the most stressful thing as a single mom. In fact it's probably the driving force keeping me from having #4.

I kind of have a mixed experience with family. My parents live about 30 minutes from here, and babysit for me a few days a week, but I have to pay them what I would pay my nanny. So, it doesn't really help financially, but gives me a backup. I will say though, that I just spent several days in the hospital unexpectedly and they both came, cared for my children, stayed to help once I was home and now have all three with them until Tuesday while I continue to recover. The last 1.5 weeks they have been amazing!

My work/daycare situation will be changing in January and I have a lot of anxiety surrounding it. I have a job with a very strict attendance policy and I CANNOT be out of work with sick kids. It won't work. So right now, I am trying to find someone as a back up, but it's not easy, after all who wants to watch another person's sick child sad

I haven't even started to think about the increased daycare costs this summer when the twins are out of school

Jamie
Mommy to Twins plus One - donor 733
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Re: Single mothers who work full time

I can only imagine that was Jamie says is exactly true - about it being the most stressful part. There have been many days where I contemplate having Household Manager of personal assistant job only but I always come back to the BUT. But, I'd need to be able to take Kate with me when she is off of school. That is obviously the biggest benefit of my job. It is why I tried to find the "right" long term job before getting pregnant and I was very lucky that I did. Are you close with some of the other families in your daughters class?  Could you ask what others do?  Maybe you could get some leads that way. I do send the girls to camps when they are off school sometimes - mostly A because it does add up fast and I don't have a few hundred bucks laying around just for her to be busy!  Gymnastics camp is $25 for a half day so that usually wins out over the much more expensive ones, especially because she moves for the bulk of that 4 hours and that makes it much more worth it!  I hope you can find a better solution before Spring Break comes!  Maybe I'll move to Hawaii and provide care at a reasonable price in your area when the kids are off school smile

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Re: Single mothers who work full time

Not single but our plans are to put one yr of Preschool from tax return (only $2400 luckily bc she goes just two days per wk) and also at least a yr worth of car payments in savings to put more money in our pockets each month.

Re: Single mothers who work full time

I wish I had family to help.  My closes family member is in Florida.  Most families in Hawaii are 2 parent workers and they have grandparents or rely on programs to watch the kids. 
I would be comfortable with a teenager but no one can watch at my house because of my handicapped husband at home.  I live in the suburbs and the problem with Hawaii its now how many miles away its where it is we have HORRIBLE traffic... to go 12 miles could be 1 hour in the morning.  I have found some really reasonable and good break programs but the commute is going to kill me... I mean kill me... I would be on the road at 6 am just to be able to make it to work by 9am and I work 10 min from my house if I did any of those programs.

My husband's faimly is USELESS!! He has a sister who could help but comes up with 100 reason way she busy and her daughter was born 3 days after dd. 
I asked her the other day generally I text her she text back in second EXPECT when I ask if M can come over.. I only ask her maybe 4 times a year and she declines 3 times out of the year... so its not like I over ask.  Anyways I texted her at 10am at 4:30pm she texted but SHOOTS I just seen this... BULL CRAP!! It was just her excuse. 

I have a neighbor with a 5 year old who goes to preschool.  She said anytime... The one time I called her when I was in a jam she didn't answer her phone. I had a meeting that ran real long and I couldn't get to the school to pick her up.   Since then I have signed up for afterschool care.

Money is tight we are not hurting just tight.  If we changed our live style majorly I could save to afford the $600 winter break..

I got no tax returns! I owe I owe so off to work I go!

Thanks

Re: Single mothers who work full time

I work full time . . . as a teacher!  Is there any way you can get a job at your daughter's school so you have the same vacation times?  Although a word to the wise - teachers and ed techs get paid for the days they work.  While it looks like we have 4 months paid vacation a year, what we really do is work 180-185 contractual days a year, and our pay is pro-rated to be spread out over vacations, so we get no paid vacation time. 

Other options during the summer are the summer rec programs.  Around here, they usually run about $100-150 a week for 8-4 each day.  Another idea I saw in Parenting Magazine was for a few moms to band together and each run their own week-long summer "camp" with a theme.  6-8 parents got together and each one took one week's vacation time to run one week of the camp, and during that week they would watch the other families' kids as well.  For the rest of the summer, their kids had daycare as well.  They did mention a few important facts after their first summer: solicit only reliable families and if there's a family you think is on the fence about following through, make them go first so they don't get a summer of free daycare and then be unable to cover their week.  Maybe even draft a contract that families who don't come through have to pay a fee to the other families.  Another thing she mentioned in the article was meeting and deciding ahead of time things like who would provide and be responsible for applying sunscreen and bug spray (they decided it was each parent's responsibility before dropping off the kids).  You could consider doing something like this during the winter breaks as well.

Another thing I've seen for snow days is joining the local YMCA and signing up for their snow day coverage.  I think it cost something like $20 a month extra, but any time there was a snow day you could drop your kids off there from 7am - 5pm and they'd be provided with activities to do all day.  My sister had both her kids join the local Boys & Girls Club for $20/week for after school care.  They'd get a snack and a choice of activities or homework club until pick-up time.  My sister also worked there as one of their homework club teachers four days a week.  I believe they also have a snow day program, but I'm not positive of that because my sister never would've used it.

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Re: Single mothers who work full time

Kari, I would love to have the hours of a teacher, but I am not a teacher quality I would probably scream at them all day... not to mention teachers make less than I do in Hawaii.. A first year teacher makes about $25000 less than me a year.

I just need to cut back on things and stop thinking my husband will be well during her breaks..

That will be my new years resolution,,, after I eat dinner out tomorrow night  big_smile

Re: Single mothers who work full time

Why can't someone come to your home with your handicapped husband there?

I care for my elderly aunt with dementia. She has lived in my home for almost 7 years. She is 87 and while my nanny doesn't have to provide for her care, she is responsible for making her take her pills and then just being in the house for general supervision. My aunt, is essentially why, I've always required a nanny come to the house. It's been wonderful for my children, but I couldn't ever consider daycare as an alternative because my aunt cannot be left unsupervised for more than a few hours.

My main nanny is a grown woman, but I have had teenagers fill in for her. I make sure when interviewing that they know the deal and if they are uncomfortable then I don't use them.

Obviously, your husbands situation maybe different, just throwing that out there.

Jamie
Mommy to Twins plus One - donor 733
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