Childminding vs Marketing: a day in the life

For those avid followers of this blog you’ll know that I recently resigned from my full time job as an Account Director at a central London digital marketing agency, in favour of retraining as a full time childminder, in order to be around for my daughters (aged 6 years and 10 months).

Many people expressed shock, others gave me support, and a large number ask me how life is different now. In response to them here is a typical day in my old life vs a typical day in my new life.

Account Director at a central London digital marketing agency (pre daughter number 2)

6-7am: Alarm goes off, drag myself downstairs for an exercise DVD in the hope I’ll lose the extra 3kg/6lb I’ve been carrying around due to my sedentary office lifestyle.
7-7.30am: Jump in the shower, get dressed and put make-up on.
7.30-8am: Wake L up and have breakfast with her and Hubs.
8-8.10am: After breakfast, leave L with the au pair and walk to the station with Hubs.

My old commute

My old commute

8.10-8.30am: Say goodbye to Hubs (he gets the train to work) and jump on the tube. This was my chill-out time where I zoned out from the packed tube and lost myself in a book on my Kindle for the 20 minute tube ride.
8.30-8.45am: Walk from the station to the office via M&S to get lunch and avoid the lunchtime queues.
8.45-9am: Catch up with colleagues, get settled into the office, switch the computer on and get going.
9am-1pm: Work, work, work. There was a great atmosphere in the office and the banter helped when things got crazy but I pretty much didn’t stop when I was there. As I don’t drink coffee, tea or smoke I could sometimes go these 4 hours without getting up from my desk.
1-1.30pm: Eat lunch at my desk whilst reading personal emails and catching up on Facebook and/or Twitter.
1.30-6pm: More work. A day’s work could feature anything from internal meetings, to client meetings, to writing proposals, to brainstorming with the design/development team, to client emails/calls, to managing my team, to preparing my monthly management presentation, to working out my team’s financials (sales objectives etc).
6-6.10pm: Walk from the office to the station, mulling over the day’s work/things to do the next day.
6.10-6.30pm: Reading in my little zone on the tube again.
6.30-6.40pm: Walk home from the station.
6.40-7pm: Catch up with L and have handover from the au pair. Walk the dog while Hubs prepares dinner.
7-7.30pm: Have dinner with Hubs and L.
7.30-8pm: Get L ready for bed – brush teeth, bedtime story etc.
8-8.30pm: Do the washing up and any other chores that can’t wait until the weekend.
8.30-10.30pm: Collapse on the sofa – watch TV or carry on reading from my commute.
10.30-11pm: Go to bed and read for a while, then go to sleep in preparation for being up at 6am again.

I absolutely loved my job but it was pretty sedentary, and I didn’t get to spend much time with L. I miss the banter with my colleagues as we really had a great office atmosphere, and I miss the uninterrupted reading time – I used to read one book a week, now it takes me weeks just to read a magazine 🙁

Childminder and Blogger (with my own baby, my own child, an additional baby and an additional child)

6-7am: Alarm goes off, drag myself downstairs to hoover the lounge and kitchen in preparation for crawling babies (no need for an exercise DVD these days as I never stop). Prepare the day’s main meal – I cook the same meal for the two babies, the two children and Hubs and me: it is ready to eat by the babies and me at lunchtime, to be reheated by the children after school and by Hubs in the evening.
7-7.20am: Jump in the shower and get dressed (no make-up these days!).
7.20-7.45am: Wake C up and give her a milk feed (both girls tend to sleep late and need waking up), wake L up and make myself some toast to eat on my way.
7.45-8.45am: Leave Hubs to give L and C their breakfast and walk the 25 minutes to pick up the baby I look after, and bring her back home. (I do this 2 days a week as they live quite far away and we were keen to work together for various reasons; the other 2 days we meet at our local station.)
8.45-9am: Get home, put both babies into the double buggy, check L has brushed her teeth, done her hair and has her school bag and any necessary school “stuff”. Then head to school, which is fortunately 1 minute walk from the house.
9-10am: Go for a walk locally with the babies in the double buggy (C usually sleeps for some of this).
10-11.30am: Meet up with fellow mums/nannies/childminders at a local playgroup or the park.
11.30-11.45am: Get the babies set up for lunch.
11.45am-12.30pm: Lunchtime for the babies and me. I try and eat with them so they learn that meals are a sociable time, and they then see me eating the same meal as them.
12.30-2.30pm: Baby naptime (2 hours if I’m lucky). I use this time to get as much done as possible, this could be anything from reading/writing blog posts, to catching up on Facebook and Twitter, to doing the washing or any other household chores, to doing childminding paperwork.
2.30-3.30pm: Snack/milk feeds, nappy changes and get ready for the school run.
3.30-4.30pm: Pick up from Reception and Year 2, then either play in the school playground, go to the local park or come home for indoor play if the weather is bad.
4.30-5.30pm: Teatime for the babies and the children. The baby is collected at 5.15pm.
5.30-6.30pm: Playtime with the children before pick-up.
6.30-7pm: Bathtime for L and C.
7-7.15pm: Hubs gives C her bottle while I walk the dog. L gets TV time or reading time.
7.15-7.45pm: Have dinner with Hubs while L watches TV or chats to us about her day.
7.45-8pm: Bedtime story for L, read by her or us.
8-10pm: Tidying the toys away (how do they get EVERYWHERE?!?) before reading/writing blog posts, catching up on Facebook/Twitter, emails, or occasionally a bit of TV or reading.
10-10.30pm: Reading in bed before passing out in preparation for doing it all over again the next day.

The living room on a tidy day

The living room on a tidy day

Whilst I miss the office banter I am lucky to have lovely friends nearby who I see on the school run or at playgroups. I love getting to spend my time with my kids and the other lovely baby and child I look after. Being my own boss again is another plus I didn’t expect to be enjoying. I feel much fitter and healthier as I walk/move around so much more (I am 4kg/8lb lighter than pre-pregnancy when I was working in the office), and because I have to meal plan healthy, balanced meals for the children it means I am eating so much better too, I don’t have time to snack either which helps as well. But I do miss the time I had to read on my commute.

I don’t know what the future holds but for now this is where I want to be and what I want to be doing 🙂


10 Responses

  1. Nikki Thomas says:

    Good for you, it sounds like a big lifestyle change for you but I don’t think you will ever regret it as you never get the time back when your children are growing up, so I think it is better to make the most of it while you can.
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…Goodbye GromitMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      I totally agree – when L was little we lived in France and not going back to work was never an option, sometimes I feel like I really missed out on things with her as I worked at least 4 days a week from her being 3 months old to nearly 6 years old. I’m so glad I can catch up on some of that now.

  2. Katie says:

    Sounds like quite a change but a change for the better – glad it’s all working out for you! I may look into child minding at some point too as it’s really difficult to find part time work in the advertising world! 🙂
    Katie recently posted…This week we have mostly been face plantingMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It really is working out and I’m loving it. The world of marketing, PR, advertising etc is not really one that is easy to work part time hours in unfortunately 🙁 If you do decide to go down the childminding route give me a shout if I can help at all.

  3. Erica Price says:

    Sounds like a real lifestyle change for you and a positive one. You’ll get to spend valuable time with your children while they are young which is irreplaceable. Sounds like it’s healthier too.
    Erica Price recently posted…Stick Dog Wants A Hot DogMy Profile

  4. Grenglish says:

    Wow, I am exhausted just reading that 🙂 I too recently made the move to leave my job and stay at home, although I have just this week taken on some work I can do at home. I feel so much happier with the balance I have now and being able to spend more time with my son is wonderful. Good luck to you x
    Grenglish recently posted…The MAD Blog AwardsMy Profile

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      It’s more physically exhausting than my old job but less stressful so all in all I feel much better. I’m glad you’re new lifestyle is working out so well for you 🙂

  5. Kara says:

    I find childminding very rewarding but equally frustrating.
    I adore taking the kids our and am often found at the local farm / beach / aquarium but I find my evenings are taken up with paperwork and having just done my tax return for last year barely broke even.
    I do miss the office banter, but not the beaureaucracy and now I work from home it feels like I am always at work!
    I am doing my childcare qualifications now to keep my brain ticking over and once the baby is at school I want to become a teaching assistant!

    • Franglaise Mummy says:

      We’ll see what I say about it once I’ve done my tax return 😉 Great for keeping your brain ticking over and about becoming a teaching assistant too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge