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happysmileylady

WWYD-kids and supervision

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I mentioned in another thread that I have started swimming twice a week.  I actually signed up for a very small group adult swim lesson class so that I could work on my strokes before doing my own lap swimming....I didn't want to look like a complete doofus or like I was drowning in the middle of the pool lol.

So, the class is 4 weeks, 2 times a week.  It's 6:15 to 6:45 so not long, but omg it has helped so much.  It was $50, which is quite a bit of money for me, since my personal money is only $20 a month lol.

So far we have been able to have DH meet me at the rec center at 6pm, he picks up the kids and takes them home, feeds them whatever I put in the crockpot and it all works ok.  Well, tomorrow.....he has a meeting at 5pm.  He won't even be done with the meeting until 6pm, which means he won't be home until 7.  *sigh*  We knew this was a possibility when I signed up, but it's still frustrating.

I *could* bring the kids, and then just plunk them on the bleachers in the pool area with like books or their tablets or both.  But, they LOVE swimming and DD9 in particular (ASD diagnosis) is fascinated with water.  I will be constantly worried about whether or not one kid is wandering around the corner "just to see it" and then trying to get in the water.  They can swim, have taken swim lessons, can tread water, so in terms of safety, I am not concerned, just more, trying to be where they shouldn't.  I can hook their tablets up to the rec center wifi so I could set them up to watch a movie on Disney + and I will be right there so it's not like I can't keep an eye on them while I am in the pool.  AND...they are generally pretty well behaved kids.  It's just obviously, divided attention for me.

I *could* skip.  This would basically just mean missing a swim practice for me.  The instructor has helped, but I am actually at a point where I am feeling mostly comfortable with my strokes....I don't NEED the class to feel like I know what I am doing, mostly.  There are only 3 more classes including this one, but the instructor won't be there for next Tuesday, so if I skip, I will only have one last opportunity for the instructor to observe and tell me if I am messing anything up.  And, having paid $50 for the class, I hate to skip.

 

There's one other factor....AF showed up.  Yeah, I know for a lot of people that's not an issue but....the whole process of swimming with AF is just a pain in the butt for me.  Without the added complication of the kids, I would just deal with it, but.........BLAH!

This was supposed to be one of the few things I do for ME.  One of my few times without the kids.  ANd it's only this one time, one half hour, but yeah.....I don't get all that many half hours.

 

I dunno.

 

Go, set the kids up in the bleachers, divided attention......or skip, which feels like a waste of money and loses me a practice session.  

Edited by happysmileylady

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I also wanted to say, the kids are 7, 9 and 11.  I actually would feel ok with DD11 at home alone or maybe even with the other two......but we don't have the additional phone line to have kids home.  I could leave my phone with them...but then they can't get in touch with me and I would be closer than DH if an emergency happened.  

 

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If you are comfortable leaving them at home minus the fact that they don't have a phone I'd leave them at home and instruct them to go to a neighbor for a phone if it is an emergency. If you are still uncomfortable with that, can you find someone to watch them at home for that short period of time.

If those aren't options I'd personally skip it rather than bring them, since your not positive they would just sit there and behave

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I would go and set the kids up in the bleachers.  You said that they are usually well behaved, and the class is only half an hour.  It should be ok.

But, if you decide to skip, that's ok, too.  $50 for 8 classes is $6.25 per class.

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14 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

If you are comfortable leaving them at home minus the fact that they don't have a phone I'd leave them at home and instruct them to go to a neighbor for a phone if it is an emergency. If you are still uncomfortable with that, can you find someone to watch them at home for that short period of time.

If those aren't options I'd personally skip it rather than bring them, since your not positive they would just sit there and behave

Honestly, I *personally* would actually be more comfortable with them at home than with them in the bleachers.  I know they would spend the whole time playing video games and watching movies....my only concern would be having them have some sort of emergency contact.

DH on the other hand......I know this would FREAK HIM OUT.  He would rather leave his meeting early than than have them home alone.  He's a bit overprotective and he admits this.  Even if he tried to be comfortable with it....he would be worrying the whole meeting.  

 

Having someone watch them....There is one option...I could contact the girls GS leader.  She had DD11 overnight last weekend, and I have provided babysitting for her kids both for free and paid.  I am not sure about having DD9 in the house there.  ( I don't want to discuss the things I am concerned about at their house)   And I don't know that I could ask her to watch them here.  

10 minutes ago, Junie said:

I would go and set the kids up in the bleachers.  You said that they are usually well behaved, and the class is only half an hour.  It should be ok.

But, if you decide to skip, that's ok, too.  $50 for 8 classes is $6.25 per class.

Really, it should be ok and I am probably letting DH's overprotectiveness impact my thinking.   And you are right, it's like less than a dinner at a drive thru if I skip lol.  

I just really don't want to, but I really don't want to deal with the other crap either.  

 

BLAH!

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Is there an old phone without service you could leave for them so they at least have 911 access?

I'd set them up with a movie to keep them occupied at home and go.

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With kids those ages, I'd totally go and set them up with their tablets. I've taken all 4 of ours to my haircut appointments because I haven't had a sitter and DH is often OOT. Even the 3 yo (and he did it when 2 as well), could sit for the half an hour to get my hair cut. So yes, I'd think your older kids can do it.

I don't think I'd be comfortable with our oldest home alone with the others at that age (he's only 9 now though). He just tends...to be slow on the maturity side. And I wouldn't want him responsible for mediating between the two middle kids in our family (the two most likely to have issues amongst ours). 

But if you are fine with them at home, leave them. Give them the phone with the number for the pool and DH in memory. Having a neighbor's number would be good too. I mean, isn't leaving phone numbers what people would have done pre-cell phone? If it comes down to my kids being at home sans phone, me taking the phone just isn't an option for me. I wouldn't expect my kids to run to a neighbor because we are in the country. Running on our road at night is absolutely out of the question. 

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Set them

up in bleachers 

ask 11 yo to be extra alert as to 9 yo    Bribe 9 yo for good behavior 😁

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Maybe: Practice side stroke with your eyes direction facing towards kids 

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Could they call the swimming pool office and ask them to get you out of class in an emergency?  You would not have your phone on you during the class I guess?  
 

 

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Also how long would you be out of the house?  My impression is about an hour.  I feel like — you could set the kids up at home with a movie and be back before it’s over, with that kind of time frame.  
 

 

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3 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I would hire a babysitter.  To be quite frank, I don't understand why families don't fo this. 

Finding a babysitter is difficult, especially certain hours of the day, and most don’t just want to watch for a an hour or two because of the cost to get our of the house.  It gets very expensive, very fast, in many markets.

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7 hours ago, Lecka said:

Could they call the swimming pool office and ask them to get you out of class in an emergency?  You would not have your phone on you during the class I guess?  
 

 

I think this is a good option.  Leave them at home with a good movie, leave them your cell phone, and put the number of the YMCA or whatever it is on the phone for your kids to call in an emergency.  (Also, do they know a neighbor well enough to run over there in an emergency?)

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I will be the outlier and say I would skip.  The "me" time has already been ruined by AF and dh's meeting.  Having to keep one eye on the kids at a pool is not "me" time.  I'm sorry.  I understand about not having time for self-care.  

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4 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I would hire a babysitter.  To be quite frank, I don't understand why families don't fo this. 

Expense. I'm not sure why that would be hard to understand. When I babysat, it was $1/kid/hour. It is a lot more than that now. I have only paid a babysitter twice since Dd16 was born. And also, trust. I have to know someone pretty well before I will leave my kids with them.

OP, I would fee the kids beforehand and leave them home. When I was starting to leave my kids home about those ages, I figured that of all the unlikely possible emergencies choking would be the most likely. So, they weren't allowed to eat anything or open the door to anyone while I was gone. If you feed them before you go and give them permission to watch a show or play video games, what emergencies would actually have a chance of happening in the hour you are gone?

 

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OK, I'm a mom on the other side of parenting (my "baby" is 17+ years old) - DO NOT SKIP THE CLASS. GO!

Put 'em in the bleachers with Disney + and do your class!

Seriously - when we sign up for things and we want to do them - it's a slippery slope to putting those things aside forever due to our "responsibilities."

Talk to the kids beforehand. Explain that you need to focus for 30 minutes on your swimming and that they will be set up in the bleachers with Disney +. They are to be chill for 30 minutes. They are not to climb on the bleachers or to leave the bleachers. Make a bathroom trip before you get to the pool. Make it sound fun. Tell them that, if they are good, you'll stop for ice cream on the way home or let them swim for 30 minutes while you watch (or whatever bribe-you-can-live-with that will work for your kids!).

It's good for kids to see mom doing something for herself. It's good for them to do her a solid and behave themselves so that she can do a thing she wants to do. Especially if you have any daughters in that mix.

I sure wish I'd learned this when my kids were 11, 9, and 7. I was the "Giving Tree" for farrrrrr too long. Once I snapped out of it, we were all better-balanced.

(If my kids couldn't behave themselves for 30 minutes after I'd asked so nicely, there would be privileges revoked for the offending kid(s)... if they aren't going to respect my time, then I'm not hauling them around to do their things for a little while...)

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Right now I am leaning towards just not going.  I woke up feeling not so hot due to AF and really kinda just feel like I want to curl up on the couch and do *nothing* all day long.  

 

5 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I would hire a babysitter.  To be quite frank, I don't understand why families don't fo this. 

Assuming you are talking about like a older teen type of babysitter to come over.  Truth is, I don't know anyone with a teen to ask.  And I am not hiring some random person off of Craigslist or something.  And then as others have mentioned, babysitters can be expensive and paying for one was not budgeted for.  

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19 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Right now I am leaning towards just not going.  I woke up feeling not so hot due to AF and really kinda just feel like I want to curl up on the couch and do *nothing* all day long.  

 

If you are not feeling all that well, yeah, stay home.  

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If there is really an 11 year old the youngest is 7 and it's for an hour or 2, I wouldn't see a need for a sitter.  IF there was a phone available.  That said, I'd work on getting a cheap land line option or a cheap cell phone to have at home so you can run quick errands, etc.  Your kids are at a great age to start this kind of thing.  We pay like $6 a month for a wifi based land line as back up even though we all have cell phones.  Or if you have a device/tablet, you could set up skype to be able to make emergency calls, etc.

I think it's fine to take a day off if you really aren't feeling it though.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz

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If they can swim, I would let them swim.  Are there no lifeguards?

Is there an option for a make-up class?  Maybe you could ask.

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I also agree it is likely ok for them to be home "unsupervised" for an hour, but if you are feeling uncomfortable about it, there may be a reason that only you know.  🙂

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8 minutes ago, SKL said:

I also agree it is likely ok for them to be home "unsupervised" for an hour, but if you are feeling uncomfortable about it, there may be a reason that only you know.  🙂

 

I would be comfortable leaving the 11 year old home alone, but not in care of the younger kids.  My kids are 12 and 8. The 12 year old gets left alone. The 8 year old is not ready for it. (She wants to be. But everytime we've tried it, as soon as no adult is home, she is anxious, wondering where we are.  Maybe for 10 or 15 minutes overlap if I have to leave before my husband gets home -- and I'm going to be close (our AHG meets just down the street, less than 10 minutes away).  Because we have a phone they can call if somehting happens and he doesn't get home.

 

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1 hour ago, easypeasy said:

OK, I'm a mom on the other side of parenting (my "baby" is 17+ years old) - DO NOT SKIP THE CLASS. GO!

Put 'em in the bleachers with Disney + and do your class!

Seriously - when we sign up for things and we want to do them - it's a slippery slope to putting those things aside forever due to our "responsibilities."

Talk to the kids beforehand. Explain that you need to focus for 30 minutes on your swimming and that they will be set up in the bleachers with Disney +. They are to be chill for 30 minutes. They are not to climb on the bleachers or to leave the bleachers. Make a bathroom trip before you get to the pool. Make it sound fun. Tell them that, if they are good, you'll stop for ice cream on the way home or let them swim for 30 minutes while you watch (or whatever bribe-you-can-live-with that will work for your kids!).

It's good for kids to see mom doing something for herself. It's good for them to do her a solid and behave themselves so that she can do a thing she wants to do. Especially if you have any daughters in that mix.

I sure wish I'd learned this when my kids were 11, 9, and 7. I was the "Giving Tree" for farrrrrr too long. Once I snapped out of it, we were all better-balanced.

(If my kids couldn't behave themselves for 30 minutes after I'd asked so nicely, there would be privileges revoked for the offending kid(s)... if they aren't going to respect my time, then I'm not hauling them around to do their things for a little while...)

 

This is me. I use screens for occasions like this. Screens and bribes, with privileges revoked if they choose not to behave for that short a time. They are both capable of doing so, assuming they're well-rested and in good health.

If they weren't, I would either skip it or line up childcare. For me personally, and knowing my kids, if I couldn't expect that they'd be ok with a screen for a half hour during the lesson with me nearby, no way would I trust them at home alone. (I'm imagining them a bit older here, no way would I leave them now anyway. 🙂

That said, I saw where you're not feeling well too. So, if everything together is just too much to coordinate, I'd skip it. 

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40 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

If there is really an 11 year old the youngest is 7 and it's for an hour or 2, I wouldn't see a need for a sitter.  IF there was a phone available.  That said, I'd work on getting a cheap land line option or a cheap cell phone to have at home so you can run quick errands, etc.  Your kids are at a great age to start this kind of thing.  We pay like $6 a month for a wifi based land line as back up even though we all have cell phones.  Or if you have a device/tablet, you could set up skype to be able to make emergency calls, etc.

I think it's fine to take a day off if you really aren't feeling it though.  

Yeah, it is definitely time for them to start learning and DH and I are discussing what to do about getting a phone here for them to start staying home alone.  

18 minutes ago, SKL said:

If they can swim, I would let them swim.  Are there no lifeguards?

Is there an option for a make-up class?  Maybe you could ask.

It's not open swim time, there are multiple classes going on in the pool.  Water aerobics, baby/toddler swim class, etc.

15 minutes ago, SKL said:

I also agree it is likely ok for them to be home "unsupervised" for an hour, but if you are feeling uncomfortable about it, there may be a reason that only you know.  🙂

It's just a learning process is all.  

That and DH is overprotective.  And he is WAY more freaked out about the idea of having them home alone than I am.  (he tends to be an anxious person in general.)  It's a process.

 

 

And after all this, he sent me a text saying that his meeting tonight got cancelled.  So now I just have to decide if I am feeling up to going.  

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9 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

I would hire a babysitter.  To be quite frank, I don't understand why families don't fo this. 

Because babysitters are hella expensive? I think that's really easy to understand! And, in this particular case, it's almost impossible to hire a babysitter for an hour. Lucky people might have a teen or mom a few houses away who would be willing to walk over, but most don't. 

4 hours ago, easypeasy said:

 I sure wish I'd learned this when my kids were 11, 9, and 7. I was the "Giving Tree" for farrrrrr too long.  

My dh hates that book. Somebody gave it to us when our kids were little. He started reading it to them at bedtime but came out in the middle to ask me, "WHAT is this? Who gave us this weird book??" 😂

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8 hours ago, Meriwether said:

Expense. I'm not sure why that would be hard to understand. When I babysat, it was $1/kid/hour. It is a lot more than that now. I have only paid a babysitter twice since Dd16 was born. And also, trust. I have to know someone pretty well before I will leave my kids with them.

OP, I would fee the kids beforehand and leave them home. When I was starting to leave my kids home about those ages, I figured that of all the unlikely possible emergencies choking would be the most likely. So, they weren't allowed to eat anything or open the door to anyone while I was gone. If you feed them before you go and give them permission to watch a show or play video games, what emergencies would actually have a chance of happening in the hour you are gone?

 

To hire a sitter in my area for this would be $20 per hour for 3 kids. Add in picking up the sitter and driving the sitter home if sitter cannot drive. 

ETA: When I was 11, not that many moons ago, I was the sitter! I was being paid to watch other people's toddlers for hours on end. The summer I turned 11, I took a CPR course through the local hospital and received a certificate at the end as having successfully finished their babysitting course. So I wasn't going rogue or anything, this was sanctioned by my suburban community.

Edited by annegables
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Here you have to be 14 to babysit so leaving them home would not work.  I couldn't relax anyway.  I would probably skip.

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