I work part time. In real estate. Which is brilliantly flexible and my boss is totally accommodating when it comes to the hours I work, around the kids. And I love it.
School holidays are tricky. No school or kindy means I need to rely upon out of hours school care for Olivia and Charlie, and childcare for Lexie.
Just quietly, they all love it when they get to go to these environments. They don't go often enough to get bored by the care surroundings and generally they get to do a whole stack of stuff that they maybe don't get to do at home like make a huge crafty mess and not have to clear it up. Or play on Xbox for hours...
The problem I have is that some of my work is just an hour or two at an appointment.
Today I literally just had two hours work to do. Nothing more, nothing less. And call me stingy, but I am reticent to pay for three children for a full days care, when I really only need a few hours...
Lovely husband is up to his eyeballs in work, so was I was reticent to ask him.
Enter the babysitter. Hurrah! She is also on school holidays (from year eleven) and she sent me a text, as a reminder that she was available for whenever I needed her. Day or night.
Oh thank you lord.
She is seventeen and utterly enchanting.
The daughter of a colleague that we have known for a number of years, she has become our best and number one and favourite babysitter.
The kids adore her and she is laid back, fun, easy going but responsible. She loves the the kids as she feeds them lollies and beats them at UNO, but she also takes no shit when it comes to four year old tanties and sibling bickering.
She is as slim as a reed and requires no feeding - at most, she helps herself to the fruit bowl.
She knows our home like the back of our hand and even Perry the dog adores her.
So, this morning I left the kids in their jammies.
I brushed no ones hair but my own.
I put my make up on, and enjoyed an extra coffee.
I even, gasp, left the breakfast dishes in the sink and the beds unmade.
And in she swanned, my angel of a babysitter, my children beside themselves in excitement to see her.
With the most casual and easy of handovers, I kissed the kids, and walked straight out of the door without so much of a backward glance.
And drove to work.
No drop offs. No lunchboxes. No driving round in a well timed triangle between childcare and school, avoiding the worst of the traffic. No time wasting chit chat with anyone.
I just left them to it, and went to work. Simple as that.
I know now, and am deeply deeply envious of how bloody lucky my husband is - he gets to experience this ease and luxury and convenience every day!
And when I arrived home? They were all happy and rosy cheeked. She had played games with them the whole time and also managed to bake biscuits with them. The dishes were done and the beds made. They had been for a walk, and were in the final stages of a tricky puzzle before starting a Wii tennis challenge. Stimulated, content, and organised. Bliss, I tell you, bloody bliss to come home to.
Having a nanny for the day - it felt, quite frankly, like I had a wife!
What about you? Do you use childcare? A treasured babysitter? Out of hours school care? A nanny? Tell me what works for you?