Single moms, daycare and day shift

  1. When I first got divorced I was working as a corporate nurse. M-F, flexible hours 8-ish to 4-ish, no holidays, no weekends. Then I got laid off.

    I collected UI and with their blessing, went back to school full-time but still was able to manage the kids' schedules and be here for them when they needed me.

    UI ran out and I was waitlisted for the LPN-RN bridge program I applied to. So I had to redesign my whole life plan. My ex is unemployed but we have 50/50 custody so at any point, should he decide, he can take me to court for half of my income. Therefore, I have to play nice with him in the sandbox.

    I went back to work 24 hours a week night shift and found the physical demands were too much. I'm still trying to finish up this semester and I am full-time. I was never seeing my kids and contrary to popular belief, one cannot live without sleep.

    I have the option of switching to days which works well for me. Right now I'll be doing "desk" which is 8-4p however they are eliminating this position sometime in June and will go to primary nursing. The hours will be 7-3 and include of course, every other weekend.

    I live an hour and 10 mins from my job. My kids' school is 1/2 hour away. I leave for work at 5:30a. How on EARTH do people who work 7-3 find daycare that early in the morning?? And dear Lord my kids will be a hot mess having to wake up that early everyday! I'm going to try and schedule as many of my days on the days the kids are at their dad's house but need the 40 hours a week to make ends meet. I don't have any family around either.

    How can I make this work?! Also, I don't know HOW I'm going to fit school in there. Do I have to let go of my dream of becoming an RN for now? Being an RN would open up so many more options for me in terms of scheduling but my schedule may prevent me from doing that.

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    About HelenaHandbasket

    Joined: Jun '11; Posts: 111; Likes: 38


  3. by   wish_me_luck
    I am not trying to be rude and I know this is a big decision, but is it possible to move closer to your work so you don't have the really long commute?

    Also, have you looked into private babysitters versus daycares? I think there are websites out there that you can put in your zip code and view the profiles and such.
  4. by   chrisrn24
    Yes maybe a private home day care?
  5. by   Caffeine_IV
    I would hire a private sitter (of course do background check and all) and have them come to your home at 530 and get kids ready for school or at least oversee them. Are they of age to ride the bus?
  6. by   sugarik13
    I agree with other posts. Do you have an older neighbor with grown kids who could come over for 1-2 hrs in the morning, feed kids and help get them ready and put them on a bus or drive them? A local college student...maybe a senior in HS near you who can drive? There are websites that let you search for different types of domestic help - and are 2 I know people have used (not sure where you live or if they cover your area). Do you have a local community center that does before care and will bus the kids to school? Good luck.
  7. by   MierKat
    It's hard to give some ideas, not knowing how old your kids are.

    For school, until your RN program starts, can you take online classes?

    If moving closer to work is a problem, I second sugarik13's suggestions about a high school or college kid to come in at 5:30 and get
    the kids to school. Or a semi-retired person.

    If you can't manage the LPN-RN program in person, there are online RN programs that may work, depending on what state you live in.

    That sounds really tough. I hope your ex can get a new job sometime and just doesn't expect you to support the kids and him not to contribute. Good luck!
  8. by   EaglesWings21 is a website for private babysitters..

    I know it is hard right now, and you have to do what is best for you anf you family. But if you make it through all that you will feel so accomplished!
  9. by   charlottegirl
    I went through nursing school as a single mom of 3 in elementary school and WOW it was hard. I had family to help but their dad was uninvolved. I worked as a nurse aide 12-16 hour shifts on weekends. You are an there any chance of getting a job closer to home (perhaps in a LTC) on the weekends (would their dad take the kids then?)
    Sure it was exhausting working doubles but SO worth it.
  10. by   1feistymama
    If you can play nice with Dad and he's unemployed, maybe he can come to your place in the mornings and do the parent thing. Then you get the kids afterschool and have evenings with them. If that isn't feasible, neighbors may help if you're on friendly terms with them. My elementary kids go to a friend's house in the morning and then all of the kids walk to school. Others offered good ideas as well....change jobs or move closer to work or find a home based center that'll take the kids earlier.

    Lots of choices but you're the only one to decide what's best for your family. Best of luck to you!!! My only experience of being a single parent was having to do everything on my own when hubby deployed with the Navy and at least then I still had 2 incomes, just no help. I feel for any parent who is trying to parent alone. It's hard.
  11. by   monkeybug
    Have you tried all the daycares in the area? In our town there are a couple set up to accomodate healthcare schedules. Your best bet, though, is probably going to be an individual that can come to your home.
  12. by   CaitlynRNBSN
    Im a mommy now, thank god i have my fiance that can get our daughter to daycare. Either that, or my mom if she works a later shift or my dad. There is always someone for me to lean on.
    Anyway, when i was in college i babysat for a lady who was a single mom with 2 girls. She worked 6:30-7pm, getting home usually around 8. I would come over for a couple hours in the morning, get them ready and drive them to school. Then i would go to my classes for the day. I would pick them up at school around 3:30 and take them to dance. We would get home, feed them dinner (Which mom always always homemade and ready for me to just heat up or toss in the oven). While dinner was cooking we would do homework, eat supper, get ready for bed and then mom would be home.

    We did this 3 days/week, and when she worked weekends i was able to have the week off. it worked out wonderful. She LOVED hiring college students for this reason. They are able to drive, they are for the most part responsible. It is a job most are willing to do because i was able to get my homework done and attend all my classes. It worked out pretty darn well for the both of us. perhaps you could look into hiring a college student, or a responible high schooler to watch them after school or before school? Maybe send them to a neighbors house in the morning to wait for the bus there?
  13. by   nuberianne_RN
    I suggest contacting your local social services office for a list of home daycare providers. You have a good chance of negotiating earlier or later hours with them since they are already home. That is how I managed with two babies while on active duty.

    The other issue is schooling. You said their school is a half hour away. Does this mean that they attend a private school? Try to negotiate with another parent for your kids to be dropped off to their house in the morning. Depending on when they get out of school maybe you can then pick them all up after school or maybe pick them up from their house.

    Another suggestion is to switch them to the public school for your district (at the end of the school year of course). They can catch the bus from a neighbor's house in the mornings and either go home or to that neighbor's house for a little while until you get home. I grew up in a private school, and my kids started out in a private school so I don't give that suggestion lightly. However, I had to switch them to public school and I haven't regretted this decision yet.

    It is hard being a single parent. I know because I am one. The previous posters have all given excellent suggestions. You may have to make some tough decisions that you don't like, but sometimes we have to make a sacrifice somewhere to raise our kids the best way. I wish you all the best!!!!!
  14. by   1feistymama
    Like Caitlyn, I did the same for a neighbor's kids when I was a senior in HS. I had babysat for them for a few years when they went out on dates. Then they divorced. Mom had the kids and had a 90 minute commute each way plus her 9 hour day. I would show up in the morning, wake up the whole house, get the kids ready while she got ready. Then I'd wait with the kids at the bus while Mom took off for work.

    I went to school, then my afternoon job (I cleaned houses which didn't take too long and averaged $15/hour). I was always done by 6 so I'd get the kids from their after-school care and pop in dinner that was pre-made by Mom. She got home in time to have dinner with them and she'd help with their homework if it wasn't completed at after-school care. Since I had babysat for them for a few years and knew they were on hard times, I didn't ask for pay. She knew she was getting free care but I was kind of part of the family at that point. So, when I got married at 18, she paid for all of the flowers for the bridal party. We called it even.

    When you work out something with those around you, it can be a win-win for everyone. And those folks don't necessarily have to be family.

    I'll say a prayer for you that something works out. (((HUGS)))